Leadership and Entrepreneurial Spirit
Entrepreneurs focus on opportunity, and then they think about risk. This mantra has become a part of my values in business management and is something that I have tried to instil in those I have mentored. I have moved from managing a coffee shop in India to working onboard cruise ships, to providing education to international students to offering business management consulting. These are some of the observations I have made throughout my various careers as I transitioned from working under others to managing businesses.
One important discussion I have had with my team members and leaders was about ensuring that we recognise and understand our core values. Having this conversation helps build effective relationships and establishes mutual trust and respect when done sincerely. However, many leaders fail to have discussions about core values, call out unsuitable behaviours, and demonstrate acceptable ones. Leadership does not have to be complicated. What you need is to set clear expectations and have aligned values and support, and this will make your team members happy to work with you. The key responsibility of the leader is to gain the respect and trust of team members and create an environment for that to spread.
Great leaders encourage opportunities to seek risks, while corporates tend to encourage risk averse behaviours. More businesses should follow the example set by startups by engaging in an entrepreneurial spirit. Having this attitude can lessen the large corporate mentality that can often lead to divides within the company.
Enthusiasm and dynamic energy are often evident in startups and is something that I would like to see replicated within corporate organisations. The Australian business landscape has an awesome opportunity to put position itself as a centre for entrepreneurial activity.
I would suggest that startup leaderships work with large corporate leaders to help them redevelop their business strategy and execution, including risk taking, leadership, innovation and customer service style. Corporate Australia, I believe, has the chance to learn from startups and improve its approach to leadership and innovation. This can be achieved by encouraging business leaders to seek mentoring opportunities or even working alongside others within the industry.