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Startups thrive when strong leadership propels the team forward. At the nascent stage of any business, excitement runs high and dreams are big. Good leadership at the startup stage capitalizes on the high energy and fresh ideas of its motivated team members. It also recognizes that startups are by nature chaotic. Uncertainty, lack of direction, and inefficiency can sap the very energy on which startups thrive.

To drive startup growth, leadership must harness its team’s creativity and steer it in the direction of startup success. Sweta Patel, a startup expert, explains in Forbes Magazine that four key traits contribute to successful startup leadership: focus on value, encouraging teams to think outside the box, listening and actively asking questions, and encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit.

Focus on value

Successful startups create value in the marketplace. In the end, the company’s success hinges on whether it provides its customers with a better value than they had before. Most startups must compete against incumbents. When leadership encourages their team to create value the incumbents have not, startups take off.

Encouraging teams to think outside the box

In a sense, this is what startups are all about. After all, they are basing their business on offering something different. It’s important for leaders to let their teams work in a way that allows them to use their creativity to innovate. To do this, management must be willing to relinquish control. Micromanagement destroys creativity and passion. It causes team members to focus on jumping through hoops. By encouraging an environment where teams constantly strive to improve processes through positive change, leaders build startups that add value never seen before in their marketplaces.

Listening and actively asking questions

Many business people focus solely on the talking aspect of communication skills, but listening can be just as important. It’s surprising how much time listening saves and how many ideas teams develop together when they listen to each other. Asking questions that clarify and define are important parts of listening. When leaders practice these skills, they are able to work effectively with their teams.

Encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit

The entrepreneurial mindset always keeps the business’s best interests at heart. In a startup, encouraging this style of thinking in all employees breeds success. As team members make decisions and create plans of action, they need to always think about how they affect the company. What is the contribution? What is the cost? These are the questions business owners must always ask themselves. When the entire organization thinks this way, all its oars move in the direction of startup success.