Building a startup requires effective leadership. This month, Georgia Beattie - executive manager at Spacely - spoke at the Arcadier Inspire summit, sharing her insights on leadership through her experiences. With her diverse business leadership experience across various organizations, Georgia shared how founders can lead their businesses effectively.
How do Startups Differ from Established Corporations?
The key difference between startups and corporations is the ecosystem. Corporations are established businesses and have relations with numerous stakeholders. As such, corporations adopt an inclusive mentality in managing its growth and relationships.
Conversely, startups are constantly looking to refine themselves. To stay focused, on track and progress quickly, startups should consider being exclusive. The ecosystem is a valuable resource for startups and entrepreneurs to obtain support and feedback. Georgia shared that in her days of founding and building Lupe Wines, being exclusive and selective of her peers and colleagues helped her stay focused on building her business. Friends and mentors in the startup ecosystem are powerful allies for collaboration and allows founders to learn quickly as well.
How can Aspiring Entrepreneurs reach out to their Community?
Georgia’s advice for aspirational entrepreneurs is to put yourselves out there. Many entrepreneurs hesitate to put their ideas to the test. However, it is when a product is pitched to people that entrepreneurs can get feedback fast. Through feedback, data and experience, aspirational entrepreneurs can refine their ideas. The best part of this is that aspirational entrepreneurs can even do this while holding onto their current jobs. All you need to do is to bring your idea to your boss, your peers, other founders, or even the local startup community, and you’ll get constructive feedback.
Fallacies to Look Out For in a Startup
A common perspective is to focus on the solution that we can provide to the world. Through her experiences, Georgia has come to discover that entrepreneurs should be in love with the problem, rather than their solutions. Being aware of the bigger problem helps entrepreneurs refine their solutions better and faster. Even though the eventual solution may differ from the initial idea, it is crucial to remember that the goal is not to push a preconceived solution into the market, but to find the best way to solve a problem.
Challenges for Leaders
A fundamental aspect of businesses is the people, which includes both the employees and the entrepreneurs. Speaking from experience, Georgia realized that it is important to separate work from rest. To drive the vision of the business, entrepreneurs must be healthy and ready. While entrepreneurs may be passionate about their work, they should give equal attention to their health and wellbeing.
Similarly, businesses thrive when employees are focused on their roles. To help employees focus, entrepreneurs can take care of their employees’ wellbeing. Quoting Georgia, “if they have to attend to something at home, then it’s just as important to me as it is to them.” Georgia takes the view that an employee’s concern is also her concern. Entrepreneurs can create an environment in which employees feel free to voice their concerns to their supervisors and take the necessary steps to solve issues, be it for work or for personal matters. After all, it is when people have their concerns taken care of that they can fully concentrate on their work.
How do you become a Successful Leader?
A successful leader knows what his or her secret weapon is. Essentially, you should work out what you’re good at. With your strengths in mind, you can look out for partners and employees that complement your strength and cover areas that you may need support with.
That aside, Georgia also said that despite the wealth of self-help resources available, entrepreneurs should remember that they are their biggest asset. Realizing why you are the best person to run the company is a powerful lynchpin for yourself and your team.
The founders’ secret weapon and the understanding that you are the biggest asset are the human elements of the founder and the company. It’s important to figure them out early so that businesses can confidently build upon these foundations to success.
Watch the entire Arcadier Inspire Summit talk by Georgia Beattie here.