Great Leaders Innovate

Want to be a Great Leader? Learn How to Inspire Innovation in Others

Managing a company, whether big or small, can be a very difficult task. There are lots of factors at play when it comes to building a team of people around you that can help make your dream a reality, and share in your company’s success. Therefore, it’s critical to not only find the right people to help push you forward, but also, it’s important for you to help and inspire them. This is especially true when you’re looking to grow, and even more so when you’re looking for funding. Business is almost always a team effort. You may have a vision, but your team needs to share that vision, and help add to it. But how do you inspire people to do their best? How do you get people to add and improve to your vision? The answer is to lead by example.

No one’s infallible. Not even you.
As the CEO or founder of a company, it’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming others. After all, it was your idea that got you to where you are in the first place, not theirs, right? Well, in most businesses, it’s simply not this cut and dry. Creating a successful business takes time, and takes input and expertise from a variety of people with a variety of great ideas. It also takes a certain amount of failure. And as the leader of a team, you need to learn how to fail, and move on. The best leaders on earth, whether in business or other positions, all fail at some point. Most importantly, they all learn from their mistakes.

To create a culture of innovation around you, you need to lead by example. Leading by example also entails showing your team how to adapt to adverse situations. When you’re leading a company, it’s often easy to fall into the trap of taking small failures or missteps personally. You shouldn’t. The best way to learn how to adapt is to accept your mistakes, and improve on them. It’s also important to ask for help. Asking for help and input, and asking your team for advice not only inspires innovation, it builds trust. Trust, in the business world is essential to a healthy company culture.

Creating a healthy company culture
Creating a culture of innovation and success in a company is based primarily on trust. At least it should be. When you go to an investor, you need them to trust you. Not surprisingly, the same goes for the people that work for you and alongside you. Be precise and critical, but allow your most trusted team members to make big decisions on their own, and back them up constructively. This isn’t to say that you should be a yes man, especially as a CEO, but you need to trust your team enough to feel like they’re important. Because they are.

When you trust in your team to make big decisions, you give them confidence, which allows them to tap into their most creative and innovative potential. Even if they make a mistake, the confidence you can instill in trusting them to do so really exemplifies quality leadership. In business, you live and die by the decisions you make, but being indecisive is the quickest way to lose confidence amongst your own people. Don’t just delegate, inspire. More likely than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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