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What Does it Take to be a Great Founder and Startup Leader?

Trends and Insight 19 Add to collection

Being a great business leader takes more than a great business idea explains Mike Scott and Azadeh Williams

What Does it Take to be a Great Founder and Startup Leader?

A founder of a company needs more than just a great business idea to be successful.

Nona Digital CEO, Mike Scott, and host of the How to be Moderately Successful podcast speaks with Azadeh Williams, founder and managing partner of AZK Media to discuss the skills needed to be a great startup leader. 

Azadeh Williams: During my former years as a journalist, I interviewed hundreds, if not thousands of tech founders over the past 15-20 years. These are the things that have stood out for me through my networks and experience. Number one is a deep, solid understanding of their marketplace and the industry in which they're working. As an example, one of our clients is Silverbullet whose founder is Ian James, who was a CDO of Bacardi.  

He saw firsthand in his market the digital and data challenges brands have. Before starting his company, he had ingrained knowledge. Now as founder, he understands the market, he understands the pain points, and he knows his solution works. This gives a deeper level of credibility.

Then there's resilience, it is an absolute must-have attribute. There was a great book I've finished reading called the Art of Resilience by Ross Edgeley, he swam all the way around the United Kingdom, and he was the first person to ever do so. 

All of the character traits and philosophies he talks about in this book about resiliency, are absolutely critical to any business founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner. 

Then you have a willingness to speak up, which I touched upon. Don't be camera-shy, get out there, get the skills you need to talk and be passionate, genuinely passionate, about what you do. Of course, you need to clearly articulate what you do and where your business is going.

Finally, which is the be-all and end-all, is leadership acumen and a collaborative approach. Leave your ego at the door, be collaborative. You can have the most exceptional business idea, but if you're rude, you'll only get so far. You need to understand what makes a powerful great leader in today's digital and data-driven age.

Mike Scott: Yeah, absolutely. I agree with everything, but I do want to dig into the first one. While I agree 100% you need a thorough understanding of your market, and your product, etc, but it's an outcome. What attribute do you believe leads to having a thorough understanding?

Azadeh Williams: It's having fairness, taking the time to do research, excellent deep-diving research skills into the market you're working in. That's the number one attribute. If you have first-hand experience of the market, that's a bonus.

Mike Scott: People invest in businesses, but businesses change and pivot and die and get reborn -  it's really up to the people in the team. This is the constant. We forget sometimes software is still stuff being done by people for other people, businesses are people doing stuff with other people.

In this tech world, this investor world, and the digital world, we forget this and just because you're a tech advisor company, doesn't mean there are not people in your business. It’s run for, with and by people.

To find out how to elevate your thought leadership position and amplify your business messages, contact AZK Media. 

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Genres: Storytelling

AZK Media, Tue, 18 May 2021 01:08:53 GMT