Today’s aspiring entrepreneurs must go against the grain of the so-called all-time heroes. The hungry self-starters in all walks of life have shaped every facet of our life. In the movie business, we are, and still, enchanted by Rambo. That legend has spilled over to all other industries. In the 1990s we had Michael Jordan as a sports figure. The larger-than-life heroes of the last decades still haunt our psyche. In business, we had the two business empires that accelerate technology - Apple and Microsoft with their founding heroes, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Today’s complexities and problems are impossible to be solved by just one hero but rather by a great visionary leader who charts the course to a bright future unlike the past.
Great accomplishments are seldom the result of one super hero. The American culture has succeeded in tinging the other cultures with this concept of God-on-earth figure. If there is no one at the moment, there must be one - right now, right here. What Gods are we enchanted with at the moment? In football, for example, we have Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. In business, we have Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet. The list goes on and on in every walks in our life because the business of our life is business, as someone said it decades ago. But the truth is that none of those heroes can make it on his own. Bill Gates wouldn’t make it without the guidance of his mentor Paul Allen; the late Steve Jobs made his breakthroughs after espousing spirituality and studying Yoganada’s teachings; Michael Jordan’s legend wasn’t possible without his team mates and his brilliant coach.
One of the top 3 reasons why startup businesses fail casts light on the fallacy of yesterday’s heroes and the necessity of today’s teamwork. According to CB Insights, the 3rd reason startups fail is hiring the wrong people and failure of teamwork. The first two reasons are failure to work out product-market fit; second, running out of cash. The third is the failure to find the right team to share the startup vision, if he has one. As cash is the fuel to business, choosing the right team is the engine that gets the business vehicle going. Now, it becomes clear that the failing startups are victims of the culture that instilled in them the concept of the super human who can achieve it all by himself. It’s not anybody’s fault. Still, after knowing the root cause of this failure, not acting on the right laws of running business, will be everybody’s sin.
Having a winning team is intertwined with having a leader. You can’t let go of one without letting go of the other. It starts with a leader with a vision. For a leader to select his team, he got first to let go of his ego and be honest with himself about himself. This honesty is manifested in choosing others who are better than him in executing his vision. The leader I am talking about is someone who is secure enough to admit his shortcomings. When the great entrepreneur Thomas Edison was once asked why he had a team of 21 assistant, he responded by saying;” If I could solve all the problems, I would.” Which means that he is smart enough to realize that no person is as smart as a collective team of specialized individuals who can do the job better than he can.
Working on the right laws of building sustainable business reaps rewards later. Choosing complementary team individuals is an integral part of getting your business off the ground. The leader has to resist the temptation of slipping into complacency after getting his team members. It is his main job to work on finding ways to retain them. It is confusing how often employees move from one job to the next. According to recent researches, 40% of employees are likely to change their jobs within a year’s time. Therefore, the leader is responsible for selecting the right team and galvanizing them with a vision. It’s well said that there is no bad soldiers under a good general.
The aspiring entrepreneur’s first job is to get rid of the fallacy of the lone hero. In order for him to keep his business sustainable, he needs to think of being a leader. It is a process that starts with having a vision, being honest about his strengths and weaknesses, and working on improving his strengths and choosing the right team members who can help him make his weaknesses irrelevant. In so doing, businesses can survive the agonizing early stages of its existence.