Different businesses have different leadership styles

Autocracy. Participatory. Democracy. Consultative dictatorship. Whatever the style, before you take-over/join/deal with a business, figure out it’s leadership style. Don’t try to change it. Trying to change it will result in failure. Rather align with it. Adopt it. Lead in the same way. That’s how you’ll take the company where you want it to go. Breaking…

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You need a free exchange of ideas

That’s how you innovate. That’s how you find the truth. That’s how you stay ahead of the pack. That’s why America keeps creating new products, new companies. No one is arrested for saying what they think. People are free to air ideas, exchange thoughts. Do the same for your company.

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Know your history

Churchill once said, “The one thing we can learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.” That’s why entrepreneurs keep making the same mistakes. If you do not know history, you think short term. If you know history, you think medium and long term. Do you spend your energy worrying about next week?…

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Criticise bad process, not bad results

Before criticising your team for delivering the goods, consider whether they make mistakes in the process. If the right path was followed, but somehow the wrong result achieved, don’t criticise. By the same token, if the right result was achieved, but the wrong path followed, your team must be criticised. Your job is to incentivise…

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Take the meeting

Sometimes you’re in the middle of a busy period. No time to spare for waste-of-time commitments. You notice a meeting in your diary that you cannot imagine helping with your current challenges. You’re tempted to cancel. Don’t do it. That meeting can perhaps help you in an unexpected way. New investor, new product, new customer,…

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Never give up

Startup life is hard. Enduring rejection. Watching your friends in their safe company jobs make more money than you. Worrying about cashflow. It’s not for everyone. But if it is for you (and only your heart knows), then you have no choice. You can never be happy being anything other than an entrepreneur. So enjoy…

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Bad thoughts are not the same as bad actions

So you have bad thoughts? So what. Just because you think of being unfaithful, or stealing, or lying, doesn’t make you a bad person. Only bad deeds make you a bad person.

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Live with no regrets

Your time may come at any moment. Car accident, cancer, heart attack, whatever. There’s no planning for it. All you can do is live a life with no regrets. Tell your loved ones you love them. Visit the places you want to visit. Spend time with the people you want to spend time with. Don’t…

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Respect yourself

You can’t respect others unless you respect yourself. You can’t respect yourself unless you respect your actions. Don’t do things that make you ashamed. Only do things that make you proud. That’s how you build respect for yourself. That’s how you build respect for others.

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Not telling the whole truth is the same as lying

Don’t kid yourself. If you hold back parts of the story, it’s the same as lying. Lying breaks trust. Without trust you can’t move fast. If you can’t move fast you’ll fail. Don’t lie. Tell the truth, all the truth.

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Don’t dribble off the cliff

Every startup has a cliff. A cash flow cliff. A point at which you run out of cash. The temptation is to slow down before you reach the cliff. To try extend your startup’s life for a bit longer. Don’t do that. Slowing down ensures failure. Put aside your fear and give 100% until the very…

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Don’t take pills

Not being sick and having energy is good for business. That’s why, in the current age of “a-pill-for-everything”, you can quickly be caught up in the habit of eating 7 multi-coloured and multi-purpose pills every morning. Vitamin C. Liver tablets. Multi-vitamins. Tumeric. Whatever. Supplements for your body so that you stay healthy and energetic. But…

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