Managing people

The seven most important traits an entrepreneur and team must have

StartupSmart /

There are no guarantees of success in entrepreneurship, particularly when blindly following some overly simplistic formula for success.

 

But when entrepreneurial teams possess these seven critical attributes and skills they will have the abilities they need to write their own formula for success.

 

If your entrepreneurial team does not possess these attributes, recruit co-founders to support you, and fast. These attributes cannot be outsourced. To be successful entrepreneurial teams must also possess many skills, but the last three skills listed can be learned over time or be supported by contractors.

 

1. Leadership

 

In the context of a startup leadership is the ability to inspire meaningful contributions to the enterprise. The entrepreneurial team needs to lead their wider team, customers, markets and investors to a better future.

 

2. Willingness to listen

 

There is great strength in allowing others to contribute to the enterprise, as their buy-in not only improves the enterprise but it can also create an emotional attachment to it.

 

The entrepreneurial team needs to be able to take advice from all parties and then rationalise, prioritise, adjust and incorporate it, so the enterprise will benefit from the collective wisdom and experience of the community. 

 

3. People management

 

Mission creep, meandering, and a lack of focus are extremely common failures of entrepreneurial teams.

 

Good management is the continuous organisation of people, processes and resources to achieve what you set out to do – on time and on budget – and regularly refining your activity informed by data and experience.

 

Entrepreneurs must be able to effectively manage scarce resources to deliver the business plan. Plans may change but those changes should be a result of deliberate decisions.

 

4. Decision-making


There is never enough time, data or resources in a startup to contemplate decisions for a long period of time. A tinkering entrepreneurial team, who are reluctant to make hard decisions quickly, and keep moving, will be detrimental to the startup.

 

Entrepreneurs must adapt or become obsolete. They must possess the ability to make quick and decisive decisions in uncertain times.

 

5. Articulating a vision


The entrepreneurial team must be able to clearly articulate the problem they are solving, why it matters to their constituency and why they provide the best solution for the problem. They need to be able to paint a picture of a future where the problem is solved, and demonstrate the benefits to the market and their potential investors in solving the problem.

 

6. Getting the investors on board

 

The entrepreneurial team must be able to hustle and network their way to large pools of potential investors. They then need to convince the investors that their company is the best investment opportunity currently in the market.

 

Getting target investors involved in the journey is a great first step.

 

7. Attracting the top talent


The entrepreneurial team needs to be able to communicate a future that is desirable and tangible for every current and potential employee. Employees must be so heavily engaged in the business that they’d be willing to invest their own capital or take a significant pay cut in exchange for equity.

 

Phillip Kingston is the founder of venture capital and investment firm Trimantium Capital, and a technology entrepreneur and investor. You can follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

Do you know more on this story or have a tip of your own? Raising capital or launching a startup? Let us know. Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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