Leadership for Entrepreneurial Teams

Successful entrepreneurs are great at ideation and communicating value of their offering to the market. What sets them apart as they seek to scale up their business is their ability to manage and to lead. Entrepreneurs must know how to oscillate between managing and leading effectively, while keeping teams motivated and empowering their own employees.

This series of sessions is geared to a team of up to four leaders of a entrepreneurial venture which is on the verge of scaling up. Tailored discussions will combine six 2-hour facilitated discussions and one self-directed learning module over a period of six weeks.

Session 1: Organizations as Chains, Hubs, Webs & Sets

For start-ups and scale-ups, designing and managing an organization with the common “value-chain” approach is sub-optimal because it neglects the critically important non-linear way in which things are achieved at this stage. Recognizing the different ways in which organizations can function – as hubs, webs and sets – creates a different perspective on the strategic possibilities. It also opens the door to different ways of managing so as to align with the desired organizational structure. The framework for this facilitated discusion is the CoachingOurselves module was developed by Dr. Henry Mintzberg, known as “the world’s premier management thinker,” and founder of McGill University’s International Master’s Program for Health Management.

Session 2: Consciously Creating Culture

In large corporations, two things are generally well established: culture has been “set,” and people operate within a set of written and unwritten rules, and managers’ roles are separate from those of the leaders. Not so in entrepreneurial ventures. Scale-ups have the luxury – and challenge – of creating a culture that reflects their own values, beliefs and aspirations. Most of the time, however, an organizational culture emerges without much forethought, based on the personalities of the leaders and newest hires. This discussion forum will uncover each individual’s views on the desired cultural identity of the organization, and what actions need to be taken to establish it.

Self-directed learning: From Top Performer to Manager

Karl Moore, world-renown business professor and consultant, has identified several traits which top performers need to develop, and some which they need to tone down, as they move into a management role. This CoachingOurselves module will be provided to each participant as a tool for self-directed, individual coaching in between sessions 2 and 3.

Session 3: Management Styles: Art, Craft, Science

Management is a practice where art, craft, and science meet. Most managers tend to tilt one way or another: toward creative art, practical craft, or organized science. The trouble is that when you tilt too far, your managing can go out of  balance. This session asks you to consider your managerial style: how do you see it and how do your colleagues see it? How might you want to adjust it and how can you get there? The objectives for this topic are to:

  • Learn about some basic styles of managing.
  • Understand your style and those of your colleagues.
  • Consider modifying your style.

Session 4: Managing to Lead

Leadership: we have competency lists, conferences, and camps to cultivate the qualities of leadership. We make it exciting… and we make it complex. While everyone has an intuitive understanding of what leadership is, what does it really mean for your own day-to-day work? As you will see, leadership is a complex interplay of factors that requires balance. Today’s session challenges you to enhance your capacities for leadership and to work with your peers to create an organizational environment where everyone feels that, when appropriate, they can take the lead.

  • Determine which factors contribute to effective leadership;
  • Understand how to better balance your own leadership approach;
  • Clarify what you can do to contribute to a well-led organization.

This CoachingOurselves module was developed by Jonathan Gosling, Emeritus Professor of Leadership at Exeter Business School and associate with numerous NGOs.

Sessions 5 & 6: Understanding Stakeholders

Stakeholder relationships are a factor in any organization’s success, and more prominently in startups that are scaling. Leaders must know who their current stakeholders are, and which groups and individuals are potential stakeholders. Each of these will have differing, and sometimes competing, interests which not only reflect their individual affiliations but their individual personalities. . The goal is to have relationships that support and sustain performance. Understanding stakeholders is one of the keys to developing effective relationships. The objectives for these two sessions are to:

  • Introduce the stakeholder concept and the factors that influence the way leaders think about stakeholders;
  • Become aware of the role that stakeholders play an organization’s success;
  • Develop plans for reaching and communicating with various stakeholders and stakeholder groups.

These sessions will combine proprietary content that has been used with several clients, as well as a CoachingOurselves module prepared by Dr. Pamela Sloan, a professor of Strategy at HEC and a member of Project RESPONSE, a EU study of corporate responsibility.

Fee: $7,500 for a team of up to 4 people.

Contact me at lesley@lesleyantoun.com to tailor this offering to your situation.

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