One of the toughest things you will face in business, and something I have only just learnt in my journey as an entrepreneur, is getting people on your side. Its something I have come to learn and overcome, to a certain extent, however It never was that way.
Whether its leading the team, becoming the leader in the first place, or getting your idea heard, when working with a group of very different people, it can be impossible.
There is no easy way to get people to listen to you and take you on board. You have to fight, and thats the first stage I will advise.
Plan ahead. When I was elected the first leader of our team business in BA Entrepreneurship (My Uni course), it was done by planning ahead firstly. I came in with the vision of becoming leader straight away. I didn’t tell anyone as this was a plan in my head, a plan for myself. It does sound selfish, because it is. Sometimes you will have to be selfish, this is business, theres always an element of selfishness. I was open, and happy and was good with everyone, I didn’t strike any enemies, or barriers. There were many reasons to why I did this, it wasn’t solely because I wanted to become leader but being leader did factor into it.
When it came to the election, it did strike me a surprise, as I didn’t realise the election would happen when it did. We all debated whether having a leader was ok (I explain this in this blog post, click me!), from the very beginning I said yes we do, as you do. Not for orders or dictatorships, but for direction.
So far, I say respect and be open to everyone, as when it comes to anything like an election, you need these people to vote for you, so striking division really isn’t in your favour. Also, along with this plan ahead, you don’t build friendships during an hour, a real friendship and respect takes time, so allocate that time, don’t rush it as most likely you won’t get people flocking to you.
Last but not least, is you need to have your idea or vision that you trying to get people on board for, thought through completely. If you put forward an Idea, for example for a great new cake that a shop can sell, and then when someone who actually wants to find out more and maybe use it, comes to you and says “Hey! How do you make it?”. If you don’t know your idea inside and out, you have failed before you begin. I knew exactly what I wanted to sort within the group, as this is my strength. Listening and observing showed me our communication was rubbish, so my manifesto as it were, was to improve our communication, and I had a plan and vision as to how I wanted to improve it.
This helped people see me a valid candidate and in the end they trusted me enough to elect me the first leader.
I do not speak from great deals of academia, I speak from experience, so I am no expert but I hope anyone reading this can take it into consideration for their own path and hope it helps!
Sometimes, leadership is most effective when you lead from behind, not from dictating the orders from the front.
B x o x o