Inspire the Millennials — 7 Tips to Build a Team That’s Got Your Back

So, we’re 4 episodes in, and it’s time to unleash all those budding ‘intrapreneurs’ in your office, but how do you do it? Here are 7 tips I’ve learned along the way…

1) Leave the CEO title at the door

It’s a self-awarded accolade of premature achievement. Frankly speaking, when building your start-up, the title of CEO is meaningless; it’s the Founder in you that should flourish. While a CEO delegates, a Founder creates. They should be restless, resilient and resourceful in their approach to working from the ground up. Get ready to juggle company admin, hand over your office (and sometimes your lunch) to members of the team. As the Founder of a young tech company, getting your hands dirty is a prerequisite.

A startupreneur will create a company culture and cultivate a workplace that is conducive to success. Nothing should be below them; no task is too menial.

2) Breathe energy

Let’s face it, no one wants to work for a jerk. And if you’ve thrust yourself into the start-up world, you should be exploding with positivity and bouncing with energy. With that said, no matter how tired or stressed you feel, you’ll need to mask it rather than moan about it. Yes, we all need sleep for clarity, but your energy is a byproduct of your passion, and this should always shine through… even when things go wrong at 3am.

A startupreneur will inject their team with momentum and energy. Trust me, it’s contagious.

3) Practice your poker face

When those 5 F*ck-ups happen (and they will happen — everyday…) you’ll need to be ready to react. Staying calm in the face of adversity is critical and being decisive is key. Ladies, avoid tears in the office — especially if leading a team of men. Rather than panic, ask key questions and work with your team to map out a collective solution.

A startupreneur will prioritise, plan and project a composed exterior. They will show initiative and reassure their team that obstacles can be overcome with strategic direction.

4) Hire people who are smarter than you

It makes business sense. Your focus is to build a team of go-getters who believe in what you do. You’ll need to harness talent and embrace opportunities to learn from members of your team at a frantic pace. Be inquisitive and gain respect by challenging and encouraging healthy debate.

A startupreneur will exude a ravenous hunger to learn. They won’t have an answer for everything. Instead, they’ll place trust in their intuition and in the knowledge of their team.

5) Motivate the Millennials

Millennials are divas; their expectations of creativity in the work place are shaped by a techie upbringing. Typically, the only baggage they’ll be carrying is a travel backpack. These big dreamers are suited to the start-up world, which is exactly what you need when you’re working around the clock. Be warned: the pressure’s on you to offer them an enriching life experience… in your four-walled office.

A successful startupreneur will harness young talent by setting ambitious goals, creating opportunities for growth and surrounding themselves with a team of partners rather than employees.

6) Be a chameleon

The mistake many leaders make (we’ve all experienced it) is to think that a militant, cutthroat approach to management is the only way to get the job done. The key, however, is to understand others; be diverse in your leadership styles and embrace your EQ. When you understand yourself, you can influence yourself; equally, when you understand others, you can influence others.

A startupreneur will assess how individuals respond to pressure; they’ll understand how to motivate and inspire confidence in every member of the team.

7) Connect the dots

Critical to the success of your start-up is the ability to build bridges between the respective areas of your business. If departments, or individuals, work in isolation, the detachment will lead to problems, whether between back-end and front-end or between the code and the content. Communication and cohesive strategies are essential to meeting your future goals and objectives.

A startupreneur will embrace enterprise architecture; they’ll look at the bigger picture and adopt a holistic approach to company structure and strategy.

In episode two, I talked about humanising your start-up idea, but it’s equally as important to humanise your management style. Your company is made of people, so remember:

“You’ve got to make sure this team is really a team and they’ve got your back”.
Laura Barton (Hawkeye’s Wife)
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