Effective Leadership Skills That Drive Startup Success

Effective Leadership Skills That Drive Startup Success

Effective Leadership Skills That Drive Startup Success

Effective Leadership Skills That Drive Startup Success

Is your startup doomed to fail? It will if there’s no strong leader at the helm. Learn all about effective leadership skills that drive startup success.

Building a startup from the ground up requires more work than you might think.

Whether you’re more of an ideas person or the kind who loves to handle all the management details, you better learn how to do both. Not to mention, you need to recruit a talented team, gather funding, and invest in all the right resources.

That alone can take some time, and it is only the foundation of the rest of the work you have to do.

To truly be successful, though, your startup needs effective leadership every step of the way. Leadership is your most important skill to master, which is actually the combination of different skills working at once.

Here are seven things every effective leader thoroughly understands.

1. Problem-Solving

The ability to problem solve is required of leaders that are running high-priority, international firms as well as those who are establishing a startup company. In fact, for startup founders and leaders, problem-solving is arguably more important.


Because to have a successful startup, you need to identify the right problem in your industry worth tackling. It can’t be something that is too minor of an issue, and you also can’t be trying to bite off more than you can chew.

More so, you need to be able to balance the problem-solving you’re doing in your industry with the day to day tasks you have to handle internally. There are a bunch of things that are bound to go wrong while launching a startup – how will you approach each issue?

2. Creativity and Innovation

Whether you’re establishing the direction of your startup in relation to the market, or you’re dealing with an internal problem, try to look at each issue with fresh eyes.

Don’t do the same thing every other startup is doing. That gets you lost in the crowd. Instead, focus on finding new ways to close industry gaps and innovative methods of managing your team internally.

The more creativity you use, the better off your business will be. Not to mention, your creativity will likely inspire innovative, out-of-the-box thinking within your team.

3. Vision

You may think creativity and vision are the same. When it comes to effective leadership, though, these couldn’t be more different.

Vision is the ability to look ahead. It is part practical, like with planning and calculating, and part abstract, as in motivational and inspired.

To have vision as a leader means to always be thinking a few steps ahead of everyone else. It also means to be able to come back from that futuristic mindset and get your team excited in the here and now.

4. Communication

How do you make sure the vision you see in your head and in business plans gets across to everyone on staff? With clear communication.

That is just one reason communication goes hand in hand with effective leadership. In reality, the ability to properly communicate is part of everything you do.

This skill shows when you send a company-wide email, conduct an interview, reach out to potential investors and partners, or attend a networking event. Your communication is part of how you work a room in a large crowd and how you show attention to the person in front of you during one-on-ones, too.

The more you work on small skills like listening, empathy, and being concise, the better your communication becomes. Other tools like the ability to be vulnerable and transparent wouldn’t hurt, either.

5. Give and Recieve Feedback

Speaking of great communication, don’t forget to make feedback a part of your startup culture.

This is the only way to really know how well you are reaching your team. It’s also how you can communicate with each individual on your staff if there is room for improvement or if you’re impressed with their work.

There are many ways to encourage feedback.

You can set aside time for open discussions as part of your weekly meetings. You can send out surveys to your team that may either be anonymous or identifiable.

More so, you can create an open door style of communication between managers and employees. This helps ensure that every team member knows they have a voice.

But remember, the other part of encouraging feedback is taking action.

Make sure your employees actually feel heard when they offer feedback. This doesn’t mean you have to implement every idea that is brought to you. It does mean you should communicate whether or not it’s a thought worth moving forward with, though.

6. Accountability

To make sure progress is always a priority, you need accountability as well as feedback.

Feedback makes you and your team aware of what can be worked on. Accountability is what lets everyone trust that this work will get done.

This is something that needs to be felt from the ground up. But, it starts with the people at the top. Practicing effective leadership means you know how to hold yourself accountable before you try calling out others.

It means you show up on time and put in your best work every day. It means you respect the time and to-do lists of others, and make sure to manage your own.

Also, be sure not to confuse encouraging accountability with micro-managing. Find the balance between holding your team to what they said they would do and peering over their shoulder all the time.

7. Authenticity

Last but not least, always strive to be an authentic leader.

This speaks volumes whether you are managing a startup or transitioning into an established firm. Wherever you go, and whatever you take on, be authentic.

From this skill, all others stem. Authenticity encourages effective communication as well as feedback and accountability. It allows you to clearly express where you stand and what you expect from others.

Put simply, you can’t have effective leadership without it.

Startup Success and Effective Leadership

Maybe your startup is on the verge of being launched, or maybe, it’s just an idea in your head right now. Either way, you need to work on your leadership skills.

Leadership is something that your company will always need. No matter the market you’re trying to enter, the best businesses are those with a sense of direction, unity, and purpose. These are encouraged by effective leadership.

For a full list of everything that every startup needs, click here.