December 2, 2010
In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people.. they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.
– Ken Blanchard
There’s a lesson to understand about Startups the moment you step up to the plate:
Your idea is not that relevant.
Ideas are, simply put, a commodity. As a colleague of mine says, “There is no such thing as an original idea, only original perspective”. People provide that perspective, people are unique, and as it relates to the ever changing environment of a Startup, people are precious. The team you gather must not only have the mindset of an entrepreneur but they have to be willing to adapt to change at the drop of a hat, quickly grasp new concepts and product iterations and you, as a leader must exemplify these same qualities. As Mark Healy, a columnist for The Globe and Mail, states “as a leader, you have to have a teachable point of view.” As a leader you have to not only be open and willing to your own exercise, but show the care and patience necessary when teaching others.
How do you make your start up sustainable by making it about the people?
There are three steps to this first Principle and we’ll start by addressing the first step of our first Principle. The important thing to understand is that these principles cannot work in a vacuum. Every Principle and every step involved must work in conjunction with every other Principle. We start off our Principles with the one that we believe, if isolated, will give your startup the greatest chance for success.
These three steps are:
With this blog we’ll be providing you with the step by step processes to make these Principles your inherent corporate culture.
Step One: Vision:
The most effective way we’ve come across, in our experiences, to determining the vision of your startup is to find out your Why. Your Why will effectively determine the three key components of your vision: Purpose, Meaning, Cause.
Answering these three questions will determine your Purpose, Meaning and Cause and with those answers you will have your Why and with that in place, you’ll see why the idea, no matter how great it is, is just not that relevant.
– Why does your startup exist?
– What difference does your startup make in the world?
– Against what (not who) does the startup compete?
Once you get your Why you can easily separate yourself from your idea and find that team, that essential group of people that speak to your vision.