Entrepreneurial leaders do not have a mindset that adapts to failure. Things go wrong, of course, but entrepreneurs donât call them âfailuresâ they call them âglitches, mistakes, bungles, setbacksâ â but not failing.
When one such entrepreneur was asked about the hardest decision he ever had to make, he answered that he didnât know what a hard decision was. An entrepreneur will approach decision-making with the idea that thereâs a strong likelihood that he/she will be wrong. This doesnât dissuade them â to the contrary they just do the best they can and worry about handling obstacles as they arise.
Another way of looking at it is to realize that you will make mistakes, so make them as quickly as you can in order to learn from them. A good leader doesnât view making mistakes as negative or irrevocable, he/she feels free to press on and try something new. There is the belief that something useful has been learned, and hopefully not at a high cost.
Letâs face it; if youâre going to live this life youâre going to make mistakes. Make use of them as learning tools and donât make the same ones twice.
Entrepreneurs also know the value of âintuitionâ. While you shouldnât act on the results of tossing a coin, there is something to be said about your âgutâ feeling about the situation. Very often business people become so involved with systems and checks-and-balances that they forget about that âgutâ instinct they had when they started.
While not strictly logical, intuition does draw on a combination of experience, knowledge, and analysis as well as a lot of âgutâ information you may have forgotten that you have.
You become a strong leader in your business by âpracticingâ being a leader. Itâs not a course you can take at a business college; itâs learned in the school of life as youâre doing business.
As a leader, you have to set standards and higher standards for your own behavior. You must do this because appearances are sometimes more important that facts.
Consider for a moment that as an entrepreneur with a small business youâre planning on approaching a bank for a loan. You know that you must present a well thought out and concise Business Plan, with all the projections for the use of the capital youâll borrow and the repayment of the same. You learned that from all those seminars you attended when considering becoming an entrepreneur, but is there something that you werenât taught in seminars? What about âpresentationâ?
I donât mean the presentation of the Business Plan, we all know that must be well done and attractive. What Iâm talking about is YOU! Do you maintain the appearance of leadership? Do you project a confident appearance of a successful entrepreneur? You may not have the faintest idea today how youâre going to pay for that advertising bill coming due on the 15th, but youâre not going to give that banker that information.
Presenting yourself as a confident entrepreneur, filled with the excitement of your business idea, and a strong leader of your team (whether itâs 1 or 10 employees) is what will make you a winner and add untold weight to your Business Plan. After all, you are your business to that banker so youâd better look good and confident.
To protect that faith that your people and your customers have in your organization, always ask yourself these two questions:
1. Could this be interpreted by anyone in a way that would shake their faith in my leadership?
2. Could this be misinterpreted and held against me or the company?
Strong leaders know that leadership is a lifelong learning experience, and when they make a mistake they simply continue to move forward. The ability to bounce back is a quality that every entrepreneur Iâve ever known has in abundance.
When you blunder, get up and try again quickly. As one high-tech executive I knew put it, âOur strategy is to fail forward fast.â
Lori Smith is a Holistic Life Coach and Small Business Mentor
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