What is one underappreciated management skill that entrepreneurs should be working to cultivate?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Clarity in Communication
I have found that many issues between managers and teams stem from lack of clarity. If expectations, directives and goals are not clearly defined, it leads to frustration and a lack of accountability. “We need to get this done ASAP,” for example. Who is we and what does ASAP mean? Am I to do it, and is ASAP the end of the day or the end of the week? Seek clarity in all communication.
While it’s important to communicate clearly with your team and plan for success, the skill that will make the biggest difference between success and failure is adaptability. This means that not only should you have a plan B if your initial business strategy doesn’t work out, but you should also have a plan C, D and E.
3. Understanding Your Team’s Motivation
Each person on my team is driven by unique factors. Some are there for money, some for learning, some for status and recognition. These motivations are emotional, not logical. The great entrepreneur and leader will spend time with each person to understand their unique needs and then create an environment that serves these needs. Get the remunerations right and you will unlock their highest abilities.
As an entrepreneur, it is vital to allow yourself to be wrong. Sometimes the best decision you can make for your business is to deviate from the original vision. Being humble can be what differentiates you from your competitors. You don’t always have to know what the right answer is for tomorrow, but you need to be able to admit that yesterday’s answer wasn’t the right one.
5. Servant Leadership
All of our executives and managers share the same quality: They are all servant leaders. Their respective teams trust their leadership because they are not above doing anything for their team or the company. Whether it is as small as washing everyone’s dishes or as big as taking the lead on building a new product, they are willing to put themselves out there for the good of the whole.
I think one of the most underappreciated management skills is positivity. When you’re around a positive person, it’s infectious for the whole team. When you hire a manager with this skill, they see problems as opportunities to make a difference, not as headaches. They are the real game changers.
Tenacity is one of the most underappreciated management skills in the business world these days. Failures are inevitable, mistakes are usually made, and being able to handle them is what matters most. There is no such thing as an overnight success.
As an entrepreneur, you are constantly selling. Selling means a lot of talking. I have found it helpful to stop selling and listen more. If you do it right, you will surround yourself with a team of people much smarter than you. Take the time to absorb what the experts on your team are telling you. Listening and leveraging the information from your team makes you a more effective manager.
9. Trusting Your Employees
I believe it’s important to hire top performers and trust them to manage themselves. What’s the point of hiring top performers if you’re going to micromanage them? They excel at their jobs for a reason, so trust them unless they give you a reason not to.
10. Stress Management
Do you take time off from all that you are pursuing? As an entrepreneur, struggles and disappointment are part of the game, so stress isn’t far behind. The key to succeeding as an entrepreneur is how you manage your stress and channel it into something positive. While some people turn to strenuous physical activity, others take to meditation, yoga, music or even driving.
11. Looking at Individual Team Member Success
Most founders are so caught up with the company goals that they disregard the goals that each person has on their own journey. The best founders I have worked with encouraged us to have side hustles to ensure that extra level of security and help us think outside of the box. This also helped us build closer relationships with others on the team.
12. Effective Problem Formulation
While many great problem solvers are hailed as great managers, problem formulation is just as, if not more, important. Black-and-white issues are fairly easy to identify within a business, but why these problems are forming can be difficult to identify. When a manager is able to find the root of various problems and effectively distribute this information, solutions will come quickly.