Being the Boss You have Always Wanted:
Entrepreneurs and leadership

Kulani Shiluvane
Founder and Chief Consultant – Shiluvah

The decision to take on the entrepreneurial journey carries with it a number of novelties – the biggest (well at least for me) has been becoming your own boss and hopefully at some stage somebody else boss.

This then means that one need to take in to consideration the kind of boss they want to be and more importantly, how your boss characteristics will impact the culture of the organization as a whole, and how that organizational culture will determine the health (both financial and otherwise) of your organization and its people.

We have all heard or read and even experienced how one’s work environment could have a direct impact (be it positive or negative) on one’s overall health and that of the organization. That environment is mostly determined by the people you work with and those that lead you and those you work with. Therefore, it is vital that organizational leaders/managers and entrepreneurs have clear idea of the kind of organization they want to run and how their leadership could affect the organizational productivity as well as the overall health of those within the organization.

So what kind of boss do you want to be? And what leadership and or management as well as entrepreneurial characteristics will you need in order to be the boss you have always wanted? The kind that creates a working environment that is conducive to a happy and health working environment as well as one that is productive and profitable? I believe that one will need to imbody the following qualities and characteristics in order to achieve is this:

  1. Be a team player – leadership isn’t about braking orders and watching from the side lines while your team gets their hands dirty. Leadership, great management as well as effective entrepreneurship is about getting your hands dirty with your team. Lead by example, do not expect your team to do anything that you would not do yourself. In fact, they should see you engaging before you can expect that from them.
  2. Create leaders – Tom Peters said, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” Great leaders want to see others grow and develop into the best version of themselves, therefore while getting their hands dirty with the team they are also identifying and cultivating members of the team to lead as they have led.
  3. Delegate – while it is important to get your hands dirty with your team, what is equally vitals is let your team take charge without you hovering over them. The self-actualization of your team, both at a team level and individual is key to your growth and success.
  4. Embrace diversity – get your hands dirty with those that do not look like you, sound like you, believe differently from you, have a different background to yours. Diversity as well as an openness to things that are not familiar breeds creativity, innovation, and tolerance, all of which are necessary to any growing and successful organisation. The next best thing for your organisation will come from someone that is different to you.
  5. Communicate – your ability to communicate effectively with your team will be the cornerstone of growth and success within your organisation. As a leader you need to make sure that at all times your team knows what is expected of them, what the goals are and how those goals and expectations will be met as well as any changes that might happen along the way. And remember a great key to be a great communicator is also about your ability to listen and to listen effectively.

Leadership especially as an entrepreneur can be a very lonely and hard road to navigate, a burden that is made light by those you bring on along to navigate the road with you. Therefore, it is very important that those that journey with you (your team) are led, developed and embraced and as a leader that is all up to you.


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