8 Leadership Traits from Successful Startup Leaders

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8 Leadership Traits from Successful Startup Leaders

Creating a successful startup is no easy task, it usually takes a lot of sweat to get it up and running. However, with startup advice from most of the successful leaders in the world who actually started from the scratch, you too can get there. An entrepreneur does not run a business with his or her acute business acumen alone; it takes great leadership skills.

Whether you are about to launch a successful startup or already have an established company, building and maintaining a successful business isn’t easy. Even the most dynamic executives have stumbled and staggered along the way to success. There are no secrets to success. If you are dedicated and determined, you will definitely be successful. You will be able to grow a great business by showing strong leadership.

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Seek for mentors

As David Karp, Founder and CEO of Tumblr, says: “Seek out mentors who have been through something before that you haven’t — they have some set of experience and travels that can save you from making a lot of those start up mistakes.”

Be Visionary

Russell Kommer of ExcelHelp.com, says, “Vision is the most important trait of a start-up leader. The ultimate test, though, is instilling the dream: encouraging the people around you to believe in your vision and quest. A consistent message and constantly renewed energy will help others to live your passion.”

Be vulnerable

Marcus Lemonis once said, “The truth in life is about connecting to people through vulnerability. Life is not—and business is not—just about business. It’s really about people. It’s about establishing relationships.” Establishing a good relationship and a strong connection with people — employees and customers, will not only make you have a more successful business leader but also give you a more fulfilling life. People will see you as an honest and open leader in return.

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Create a great brand and products

Ragy Thomas, Founder and CEO of Sprinklr said: “Create something that your customers are going to love and something that is going to create value for them everyday. Strive to do that across all touch-points and all moments of interactions which are the moments of truth for you and your brand.”

Have enough patience

Jonathan Tang, Founder and CEO of Vastrm “Ideas and businesses are not created overnight. Things will tend to take longer than expected, whether it’s fundraising, product development cycles, customer acquisition, etc. In Silicon Valley, this is tough, because the whole culture here is built around a short-term focus of how quickly you can grow. Have resilience and don’t give up so quickly. Survive another day and keep at it. Those who have patience and resilience will eventually find success.”

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Act more. Think less

Rob Bellenfant, Founder and CEO of Technology Advice said; “I believe that many entrepreneurs can suffer from “analysis paralysis” and overthink themselves to inaction, which lets valuable opportunities slip through their fingers. I encourage my employees to be proactive in their roles and learn from their experiences — good and bad. Failure isn’t a negative, as long as you learn from what you did!”

Be Self-aware

Charles Bogoian, of Kenai Sports said; “The best leaders have an acute sense of self-awareness; they know their strengths, and more importantly, their weaknesses. A great start-up leader is confident enough to be honest about areas for growth. Knowing areas you need the most assistance with allows you to identify the right people to join your team, as well as the best potential strategic partners for your business.”

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Spread strength not panic

For a successful startup to truly be successful, there will be unexpected bad news, failures, and hits. As the founder and leader, you might end up completely questioning your judgment, lose confidence and well, panic! But, you are not just a startup founder, you are a leader and for your team’s sake, however you are feeling – you must always put your best foot forward.

Here’s a story from Atmanco.com, “Nelson Mandela was on a trip when mid-flight the engine failed and they had to do an emergency landing. The pilot traveling with Mandela said that he didn’t show the slightest sign of panic or fear and instead calmly continued reading the newspaper. When Mandela was later questioned about this event he admitted that he indeed felt frightened, but he just refused to show it. If they sense fear in you, your team will most certainly panic too. But if you are confident and show some confidence in them, they will tackle even the toughest of setbacks.”


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