Many entrepreneurs rely on formal and informal lessons from their mentors to guide their journey to success. What is one thing you learned about management from the best boss you ever had, and how does this lesson affect your day-to-day work or leadership style?
These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and create tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. To believe and release
Doing everything yourself may feel more efficient, but in reality, it’s less efficient in the long run. When you expect me to do something in between other tasks, it always creates more stress for me by overworking and causing delays for others. More importantly, it hinders the development of workers and employees as they cannot learn to perform the tasks. Learn to delegate.
– Gentle Huang, Ndevr, Inc.
2. To really listen to my team
I learned from mentors that effective management is all about listening. They taught me to really listen to the needs of my team and clients, which shaped how I lead both in terms of decision making and problem solving. By actively listening, I am able to create an environment where everyone feels heard and respected, while also empowering them to solve their problems.
– Renato Agrella, About counseling
3. To continue moving forward
Even your mistakes and failures can push you forward if you know how to harness them to win your next battles. Business is war, and you must use every bit of experience, skill, or information wisely so that nothing goes to waste. Teach the same principle to your people. With this mindset, any kind of failure, when used wisely, will definitely accelerate growth.
– Bryce Wecker, Big 4 accounting firms
4. Giving people agency
The best management advice I’ve learned from mentors is to give people agency. I was given an agency and, no pun intended, I was able to get my own agency. Encouraging people doesn’t work, but micromanaging does. We are seeing more people who understand the power of relinquishing control and trusting their employers to do good work. It was a lesson I learned early and I am forever grateful.
– Matthew Kapala, Alphabet
5. Really take care of my employees
Your employees are the soul of your business. I learned that genuinely caring for your employees can make a difference in their workplace happiness and satisfaction. You can do this by giving them occasional bonus holidays when they need time to spend with loved ones. Writing thoughtful thank-you notes can boost employee morale and make them feel appreciated.
– Candice Georgiadis, Digital date
6. To connect actions with goals
We often get stuck on vanity metrics when it comes to business, and it’s important to understand that our actions must align with our goals. My mentor has always taught me to ignore anything that doesn’t move the needle in terms of achieving the results we want. This helped me focus and see good results.
– Syed Balki, WP Starter
7. To take responsibility for my actions
If you simply sweep your mistakes under the rug and don’t learn from them, you will never grow and become better than you were yesterday. So, when you mess up, own it. Think about what you did wrong and try not to repeat the same mistakes again. This philosophy has influenced my leadership style and helped me to be where I am today.
– Chris Klosowski, Easy digital downloads
8. To be productive instead of busy
I learned about time management and being busy is not the same as being productive. Dividing your time based on impact and effort, prioritizing and delegating tasks based on high impact and low effort will increase your productivity. This allows you to focus more on the things that bring the most value to your organization and your people.
– Samuel Timothy, OneIMS
9. To invest in my communication skills
If you want to be a powerful boss with strong management skills, you need to invest in your communication skills. As a leader, you should be able to express your thoughts and ideas in words. Only then can your employees be given shape.
– Andrew Menro, AffiliateWP
10. ‘To make it happen’
My former boss was a force to be reckoned with. She was the epitome of success in stiletto heels and curves. She believes there is no challenge we can’t handle and always encourages us to go beyond the accepted limits. His attitude towards work has given us the confidence to push ourselves and strive for excellence in everything we do.
– Tonic Bruce, Well Driven, Inc.
11. To lead by example
My boss taught me to lead by example. He was always punctual, responsible, very helpful and extremely hardworking. He doesn’t just ask us to do things; He always helps me by taking time to explain us, which is very motivating. Now I do it with my staff. This has helped me create a positive work culture of mutual trust and respect without having to micromanage anyone.
– Josh Kohlbach, Mass suite
12. To give yourself time to think
My mentor taught me the importance of self-awareness. Time passes quickly, and many people do not stop to analyze their performance, which leads to making the same mistakes over and over again. Now, I take one day a week to reflect on what I got right, where I can improve, and what I want to do next. This strategy has made me a strong leader and successful business owner.
– Chris Christopher, MonsterInsights
13. To control my schedule
There are many lessons to share but the most important one is about the importance of time management. In my early days of entrepreneurship, I booked meetings based on someone else’s schedule, which was very difficult and resulted in many canceled meetings. Then I was introduced to Calendly, a booking tool that changed my daily life forever. Now I live by my calendar.
– Fritz Kolkohl, Simply Talia