What does it take to be the leader of a startup?

Good heavens, its been awhile since I blogged. Midterms were two weeks ago, along with a push to launch some new backend stuff at my businesses, then I took a much-needed spring break.

In any case, while on vacation, I was contemplating what it takes to be the leader of a startup.

1. Visionary: the leader sets a vision and a plan that the whole team can rally around and execute on. He or she weighs the cost of opportunistic endeavors against the current plan, and only deviates if it can be clearly argued why a change in direction is necessary.

2. Responsive: the leader is rapid and decisive when it comes to making long-term plans or altering short-term plans that affect the company as a whole. He or she is quick to take action where necessary.

3. Reliable: employees have faith that their leader is acting unselfishly and in all of their interests. They know where their responsibilities begin and end, and know that they will be recognized and rewarded for going above and beyond.

4. Charismatic: the leader speaks well to the media, the customers, and the partners.

5. Understands the needs of the market: A company grows on the strength of its products. Steve Jobs turned Apple around by making sure that every product was a total winner, and generally, he gets those products to market on time.

6. Empowering: A leader must feel comfortable giving employees the latitude and the information they need to make intelligent decisions.

Almost every problem I’ve seen in small businesses can be traced to the company’s leadership, and their own failure to follow these leaderships principals. Am I missing any here?

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