Leadership and New Ventures

3 years ago

By Marlene Weaver
Faculty Member, Management at American Public University

A new business venture idea is discussed with friends and attorneys, documented in business plans, presented to financial backers, and finally, it may become a reality. Employees are hired and the new venture opens for business.  Now what? 

In my business classes, we often discuss the difference between a manager and a leader.  We also discuss the difference between a task-oriented, and relationship-oriented leader, not to mention the many approaches to leadership situations.  The owner of a new venture idea must be aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.  One may be a fine business-minded person with a talent to plan, budget, and organize staff members, but energizing the path forward toward the vision takes a different kind of leadership skill.  We all don’t have that skill and many of us may never be able to actually acquire it. 

Just as managers possess the skill to organize and plan, leaders possess the skill to strategize and synergize.  Without everyone collaborating toward the same goal, there will be failures.  If employees are not content and taken care of, they will most likely be unable to efficiently attract customers.  If managers are not given the tools they need to properly schedule, plan, and budget, they will most likely fail.  If all other business conditions are in order, the leader who creates synergy is the key to success.

The new venture, whether big or small, is begun by an entrepreneur, who has the idea and then accepts the start-up risks. Many of today’s most successful companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple were founded on the ideas of one or two people.  However, these companies have subsequently grown by acting on ideas from insiders and fostering an entrepreneurial culture through every level of their organizations. 

Smart owners of new ventures realize that great minds do not think alike and that listening to everyone’s ideas may be the best way to grow a successful new venture. Team synergy, instigated by an eager and charismatic leader, is every business’s quest.  If not, it should be.

About the Author

Marlene Weaver retired from the Department of Defense in 2010 after 39 years of dedicated service in financial management and enterprise management.  She now teaches leadership and management full time at American Public University.  Weaver holds an MBA from Marymount University and has completed all course work associated with a doctorate in education program (ABD). 

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