One of the goals of the Appreciative Leaders and Organizations Blog is to support people who are striving to make a difference as leaders in their lives and in their organizations—to “get their mojo!” We hope that this blog serves as a platform for you get to know and connect with other amazing people who both live their lives and lead organizations appreciatively.
Our contributors provide cutting-edge Get Your Mojo! tips and ideas. Barbara Kline has a lot to offer the nonprofit leader or business entrepreneur who is looking to “get their mojo” as they grow into a successful sustainable organization. A self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur,” Kline has been at the forefront of developing six start-ups, including the Breakthru Center, which has a mission to “demystify the process of growing a start-up into a sustainable company through the process of second stage growth.”
Kline cut her teeth as a “pioneering woman” in the high-tech industry during the dot.com days. She knows first-hand how organizations can go from boom to bust; her goal is to help entrepreneurs manage so that they can avoid that fate. “Breakthru Center is a natural extension of what I helped move my clients through in more than 30 years of marketing and business consulting,” said Kline.
We got a chance to ask her what she thinks are her mojo-must-haves for a successful start-up, and she said, “Passion and leadership”– two of what she refers to as the Four Pillars of a Successful Startup.
Read the article below on why Passion and Leadership are winning qualities of organizations that have their mojo.
Passion and Leadership – the Qualities of a Winner
By Barbara Kline, Founder and CEO, Breakthru Center
Entrepreneurism is the new “new thing.” With so many people out of work, starting a company has become a way to bring in some money. Mom and Pop enterprises and craftsman-like work are the basis of many of these new businesses. Others are launched with the idea of creating new markets, new industries, and a legacy that will last for generations.
If your goal is this second type of company, you need to look beyond the heady startup days when evaluating your idea’s long-term potential was all you needed to do. Passion and Leadership are two of the Four Pillars of a Successful Startup that are absolutely necessary to propel you from startup through the establishment of a successful and sustainable company.
“If you’re passionate about what it is you do, then you’re going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it.” ~Jack Canfield
Without passion, why would anyone even contemplate the long hours, uncertainty and challenge of starting a business? Passion is why you take a leap of faith. Passion gets you through the early days when prototypes don’t work, investors are not forthcoming, customers are not materializing, and your core team wants a raise out of your non-existent funds. When looking for your role model, think of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Thomas Edison. Find your own deep passion and share it with your team – and with the world.
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower knew what he was talking about. As the visionary, you must be able to translate concept and passion into terms that can be understood and adopted by others. During the startup period, you probably have little to offer other than a great idea, excitement, hard work, and dreams. It takes a leader to focus and inspire the team until the concept is proven and revenues start flowing in.
Look at Apple’s Steve Jobs, a creative upstart, so charismatic that he not only built a revolutionary personal computing system, but also nurtured a legion of passionate fans and new entrepreneurs that enabled the company to gain traction and hit one home run after another (with some notable flops, of course) in a market that was originally dominated by IBM and its clones. As disruptive products blending computing with increased miniaturization and new capabilities, iPhone and iPod are defining new markets today.
Without Leadership, a startup has little chance of producing a viable product or service, and no chance at all of progressing to the second stage of growth – Business with a capital B. Leadership is the all-important transitional pillar of success for a startup that leads to the ability to grow.
Growing Your Business
Some startups are going to turn into “lifestyle companies,” where they stop growing when a satisfactory income is achieved that sustains the founder’s lifestyle.
However, if you want to grow beyond that, it will take leadership skills to keep your team focused on standard blocking and tackling and generating the long-term revenue streams and expansion opportunities, including jobs and training opportunities that are required of companies that are in it for the long haul. It takes leadership to create a sustainable business with clearly articulated products and benefits, scalability, jobs, and corporate responsibility.
Do you have what it takes to be a leader? Here are a few things to consider:
1) Can you clearly articulate your goals and the steps you need to get there?
2) Do you listen as least as often as you talk?
3) Are you comfortable training your direct reports so that you can successfully delegate?
4) Are you able to synthesize the insights, ideas, and objectives of your team into a cohesive and coherent plan?
5) Do you make it a point to continue to educate yourself in both the technology and the business practices of your business?
It takes a village to make a leader – and a successful business owner. I started Breakthru Center to assist with that growth. If you are serious about growing as a business owner, there are many resources to support you at www.breakthrucenter.com.
If you are a woman business entrepreneur you will be interested in I Break Thru! A blog for women who have started companies, women who have grown companies successfully, women who want to start companies, women who want to grow their companies and women who have been frustrated in their efforts and want to figure out a new way to address business growth. Check it out!
If you would like a complimentary session to discuss how coaching might help you develop your leadership skills, you can schedule a session at the website of Dr. Lynn K. Jones.
P.S. Thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to add their comments to the discussion or wishes to forward the blog link.
Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach
Your MOJO! Maven
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. An MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment.