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Managing and leading well as a founder and CEO

Being a founder of a business usually means that you are the person with ideas and ideals. You are a person with a vision for the business, and you set your operation towards it. This is leading in a nutshell.

As a CEO you are the person tasked with seeing that the company achieves the primary vision. Therefore, you must make sure that suitable processes are created and effectively followed in the pursuit of goals and objectives stemming from the central vision. This is managing in its simplest state.

Thus, as founder and CEO, it is necessary to know how to do both.

One of the first steps as a CEO is to realise that you are the face of the business in various ways. Essentially, you link the company to the world, including various stakeholders within. You identify opportunities and lead the enterprise in order to capitalise on them. Making decisions about what the company does, and how it administers such, ultimately lies with the CEO. These decisions must take into consideration the external environment and the company’s internal workings. If these elements do not harmonise, then you are in a position to make required changes so that processes flow smoothly.

Managing can be tricky business. It involves careful administration and talent control. You work with human beings who, unfortunately, may lose track of their purpose in the company from time to time. It’s human nature. As a manager, getting them to achieve desired results or set objectives despite these limitations, is paramount and indeed core to this role. This can create tension though, if the manager is ill-equipped to perform his or her duties.

Nicole Fallon Taylor, Business News Daily Assistant Editor – says that transparency and keeping your team well-informed are also crucial qualities of a manager. They are essential in order to promote team cohesiveness and focus. She also suggests that forging a sound working relationship with your team members is essential, instead of only centering on performance in isolation. This will help you understand what motivates them and what may cause stumbling blocks. Ultimately, as CEO you will have a better feel of the company’s culture and subsequently be able to effectively align decisions, strategies and systems to it.

Forbes.com suggests that leaders should show qualities of honesty, approachability and openness. They should be individuals the employees can easily and willingly approach for advice and input. They are persons who follow-up on issues and show genuine interest in activities that employees are involved in. Furthermore, leaders are creative or are willing to think out-of-the-box, which thereby encourages creativity, innovation and solution-orientation in others. A leader will demonstrate good intuition, especially when entering unknown territory, and will be an influencer who inspires others to follow. This includes guiding the workforce into seemingly unknown waters, that make sense strategically but aren’t always obvious from ground level.

In summing up, as an entrepreneur starting a business you are the founder and CEO. This means you are primarily responsible for driving the operational vision forward. To be effective, you have to realise the importance of managing and leading – they aren’t the same. You need to develop your skills and knowledge base, and continually sharpen your teeth as a manager and leader – especially in today’s rapidly advancing world – if you are serious about success. This read touches on a vast subject, so be sure to keep an eye out for further releases on the topic.

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