Why Leaders Working in Startups Must Create Time For Self-Care

Every day, hundreds of startups are launched worldwide. 

But just as quickly as these startups are launched, countless others die. 

Why? 

Leadership. 

You see, great founders do not necessarily make great leaders. And where most of these leaders go wrong is their tendency to focus on business outcomes without also focusing on leadership skills that scale. What’s needed as a leader of 5 is vastly different from what’s needed at 50, 150 and 500.  They want to be successful and scale as quickly as possible. The outcome is they end up losing sight of what gives them that “it” factor – great people.

After working in startups over the years, I’ve discovered something – not all founders are born leaders. But there are a few simple things they can do to become better at it.

In this episode, I shared tips to help you achieve just that.

 

Why Leadership in Tech Startup Companies is Essential

  • Great leadership in organizations is important. But it’s even more important in startups. Why?
  • A business can never outperform the effectiveness of its leadership. 
  • Although many startup leaders understand the benefits of effective leadership, they often struggle with what it really takes to orchestrate a high-performing team. 
  • Leaders working in startups are great at coming up with great ideas but need help with people-centricity and cultivating chemistry within a team.
  • Startup leadership skills do not come naturally to many folks, which is why the more successful organizations invest heavily in their leaders.  

 

Supporting More Women in Leadership Roles

  • We already know women make great leaders. There’s tons of data and research to support this claim. In fact, their strengths in creative leadership competencies makes them ideal for high-pressure startup leadership. Recent research based on the Leadership Circle Profile, a 360-degree leadership assessment tool demonstrates that currently, female leaders are significantly outperforming male leaders in almost every leadership competency category.
  • Creating cultures that keep working mothers in the workforce is the most important thing we can do for women. In addition, creating workforce norms that support remote work with flexible schedules. 
  • We can also emphasize supporting female leaders by creating awareness and action in culture around the bias and challenges women in leadership face. 
  • Lastly, we can support initiatives that get more venture backed funding for female-led startups, getting more funding in the hands of women. 

 

The Hot or Not Segment 

  • Self-care for leaders – Hot. Leaders need to take care of their mental health both in and out of work. A bubble bath won’t do much if you don’t have proper boundaries at work.
  • Neurodiversity at work – Hot. Neurodiversity is the idea that people experience the world in diverse ways; it’s time leaders recognized this crucial fact.
  • Leadership assessments – super hot. Some people think leadership assessments are all “woo-woo.” But the truth is we are a data-driven society, so it’s only right that leadership, too, be based on data. 
  • Peer groups for entrepreneurs – Hot. But with  a caveat.. Jen believes peer groups are only effective if you’re not the most experienced person in the room. And, if you’re going to show up, give it your all. 

 

Self-Care For Leaders Going Into 2023

  • Self-kindness and mental health for leaders will become even more important in 2023, especially when working in startups 
  • It’s time we support and create safe spaces for women and non-neurotypical leaders in startups and corporate leadership. 
  • For Jen, uncertainty will still exist in 2023. And so, leaders must step into a place where their people see them as a pillar during uncertain times. 

 

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