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10 Positive Signs That You Are Going to Be An Entrepreneur

10 Positive Signs That You Are Going to Be An Entrepreneur

Did you always know you were going to be an entrepreneur? Well if you can recognize a few of the following positive signs, then chances are you have been on the entrepreneurial path for a while now.

1. You see opportunities everywhere

You can’t help yourself: you see the potential in every thing and every person. When you wake up in the morning, you’re raring to go because there are ideas to think up, tasks to set into motion, and businesses to be built.

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2. You like to scratch your own itch and solve problems

When you see something that could be done better or a massive problem, you’re not afraid to step up to the plate to solve it. That usually means creating something that solves other people’s problems, too. In turn, these solutions can take on a life of their own and become businesses that make an dent in the industry.

3. You think of something and immediately look for how it could turn into a business

Maybe you like to think up new stories. Or you’re great at coming up with delicious recipes. Coding new software is fun for you. All of your imagination is engaged when you’re having fun! These ideas that keep coming to you are all fodder for your entrepreneurial side. You look for ways to turn them into viable businesses, or people who can do it for you.

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4. You used to sell stuff as a child

You know you’re an entrepreneur when you sought experiences to hone your sales skills as a child. Maybe you sold baseball cards like Gary Vaynerchuck or you had a lemonade stand on the corner. Or maybe, like me, you built websites for your parents’ friends and started freelancing before you even knew what the term meant. You likely got hooked on earning money for yourself and decided it was a good trait to take on.

5. You think in terms of investments: time and money

With any task you undertake, whether it’s watching TV the evenings or mowing the lawn on weekends, you consider the time and money investment and return. If you watch one hour of television, that’s one hour less for your business’ development. On the other hand, hiring someone to mow your lawn gives you back time to further your business dreams. You’re constantly crunching numbers and optimizing how you use the resources you have, so you can get more down the line.

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6. You assess other people for leadership qualities

You get that your businesses can become bottlenecked if you’re always the one in the middle, so you look for leaders who can help your businesses grow. When you meet someone at a cocktail party, you’re looking to see what role they could fulfill at your current or future companies. You’re also adamant about training and mentoring people who will one day be able to take your spot, so you can go on to build your next business.

7. You love talking about other people’s business success

There’s no such thing as bad-mouthing success in your house. You know that you need to look positively upon successful entrepreneurs to become one, and you love to soak up all the “how-to” advice you can glean from people’s success stories.

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8. You read biographies of your favorite business moguls

You love to get a glimpse at how things went down and how you can apply these lessons to your own life and business. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett — they’re all familiar business mentors through their biographies, and you know which traits you want to take on from each of your business heroes.

9. You’re persistent to a fault

Giving up is not in your vocabulary. You know that if this idea doesn’t pan out, there will be opportunities to kick butt with your next business move. You’ve tried and failed before, and you know you’ll make mistakes, but you take each one in stride because you’re in it for the marathon and not the sprint.

10. You care about making the world a better place

You know that business is the vehicle for change on a massive scale, and you’re committed to making the world a better place. Starting a business is something you’re motivated to do because you believe in what you can offer the world, and you know you’re the person to make it happen.

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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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