Tips for Tomorrow's Business Leaders

Brought to you by the Villanova School of Business

Whether you are just embarking on the path to obtaining your MBA or you’re a savvy entrepreneur — or both — you belong to the group of people who will lead the business world of tomorrow. What do you need to do to fulfill that role?  

Build a Positive, Innovative Network

Image via Flickr by flazingo_photos People are sponges; they tend to soak up what is around them. When you’re in school or just starting your business, network like crazy. Collect business cards, get to know other people, stay in touch on social media and use the energy from your peers to fuel your business endeavors. As your business grows, some of those people may join you in a professional capacity. You may also want to consider finding a mentor. Your mentor could be a professor at school or just a friend or family member with business experience. Whether the person is in your industry or not, he or she will be able to help you with common obstacles that come with managing a business.  

Trust Your Gut — Sometimes

Sonny Vu, the CEO of Misfit, said that the best business advice he ever received was, “Trust your gut.” Sounds simple, right? However, the advice comes with a caveat. According to Vu, trusting your gut is great after you have some solid business experience behind you. Reliance on instinct is a bad idea when you’re just starting out. Instead, trust other people whose expertise and experience may outweigh your own.  

Cover Your Legal Bases

Sometimes, you might get so caught up in your ideas that you fail to protect them. Learn how patents work, and put foolproof shields around all your intellectual property. This may prevent nightmarish lawsuits in the future. Also, make it a point to stay up-to-date on the latest laws regarding human resources and compliance. These might seem like annoying tasks, but taking care of them as soon as possible will safeguard you from financial and legal hassles down the road.  

Always Continue to Refine Your Leadership Skills

There is no upper limit on how good you can become at leading a team. Always look for ways to continually inspire others and make sound decisions. According to an article from Business Insider, you should:
  • Be respectful.  This applies even when you are annoyed with someone or having a bad day. Respect should define your workplace culture.
  • Communicate.  Practice being clear and concise. This will save time and spur you toward desirable results.
  • Be passionate.  Don’t hold back from letting others know about your passion. Your attitude will infect those around you.
  • Be humble.  Humility is being able to admit when you’re wrong; it’s the mindset that will allow you to be a lifelong learner. This doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover, but you should know when to stand your ground and when to yield.
As one of tomorrow’s business leaders, you have the opportunity to bring innovative, fresh ideas into the world. By following the above tips, you can propel yourself toward your true potential.