Entrepreneurs are classic risk-takers. They are continually assessing the world around them, seeking to identify problems in need of a solution. They work hard to address these problems, and transform them into opportunities to improve their world. However, in their haste to identify and seize those opportunities, many entrepreneurs rush into their businesses and forget to establish a long-term vision.
The history of the business world is littered with the empty shells of failed startups that burst onto the scene, but were unable to sustain their business model after their initial appeal wore off. Many of these businesses were started by well-intentioned entrepreneurs who were able to cast a compelling vision for the startup phase. But those same entrepreneurs were not able to transform their visions into a sustainable business model that was capable of withstanding the ups and downs of the external environment.
In order to build and lead a successful company, an entrepreneur must create a sustainable business. A sustainable business is one that can overcome negative market conditions when they are at their worst and can take advantage of strong market conditions when they are at their best. Sustainability is in part dependent upon the development of a vision that is used to guide the company to becoming a viable business. Maintaining a long-term vision will make the leader less susceptible to the emotional whims that impact the business on a daily basis.
Leaders who create sustainable businesses that weather the external environment do the following things:
In the early history of mankind, before the advent of GPS and other technological advances, sailors would depend on the stars to guide them. The North Star became the fixed and guiding point in the sky that would help steer early explorers back to their course in the event of a storm. Without the North Star as a point of reference, there would have been no way to re-orient the ship after the storm passed.
When founding and leading a business, leaders should expect storms. Despite their best efforts, unexpected events will occur, which will make navigation temporarily impossible. Leaders are compelled to focus on the immediate conditions in order to navigate the external environment safely. Once the storm has cleared, the business leader must have a vision that they can use to re-orient the business. The long-term vision repositions the business and helps bring it back to its original destination. It allows for sustainability in the roughest of times.
Leaders must guide their organizations through the current environment while keeping an eye on the long-term vision. As with sailors, they must keep a weather eye for approaching storms while keeping their focus on the long-term vision so that the organization can safely reach its destination.
About the Author
Christophor Jurin is the Founder and CEO of Construct-Ed, Inc., an e-learning technology startup that has been established with the primary goal of empowering members of the construction industry through training and learning opportunities.
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