How to equip yourself to lead as an entrepreneur

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON BYP NETWORK BY TONTE BO DOUGLAS. IT IS REPUBLISHED WITH PERMISSION.

2020, is the year of clear vision for every one of us. With this new year brings new challenges, but ultimately brings new successes also. This is the year above all, that we all should aim to go for the opportunities available to us in our careers (and potential careers).

Are You Equipped To Lead?

David McQueen at the BYP Conference boldly asked the crowd in attendance – “Are You Equipped?”. You can take many things from this but how we can look at this in the bigger picture is being equipped to lead, in our communities as well as in the workplace.

Here are some of the key points you can take from David McQueen when it comes to equipping yourself for success in this new year

Know Who You Are

Make yourself memorable. You might have heard a lot growing up about “keeping your head down and working”, but you will have a hard time being recognized if you do not shine your light brightly and make yourself seen.

Do not be afraid to develop your personal and leadership brand. Create content, do work you are passionate about outside your full-time job that demonstrates your leadership. Being visible is important. Be confident in yourself and don’t be afraid to get your expertise/competency out there as it makes you more attractive when looking to secure further opportunities.

Know Who Can Help You (Your Team)

The people you have around you are going to be critical in helping you get to where you need to be in life. David McQueen says you need the following people in your team:

  • Someone who is not afraid to tell you no / to challenge you on your ideas
  • A coach to challenge your blind spots and help take your skills to the next level
  • A mentor to discuss how to best navigate the space you are in (or want to enter)
  • A sponsor: someone in an organization or industry who can open doors for you 

Look at the people who are ascending and don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask them questions as this can be key to unlocking your success also. The information you look to seek is what will best help take you where you want to go in your leadership journey.

Know What You Are Leading

It’s key to know in what way and how exactly you hope to empower the people around you. Being equipped to lead is all about being intentional and remembering to bring the elevator down with you for others and sharing the lessons that you’ve learned with them. David’s journey to where he is involved in collecting a lot of data, this was key in helping him leverage opportunities to speak and work with notable companies (which helped him raise his profile).

Developing your skills in managing people will be important when navigating senior positions and you need to know how to manage your negative emotions as well as your positive ones.

Do not be afraid to go after what you want this year. It’s your year to equip yourself with what you need to make 2020 a special one for yourself.

Written by BYP Network

BYP Network is a community for black young professionals to connect for networking and job opportunities.