All that ambition will take you far; however, don’t assume that accomplishing all that will be easy. Far too many first-time leaders fail—and fail hard.
Randy H. Nelson, author of the best-selling book The Second Decision: The Qualified Entrepreneur, has some some insight on how to avoid becoming one of those leaders who does fail.
Nelson, who developed leadership skills as a Navy submarine officer and has a track record of starting and building successful businesses, explains that there are four essential traits that every leader needs:
- Discipline. It’s important to be disciplined within yourself to help move your organization forward and to produce good leadership decisions within a managerial team, Nelson says. Leaders who are disciplined understand that “they don’t know what they don’t know,” he says. Leaders also understand that, for the business to succeed in the long term, a transition must occur from the business being about “me” as its leader, to being about the overall needs of the company.
- Leadership. To help a business succeed, Nelson says, it’s important that leaders understand that leadership within a company entails knowing your responsibilities and role, while also knowing when to share or even delegate responsibility.
- Understanding of issues and challenges. To be successful, leaders must understand and acknowledge that four issues in particular may pose a challenge to their success: insistence on autonomy; unwillingness to build structure, cultivate expertise or delegate; boredom; and failure to engage in self-examination.
- Self-assessment. Nelson says it’s a bit ironic that leaders who are good at holding others accountable for their performance don’t take time to gauge how well they are doing themselves. “It’s important for the success of your business that you be able to do self-performance reviews,” he says.
Randy H. Nelson is a speaker, a coach, a Qualified Entrepreneur, a former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and author of The Second Decision – The Qualified Entrepreneur. He co-founded and later sold two market-leading, multi-million dollar companies — Orion International and NSTAR Global Services. His proudest professional achievement was at the Fast 50 awards ceremony in the Raleigh, N.C., area when NSTAR, a 10-year-old company, and Orion, a 22-year-old company, were awarded the rankings No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Nelson now runs Gold Dolphins, LLC, a coaching and consulting firm to help entrepreneurial leaders and CEOs become Qualified Entrepreneurs and achieve their maximum potential. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Miami University, Ohio, and was awarded the Admiral Sidney W. Souers Distinguished Alumni Award there in 2011.
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