A key question in building a b2b startup company is when and how to scale sales. The first rule is “Don’t do it yet”. It is always easier to scale a spreadsheet than a real business.
We may have different abilities and we play different roles, but we are not of different value. Each person in an organization plays an important role. All are worthy of respect and attention.
I was stubborn. Now I am persistent. I was self-centric and self-serving. Now I value equality and mutual respect. I was a day dreamer. Now I can envision things and think creatively about strategy. CEOs are not born; they are made – by themselves and by people around them.
“Focus on contribution” has become a personal mantra that reminds me of my intention whenever I interact with another person: “What can we learn from each other from this shared experience? Do we leave being any smarter, wiser and kinder?”
There is just one way to lead a team to success: by believing in the positive energy of each individual. Doing so sometimes leads to the wrong path. An important moment comes with the next project. A confident team which knows that experimentation is allowed and failures are not punished will be amazingly innovative.
Great leaders are great listeners. When you speak, actions happen. When you listen, everything else happens. This is why listening is a key part of success. Here is how to become a better listener:
When a good team becomes a great team, the whole company rises to a new level of performance. Everyone knows that you can accomplish anything together. Here are six things to keep in mind when building the team:
All-hands meetings increase productivity, motivation and teamwork. Committing to a joint goal is easier when everyone is in the same place. Here are three practical tips on how to arrange an all-hands meeting.
Focus is not what you do, but what you choose not to do. Startup CEO Kristo Ovaska learned the hard way to say “No”. He now declines long meetings, non-vital emails, external press requests, speaking engagements, and investor contacts that are not yet needed. This has brought about an entirely new level of productiveness.
12 things that it will always be useful to a leader to do more of. Focus more on opportunities than on problems – Deal more with substance than with appearance – Ask more than you answer.
When employees doubt their abilities, it might be interpreted as a sign of weakness but can be a question of preparation. They might be your strongest employees. How you as the leader encourage them to take the assignment makes all the difference. Watch the video to learn three useful responses.
Great companies are both effective and efficient. Being efficient means doing things in the right way but becoming effective takes strong prioritization.
“Be picky when choosing your Board of Directors – and make them work for you. Tell them your biggest concerns, what you need from them, what concrete actions they can take to help you. Expect them to contribute.”
Jussi Räisänen, HeiaHeia.
Offices are so last century! A distributed team is managed by starting from the top. Go all in online. Manage with vision and culture. Never favor physical proximity. Plan and budget for in-person meetings. State the promise and expectation at hiring. Document and record profusely.
When it comes to feedback, bad news is good news. Encourage customer feedback by saying, “If you have bad news, tell me. If you have good news, tell the whole world.”
No matter what the vessel or who the skipper, to get to the destination you dream of, you need a sail and a rudder. You need a force that pushes the ship forward and you need a mechanism to point the ship in the desired direction. It is that easy, and that difficult. Find your force and find your direction. One day, your dreams will come true.