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8 Characteristics That Make Certain Entrepreneurs Wildly Successful

8 Characteristics That Make Certain Entrepreneurs Wildly Successful

Successful entrepreneurs surely have different talents and completely different ideas, but they all share some common characteristics which have helped them to stay on the right track and reach their goals. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most important traits an ambitious entrepreneur needs to possess.

1. They are passionate

“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

If you want your idea to be realized, you need to be passionate about it and to really want it to happen. Wanting to earn a lot of money from your idea is perfectly normal, but it shouldn’t be the main thing that motivates you to succeed. You need to love what you do and be passionate about it in order to succeed. Loving your job won’t magically put you on top, but it will motivate you to become more detail-oriented and determined to make your dreams come true. Many famous entrepreneurs made their hobby into a career, just because they were so passionate about them. Think of what you like, and let your hobby improve your skill set. And, who knows, maybe it will become your career.

2. They want to change the world

“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” — Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

Whenever you ask an innovative entrepreneur what their goal is, all answers the are similar and have one common goal: to change the world. They think about impossible things to create and try to find a way to make it happen. On their journey, many creative ideas emerge and become real products, which slowly lead to a positive change.

Therefore, when searching for the right employees, successful entrepreneurs always look for people with the same vision – nothing is impossible.

3. They are mostly dog lovers

Wildly successful entrepreneurs have dogs who are treated like members of their family. This may seem as an irrelevant point, but having pets, not only dogs, makes us happier and gives us a positive attitude. All animal lovers understand the need for having a loving pet at home who will make you smile even if it is your worst day. That unconditional love is what makes people bond, helps them keep on going, and most importantly, it reduces stress, which leads to increased productivity and motivation.

Beast, Mark Zuckerberg’s dog, is probably the most famous pet in the world, with well over 2 million followers. If you are an entrepreneur and you are a dog lover, why not get one? If you think it’s a huge obligation, know that you can crate train your puppy quickly and effectively, with the help of a few easy-to-learn tricks and a bit of patience. Even Bill Gates has two dogs called Oreo and Nilla.

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All animals can boost your overall mood and remind you that you have a private life, and that you should focus on important things such as your family, partner, and children. As Richard Branson said: “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” However, family stays with you through the toughest of times.

4. They don’t give up

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

No one became successful by giving up when faced with a difficult challenge. The first mistake to make when things go wrong is to go along them. You need to go against your failures and use them to your benefit, and not just settle for less or quit. The most successful people in the world failed a lot of times before reaching the top, and if they had just quit at the first sign of trouble, they wouldn’t have changed the world and left a legacy.

Remember, failure is inevitable, but so is success.

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5. They invest in themselves

In order to make a successful company, you need to have a winning mindset, and if you want to develop something worthwhile, you need to improve yourself first. Many new entrepreneurs struggle with money, as it is really hard out there. Even the debts of regular households are increasing, so it is no wonder that entrepreneurs and startups face huge debts and money losses.

Manage your budget well and invest in your education first. Whether it is a course or an online lecture, you need to improve your knowledge. Later on, you can take a vacation in order to get rid of the everyday pressure and stress, but you should focus on self-improvement for now.

6. They always go for more

“Always deliver more than expected.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google

If someone puts a limit to your idea, and says it’s all that can be done, don’t believe them. Use creativity and knowledge to go beyond the possible. Never do the expected, but strive for more. Surprise everyone and yourself by reaching higher goals. Doing only what is expected of you is pretty boring, but taking your job to the next level and being innovative is the main thing that will make you stand out from the crowd.

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7. They are persistent no matter what

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple

I like to look at being persistent as being spoiled. You want to do something and it’s your way or the highway. You won’t compromise and you won’t accept failure as an obstacle. But, you will be determined to make it right. You will forget the definition of the word “failure” and give it another meaning, which is a big step towards getting what you want. As Steve Jobs said, pure perseverance is the characteristic of a successful entrepreneur.

8. They are bike lovers

Many celebrities and entrepreneurs love bikes. Even the youngest billionaire in the world, Dustin Moskovitz, the co-founder of Facebook, still rides a bike to work. Recently, Larry Page, the CEO of Google, discussed his desire to get everyone to ride bikes. He has also suggested building an aerial bikeway, but we’ll give him some more time to develop that idea. Until then, the only air connection with a bike we accept is an aero road bike. Whether you choose an aero bike or a regular one, try including it in your daily routine.

Riding a bike, just like any exercise, releases endorphins which make us happier and more productive. Aside ffrom helping your mind focus better, your body will be thankful too, as you will improve your stamina and overall health as well.

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If you don’t have these characteristics, work on developing them and don’t be afraid to change the world. As I mentioned above, failure is inevitable, but with perseverance and hard work, so is success.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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