What kind of leader are you? It may seem like a complicated question, but in my mind it’s not complicated, it’s very simple, it’s binary. You are either an effective leader or you are an ineffective leader and there is no middle ground. Effective leaders take responsibility for the whole team; they don’t look to blame their subordinates when things go wrong, they look to themselves and take full responsibility for the team’s actions. They don’t micromanage, but instead they know how to find good people and assemble a good team. They know what members of the team they need. They know what the vision is and what the goal is, and they can inspire their team members to accomplish that goal. Besides that, in the process of execution they are open to feedback to determine if they need to change the strategy.
Effective leaders are open minded, clear, communicative, and hold on to their integrity. Their team members know that when they speak, it’s the whole truth, there is nothing hidden, there is no agenda, there is no personal benefit. The effective leader places the mission and the objective over their personal gains, because they know that by achieving the mission, objective, and goal that everyone on their team will benefit, not just them. In contrast to that, the ineffective leader is someone who looks to blame others when things go wrong. It may not even be a conscious decision, it may be a force of habit and a force of survival stemming from our primitive brains. “Things went wrong so I’m going to blame this person so that I don’t get fired.” This way of thinking will only work in the short term. This way of thinking will not generate long term value in any organization. However, there is a difference between placing blame on someone and holding someone accountable for their work.
The leader of an organization has the responsibility to establish a culture of accountability across the entire organization, and not just to the leader and to the team through force of command, but in each individual team member to their own self through self-discipline. It’s an unspoken energy that shrouds the entire team when everyone is accountable to themselves because they know that this mindset and attitude will deliver the best results possible. An ineffective leader doesn’t make the objective clear and it results in chaos and pandemonium. An effective leader establishes channels of communication and facilitates giving and receiving feedback. An ineffective leader does not seek dissent in the organization and does not recognize the need to receive feedback from front line team members. Without candor and a culture of accountability, these leaders will not be able to deliver effectiveness to the organization.
At Lightning Rod Ventures, we are looking for effective leaders. Leaders who will hold the line when their face is in the fire. Leaders who won’t bail out; leaders who will stay in the saddle. Leaders that will dig deep with a relentless drive to accomplish what they set out to accomplish, using all the tools that they have at their disposal to achieve the objective. People, capital, time, connections, leverage and all the tools that they have in their arsenal they will use in a strategic way to help their team be successful. At Lightning Rod Ventures, we believe that leadership is the fundamental link to success. As a CEO, you must be an effective leader. As a CEO, you must be able to hire effective leaders. As a management team, you must be able find and hire effective leaders that you don’t have to micromanage and that don’t place blame on their subordinates but develop their subordinates to become better leaders every day.
At Lightning Rod Ventures, we build companies that are always looking to continuously improve, looking for better strategies, looking for better ways to deliver value to the customer, looking for better ways to return value to the shareholders. We do this through customer connection, through vision, through the relentless drive to produce results, and through leadership. At Lightning Rod Ventures, we help you hone your leadership skills in parallel with your business skills, understanding what the product-market fit is, understanding the customer journey map and the industry value chain, understanding how to deliver a message to an investor, understanding how to negotiate with an investor so that you maintain the integrity of your organization. We encourage you to hold onto that vision that you worked so hard to establish, build and grow. At Lightning Rod Ventures, we are forging leaders in the fire of adversity. It’s not an easy program and there is a reason for that. Because being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and the best entrepreneurs know how to walk through the fire.