We have explored many subjects during these past few weeks. I hope you are finding this series interesting, insightful and inspirational. If so, please share them with every architect you know.
We started the Entrepreneur Architect Academy with a session on Personal Productivity. Without understanding the basic fundamentals of being efficient with your time, making the right choices and doing the things that matter most, the rest of these sessions would be worthless.
We then moved on to Business and Life Planning and created your road map for success.
Today, we’re talking leadership.
As Entrepreneur Architects, we are all leaders. Whether we are running a firm of 1 or 100, it is leadership that will determine the success or failure of a firm. It does not matter how bad the economy gets or how your opportunities may have been reduced by circumstances outside your control. The fate of your firm sits squarely in your hands. It will be your vision, your decisions, your words and your actions that will lead your firm to the next level and beyond. If your firm is not where you want it to be, you must make the changes necessary to move it in a different direction… a direction forward toward success.
Great leaders are not born. They are built with confidence, courage and determination. Leadership is not easy and it is most certainly not for everyone. There are times when it is extremely difficult to be the person others look to for guidance and direction. If you are not willing to take on the responsibilities that are inherent in being a leader, than you should stop now and find someone else to follow.
In this fifth session of the Entrepreneur Architect Academy, here are five rules of successful leadership.
1. Live your mission, in your actions and your words.
The people around you, your staff, your clients, your family, all look to you as a model of how they are to act and react. Every decision you make will have an impact on your future success.
Your mission will keep you moving forward and remind you why you’re doing what you do. Even when things don’t work out the way you expect, embracing change with guidance from your mission will keep you on course.
2. Communicate clearly and be consistent.
Say what you mean and do what you say. Be honest, decisive and consistent. If you constantly change your mind and the direction of your firm, you will lack credibility and loose the faith of the people you lead.
Your job, as a leader, is to make your team successful. If you want greatness from your team, it is then your responsibility to inspire and motivate them to do remarkable things.
3. Be confident, courageous and determined.
The most important thing my mother and father taught me as a child was to be confident. It is confidence that gives us the courage to take the leap and to push past fears of failure. I was taught that, if you work hard enough, anything is possible.
I believe that in business, it’s no different. Success and failure is determined by the leadership of an organization. A firm lead with confidence, courage and determination will succeed, regardless of the obstacles it encounters. Money, connections, techonolgy… none of it matters if you don’t work hard and believe, deep down, that you will be successful.
4. Say, “thank you”… a lot.
Many factors have contributed to the survival and continued success of Fivecat Studio throughout this recent economic storm, but I believe that the most important reason we are successful today is the loyalty of the people who work with us. Without the hard work and dedication of our crew, there is no way we would be where we are today. I acknowledge that fact every day. The last thing I say before heading home to my family, is “thank you”.
Gratitude builds strong relationships and creates a culture of respect. A firm’s success is a result of the hard work and dedication of many people, whether they are staff, consultants, contractors or clients. You cannot do it alone. When those people know that you appreciate and value them, they will go to extraordinary lengths for you.
5. Be nice.
So, you are seeking the secret formula for success? Here it is. Two words… Be nice.
I have written previously about how it pays to be nice. Good things happen to good people.
I have worked with people who lead with aggression and forced compliance through fear. They ultimately failed. Leading with respect and encouragement builds loyalty and a culture of commitment.
Say, “thank you” to 10 people this week.
I am not just talking about your involuntary response to the clerk when she hands you change for your morning coffee. I am talking about specific, honest, public affirmation.
Be aware of the people around you and the things they are doing to contribute to YOUR success. Your staff? A great contractor? A trusting client? Your supportive spouse? (Thank you Annmarie!) Find a way to thank them in a way that they will feel appreciated and valued.
Question of the Week
Do you know an extraordinary leader? What are the traits that this person possesses that makes them so special?
Please share your comments below. The more interactive this site becomes, the more beneficial it will be to us all.
Oh… and thank YOU for your continued support and encouragement. Your kind words are what keeps me motivated to build Entrepreneur Architect into a resource that will change the world… quite literally. So, thank you.