Welcome to the DAY 2 of the Core Principles of Entrepreneurship: Leadership.
To Lead is To Serve
Here’s the course structure and where we stand:
- DAY 1: Strategy – Click to access the previous lesson.
DAY 2: Leadership
- DAY 3: Networking
- DAY 4: Discipline
Now, in this lesson we’re going to talk about Leadership, a topic for which I’m passionate about and that has been so miss-treated all over the world, but particularly in the large corporations where most of us work, at least once in a lifetime.
There’s one guy you should definitely know. His name is Simon Sinek, and at the end of this lesson I’m going to leave you with a video of him that hopefully will change your life.
Very well, so getting started on leadership, and once again, following the principle of picking one or two of the most important things I could share with you in 10 minutes, I’d like to talk about what leadership really means.
So, we’re used to knowing all these “positional-supervisors” in the corporate world who are nothing even close to a leader, and we often end up forgetting what’s the biological contract that we all have signed millions of years ago, and that is the true root of leadership.
To Lead is To Serve.
This is absolutely the first point I want to share with you. When we were still cavemen, nomads, and hunters, usually the strongest man was the first to eat. All the others would understand and wait until it was their time to eat. That strong man was their leader.
But you know what? The thing is, when in danger, the person to whom everyone would look up to for protection was this guy – the strongest.
The person that had the best conditions to be strong; the person in whom the people placed their trust and allowed to eat the best parts of the animals, while all the others could only get the leftovers; that person, in the face of any menace, was supposed to protect the people.
And that was actually what used to happen. That’s why from 6 million years ago up to today we’ve been establishing this biological agreement in which we agree to support a leader, but IN EXCHANGE when we need his protection, he’ll protect us.
Leadership, as Simon Sinek says, is not Free. It comes at a cost.
But look around. What do you see in this world? Who are the people that you’re used to calling “leader” nowadays? Is it your boss? Is your company’s CEO? Is your country’s president?
Don’t you happen to see every single day the supposed “leaders” taking all their team’s support and, precisely when their team needs them the most, they will instead think about themselves and run away?
What do you think when you see all those greedy bankers that have been profiting from people’s money over years and years creating even greedier arrangements that ultimately lead their banks to bankruptcy and all of a sudden they can easily bail themselves out of jail while everyone else loses their humble savings?
What you see TODAY, is a broken contract; we’ve been breaking this biological contract that we’ve established 6 million years ago, and that’s why we’re so enraged every time we see the people we typically call “leaders” exploiting and living at the expense of the ones that support them.
And that’s why we see so few TRUE leaders nowadays; that’s why we have people like Donald Trump as the US President; that’s why UK voted out from the EU; that’s why so many people hate their jobs. It is intrinsically related to their direct supervisors, it is intrinsically related to the lack of true leadership in the societies, it is the fact that no one tolerates anymore the same old BS for the sake of power and greed. And that’s why people are willing to vote for clowns instead of politicians, the ones that WERE supposed to be the leaders.
So, as a leader, please DO serve. You have the chance to make it different.
Understand that the whole purpose of the leader is to empower his team to perform at their highest potential. To bring to the surface all the best qualities of his colleagues. The leader is not the rock start, it isn’t a show business, it COMES at a cost.
You work to allow your team to offer you the results. You do not work to make more money or to climb the corporate ladder. That will only lead you to lose the people who are driven and want to have an impact. You’ll end up retaining only those who are only worried about protecting their job, playing it safe, and keeping you happy.
You must NOT settle in your quest for the best people, and in my humble opinion, the hardest thing you’ll ever do as a true leader will be managing people.
Note: by the way, we do not manage people. We lead people.
So, to become a highly successful entrepreneur, you need to be a TRUE leader, not only because no one will voluntarily follow you if you do not influence them, but also because later on, when you already have enough resources to hire a few employees, the overall performance of your company will be completely aligned with the way you treat your first and most important customers: your employees.
And that’s why the action steps of this lesson are:
- Know and find out WHAT do you stand for. What do you represent, what are your principles and values, what are the words you’d like to see attached to your grave as a symbol of who you are.
- Communicate it. Start by sharing more and more with the people you care about, the things in which you believe. Notice that people who like red hats will only follow you if you’re willing to put a red hat and show it publicly. If you never manifest your opinion, no one will know how you think.
- Remember to focus on HOW you can serve your colleagues and not how they can serve you. Think about this daily until it becomes a habit. Fake until you make it. It only takes 21 days to create a habit.
Hope you enjoyed this lesson, it was a pleasure to write it, at the very least.
Remember that you can share these materials with a good friend. That way you’re not only impacting his life, but you’re also helping me spreading the word.
All the best,
And I’ll now leave you with the video of this lesson: