Leaders make business decisions that impact the firm, the employees, the esteemed customers, the investors/shareholders and their environment. Young entrepreneurs must recognize the influence of these stakeholders and build bridges by courting their friendship to make their vision realizable.
For investors, what they want to see is increasing revenue, return on investment (ROI) or higher share valuation. To achieve this, cost reduction (operational efficiency) is of greater concern to them than anything else.
Young leaders must be concerned with their reputation and legacy which should define their tenure in the eyes of investors, employees, media and their immediate community.
Young executives must therefore develop and define their set of guiding principles and values. Generally, a leader’s guiding principle must cover the following areas:
- Vision of the desired destination.
- Attributes required by co-travelers to enable the team arrive safely at the desired destination.
- Cost shedding/reduction/employee turnover reduction
- Job calibration and performance management.
- Social responsibility and corporate citizenship.
- Program implementation.
- Staff motivation including compensation system.
- Disciplinary procedure.
- Promotion and reward procedure.
Creative young executive leaders should develop the guiding principles by observing the following:
- Having a clear and well defined vision.
- Outlining authentic programs and plan.
- Setting timelines and milestones.
- Outlining standards.
- Communicating vision, action plan.
- Delegating and allocating resources.
- Measuring and creating review sessions.
- Adapting and adjusting action plans.
- Keeping the end in focus and avoiding distractions.
Young leadership must understand that leadership thrives on the altar of exception and discretion. The principle of exception is based on good judgment, discipline and effective decision making skills. A young leader must avoid the temptation of generalization i.e. seeing every team member as bad or as good.
The display of irregular behavior by a single member of a team is not a good reason to condemn every member of the team. The young leader’s message must exemplify exception – what to say and what not to say in the face of obvious evidential challenges.