You’ve heard the saying: “Some people make things happen, some watch them happen and some wonder what ‘happened?'” Which one are you?
As an entrepreneur; you take initiative, you make decisions, you don’t wait for others, you make things happen. And what is leadership? It’s when you take initiative, when you take the lead. Not all leaders attract followers, it’s often a lonely path, but as an entrepreneur you know that.
In Moky Makura’s book, South Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs, both Jenna Clifford and Eric Ellerine note that leaders lead by example. Ndaba Ntsele goes further, insisting that “For a business to grow, it needs a fearless, innovative and confident leader.”
Here are 3 circumstances I believe build a great leader:
Circumstances and conditions
Famous South African entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Herman Mashaba endured significant challenges, they faced their challenges and turned them to an advantage.
Whether you had a privileged upbringing including good schooling and exposure to business people, or you walked barefoot a great distance from home to school and your mom worked two jobs to buy you books, you have experiences that you can use to shape you as an entrepreneur.
The fact that you are taking advantage of your life circumstances to make yourself a better person is what makes you a leader.
Choices and decisions
There are people who respond to situations by taking action. They may see a road accident and stop to help. In business, as in life, we are faced with situations that require us to make a choice: do I act or do I leave it for someone else? As an entrepreneur, you take calculated risks and you act, you go for it. It takes courage, but that is part of what defines you as a leader.
During the recent garbage collection strike, a couple of gardeners and handymen saw an opportunity to take residents garbage to the municipal dump. They charged a nominal fee per bag and used their car to shuttle the garbage to the tip. Those men are leaders, pioneers. They saw an opportunity, took the initiative and showed the way.
first published in SME South Africa
Whenever you make a decision – in business or in life – and act on it, you are being a leader. Others won’t necessarily follow, they may do nothing or wait for someone else to take the initiative. They create the space for you to take charge, they give you the opening to be an entrepreneur, a leader, to succeed in business – and in life.
So, as an entrepreneur, YOU are a leader. Act like one.
Click here if you want to discuss what it means for you to be a leader.