5 Steps to Create Entrepreneurial Leaders
Business leaders are under more pressure than ever. To lead effectively, they must delegate key pieces of their job while guiding their talent to grow as entrepreneurs. What’s more, these days business leaders must do this 100 percent virtually. Here are five things business leaders must do to turn their people into entrepreneurs in a virtual world:
1. Create Emotional Currency That Attracts and Motivates Talent.
Emotional currency–engaging your employees emotionally by inspiring them with your company’s mission–is essential for attracting and motivating the best talent.
I’ve talked to many startup employees who gladly left a higher-paying job at Google or Facebook because the startup’s mission and their role as a bigger fish in a much smaller point makes them much more highly motivated.
If your company’s mission inspired talented people to join your company, ask whether it still inspires your people in a world transformed by Covid-19. If not, you must align your mission with your peoples’ passion because motivating your people will become even more important.
That’s because as you challenge them to take on bigger parts of your job you may also be forced to ask your people to take pay cuts to shore up your company’s dwindling cash.
2. Articulate Short-Term Goals.
Once you have created the emotional climate needed to motivate your talent, the first step in turning them into entrepreneurial leaders is to articulate the goals your company must achieve to survive the Covid-19 crunch so it can be in a strong position to prevail once it’s over.
Such goals should be specific, measurable and time-limited. For example, they might include reducing your company’s monthly cash burn rate by 50 percent in the next three months or maintaining at least 90 percent of previous revenues from all of your most valuable customers.
The next step is to lead an all-hands video-conference in which you communicate the goals — explaining why they are important to the company and how each will be measured.
3. Push Your People to Pitch Strategies To Achieve The Goals.
Communicating these goals should inspire your people to imagine what each of them can do to help your company achieve them.
If your company is already organized by function, the leaders of each function should encourage their people to develop specific short-term goals they should seek to accomplish to further your corporate goals.
Most importantly, your people should come up with their own strategies for achieving functional and company-wide goals. Each strategy should describe what will be done differently, how much it will further the goal, what resources will be needed to implement the strategy, and how soon results will be achieved.
4. Empower People to Execute the The Best Ideas.
Next you should lead video-conference meetings with each department in which people pitch their best strategies to you and your leadership team. After each pitch, you and your leadership team should ask questions and make suggestions for improvement.
After each pitch, encourage debate among your leadership team and decide what to do. Rank the strategies presented based on how well they will work to achieve your goals for the resources they’ll consume. Then communicate your decisions to the people who proposed the winning ideas and let them execute.
5. Assess Progress and Reward Those Who Learned the Most.
Every week lead a video-conference with the people who are running the strategy projects you approved. Ask them what results they’ve achieved, what is working, what challenges they’re facing, and how they propose to overcome the impediments.
Not all of these strategies will ultimately succeed. Rather than punishing the ones who fail and promoting those who succeed, consider rewarding those whom you think learned the most and are ready to take on greater responsibilities.
In this way, you will develop entrepreneurial leaders while you are delegating parts of your job to people who will thanks to you have better skills to someday become founders themselves.
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