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5 Leadership Lessons for Entrepreneurs from John Maxwell

I’m not a speed-reader. I’ve learned that the most efficient way for me to get through a book is to listen instead of read. I read a ton of content every day through blogs and social media but in my spare time, I prefer to listen. So, when I’m exercising, cleaning or running errands, I’ve most likely got my headphones in, listening to a book. Last week, I started listening to a book a couple close friends of mine recommended, Equipping 101 by John Maxwell. This is a really quick “listen” as it’s just over two hours long and, if

5 Leadership Lessons for Entrepreneurs from John Maxwell

5 Leadership Lessons for Entrepreneurs from John MaxwellI’m not a speed-reader. I’ve learned that the most efficient way for me to get through a book is to listen instead of read. I read a ton of content every day through blogs and social media but in my spare time, I prefer to listen. So, when I’m exercising, cleaning or running errands, I’ve most likely got my headphones in, listening to a book.

Last week, I started listening to a book a couple close friends of mine recommended, Equipping 101 by John Maxwell. This is a really quick “listen” as it’s just over two hours long and, if you’re building a team, it’s a must-listen / read.

Building a Successful Team Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Building a business is tough and so is building a team. It takes extra time, planning, thoughtfulness, humility and requires an investment that goes beyond money. I led teams in college and have held various leadership roles throughout my education and career but in those roles, I always had a leader above me that I could go to for help.

As an entrepreneur, it’s different. I can build an advisory board, have mentors and speak with fellow business owners but when it comes down to it, the decision for growth and team building rests on my shoulders. That’s a heck of a lot of responsibility.

5 Leadership Lessons for Entrepreneurs

The responsibility of leading a team can start to eat away at my resolve when I don’t take steps to grow myself and lean in to learn more about leadership. That’s why I was thrilled to gain leadership lessons from this book. It is uplifting and and convicting and I strongly encourage you to read or listen to it. In the meantime, here are five leadership lessons for entrepreneurs and leaders that I’ve gained in reading Equipping 101:

  1. Leaders take blame and give credit. This is where humbleness comes in. It’s not a blame game. It’s a responsibility plan.
  2. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to provide your team with the resources they need to succeed. This takes planning and intention. I have to ensure that I’m organized and pursuing excellence so that I can anticipate my team’s needs and address any challenges they may encounter. My role is to give them what they need and then let them succeed.
  3. As a leader, you don’t have to know everything. Whew! This was a really reassuring concept for me to chew on. I feel like I need to know everything about all thing aspects of what we do as an agency but that’s just not the case. It’s OK and beneficial for my team to know more about certain topics than I do — it keeps me sharp and it frees me up to focus on my areas of expertise.
  4. Giving over control and authority is essential for the success of your team. This seems like a process and I’m still working to understand exactly how this works. SO MUCH goes into this leadership lesson. I would prefer to be in control but I have experience the relief that comes from giving responsibility to my team. It can feel very risky to hand over responsibility, especially if clients are directly involved. Trust is huge here for you and your team. You have to trust that they will pick up the task and run with it, reporting progress as they go. It’s hard because some of these aspects can be taught, while others are gained by trial and error.
  5. An organization is only as strong as its leader. Simply: Weak organizations have weak leaders.

The challenge of leading a team remains but I know that if I continue to press into this role and refine my approach as I go, I will be successful in building up and equipping an all-star team.

What leadership book would you recommend I “listen” to next? Are you in the process of building a team? What successes and challenges have you encountered?

Kate Finley

Founder + CEO of Belle
Currently thriving in Puerto Rico