Sailing through Storms (2/5): Developing relationships

On top of having a collectivist approach, as you can read in my first post in the series, it is vital for entrepreneurial leaders to develop individual relationships with members of the team.

The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.” – Simon Sinek

Läs del 1: Sailing Through Storms: Captaining The Entrepreneur

Making a routine of knowing what is happening in their lives, being aware of what ignites their passion and where they want to be in the future allows the leader to take a more personalized approach (in academia this prevalent aspect of transformational leadership is often referred to as "individualized consideration").

This skill can be utilized to create more autonomous followers, kindle passion, construct stronger relationships and even help develop individuals to their full potential. Here are three real-life case practical examples of such activities:

Include individuals as an integral piece of the puzzle

Part of this activity is making sure the individual in question is aware that there even is a puzzle in the first place. Only then can you go on to make individuals in the team feel as though they are part of something bigger than themselves.

Sometimes these incentives need to be stronger than simply a paycheck at the end of the month. Offering rewards such as equity, the employee will become more invested in the success of the enterprise whilst also making them feel confident to have had that trust placed in them.

Getting to know the person

As a leader, individuals will often look to you for advice – whether it be professional or personal. Being available and setting aside time for some 1-on-1 quality time with your employees might be one of the time investments you can make. You must realize that to some degree, you work for your employees; not the other way around.

For the next few weeks, meet every single one of your employees for a lunch. Just the two of you. Figure out what motivates this person, what drives him or her to be the very best version of themselves. You’ll be surprised just how much that information may come to use in the future.

Celebrate small wins

A CEO of a large Swedish startup described himself as his employee’s greatest cheerleader. Not only is this a fantastic way of making people want to perform their very best, it also creates a ‘thank you’ atmosphere in the workplace.

Just celebrate wins, large or small.

Few things at the workplace beats a boss that really dives into and compliments you on that complex solution you found to a tough problem. Just show them that you care about their work, and they will reward you in multiples for it.

In the next article, we’re going to look into how you can effectively fragment large complex tasks into smaller ones, and why it matters for the longevity of your startup.

If you have any questions, want more examples or would like to reach out about leadership and management in your organization, don’t hesitate to contact me at or at +46 76 887 54 36.

Läs del 3: Sailing Through Storms: Task Fragmentation