It is not easy to build a startup company from a handful of people with a few thousand dollars in revenue and transform it into a company that generates at least ten million dollars over a short period of time. Here are essential leadership lessons shared on the last episode of the ScaleUp Heroes Podcast by three successful scaleup CEOs — Mark Smith (Contact Engine), David Rodriguez (CornerJob) and Rob Straathof (Liberis)— that themselves learned during their remarkable journey of creating a company from none to a company that is generating millions in dollars.
1. A good leader attracts the right talents.
During the hyper-growth stage, scaling the teams and developing their skills is a challenge from the start. Finding the right talent to handle certain roles or add to the core team is crucial to the success of the company. CEOs fairly make the mistake of hiring people for the wrong role or finding the right people but they are not attracted to work for the company. This is a very important leadership lesson to retain at this stage. The CEO can help oversee the recruitment process and motivate the team from the bottom up, because there is always something special when employees hear directly from the CEO.
2. A leader knows how to grow customers
Making sure that your customers are growing alongside your products is a full-time job. From targeting higher penetration in the market, identifying the right target and expanding them, to delivering what was promised to the customers, are also important as focusing on delivering quality products.
3. A true leader has a good relationship with business partners
Managing shareholders and partners is an art by itself and an essential leadership lesson to take note. Building the right relationship with business backers, making the right judgement calls on difficult situations and decisions, as well as gaining the partners’ trust depend on your people management skills.
4. A leader knows what products to develop
Making big decisions concerning what products should be developed and what products are to be canned, rests on how CEOs are able to visualize the future and lead the team to achieve it. Developing products that the market does not need or want, is apparently happening too frequently. Mistakes like these can end a scaling company.
5. A leader recognizes opportunities
Getting ahead of the curve is one of the driving force behind every CEO’s decision. Recognizing opportunities require a certain degree of awareness and vision. Hesitate and you lose the opportunity. Learning how to say “no” to every opportunity is also important.
6. A leader can identify his weaknesses
Admitting that you have any weakness and doing something to address it takes a lot of courage. CEOs are always accountable for the success and failure of the organization they run. Find people to fill in these gaps.
7. A leader knows how to have fun
The last but one of the most important leadership lessons to retain: being a CEO does not mean you stop having fun or enjoy what life has to offer. Work will always be there but life isn’t.
On the latest episode of ScaleUp Heroes, we learned essential leadership lessons from exceptional leaders whose companies are now scaling. These seasoned CEOs reflect on the struggles they had to overcome in order to bring their organisations to what they are now — scaling successfully. As different as their backgrounds are, they all have one thing in common. They took on a role with massive undertaking and provided extraordinary leadership to their organization.
ScaleUp Heroes is the podcast of ScaleUp Academy that helps you scaling by learning with references from the best scaleups worldwide. If you are craving for more, join the next episodes. They always go live on Mondays. If you want to know more about ScaleUp Academy initiatives, calendar and purpose, join our community by subscribing the ScaleUp Academy newsletter.