Community Leader Spotlight
for Community Leadership
By Jake Ross & EKOS.AI
In today's ever-evolving business landscape, the role of a good leader of an entrepreneurial community has never been more crucial. The ability to inspire, guide, and empower individuals within a community of founders is essential to foster innovation, growth, and create a supportive ecosystem.
A skilled leader not only possesses a deep understanding of business principles and strategies, but has exceptional interpersonal skills, empathy, and a genuine passion for helping others succeed. What is most important though, is that their impact extends far beyond individual ventures, as they have the power to shape the mindset, values, and collaborative spirit of the entire community.
Being a good leader in an entrepreneurial community is not just desirable—it is indispensable for cultivating a climate that breeds success and enables individuals to reach their fullest potential. For ex Brian Chesky, founder of AirBnB, was not only able to launch his business, but he was also able to lead people around the world to become entrepreneurs themselves as they host their homes for others.
Today we explore the CURLIE Model of entrepreneurial leadership, created by a former President of Babson College’s eTower (Entrepreneurship Tower) and current agency entrepreneur, Jake Ross, which provides insight on the qualities and actions required to be an effective leader of an entrepreneurial community.
Jake: “If you’re a great leader for two weeks and then slack off for the next week (Miss deliverables, etc.), people will see that and think, 'maybe it's okay for us to do the same’ which is a detriment to the community. If you can consistently set an example that you're going to be there all the time for everybody, it really does make waves within your community because others feel as if they need to do the same, so the community is always ‘on.’”
Jake: “Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs for a reason. They want to work for themselves and make their own rules. They’re super innovative and a community of entrepreneurs are solving so many different problems. Be open and understanding to their ideas. Just because you're the leader of a community doesn't mean you can make all the decisions. Understand that entrepreneurs have so many different, amazing talents and have been through so many diverse experiences. Understanding their experiences and being able to release them into the community is invaluable.”
Jake: “You do not have to necessarily be liked, but you do have to be respected as a leader. You can have someone that's really liked, but maybe not respected in the sense of being able to execute, get things done and run the community in an efficient, organized way, which is a recipe for disaster…
A way to win over people’s respect? Respect them, and it will be reciprocated.”
Jake: “Willingness to listen is essential. Understand that you don't know everything and it's advantageous to listen to people who come from different backgrounds. They have different perspectives and have had a vast array of experiences. Even if you don't understand them on an experiential level and you can't empathize in that way, trust the people within your community. Trust that they've been through certain situations that you can't empathize with and be able to follow their lead on any recommendations they have based on their past experiences.”
Jake: “Always uphold community values. You have a lot of power and leeway as the leader of a community to make decisions. With that, understand that you're managing a community and decisions are not just about what you want; it's about what others want. Recognizing times where you can make decisions with your community and having that integrity to make it a community decision is huge.”
Jake: “Fail fast and succeed fast. Just try your ideas out and create that type of culture within your entrepreneurial community. If they don’t work, go back to the drawing board and fix it. Instead of overplanning and trying to get the perfect pricing model or have the perfect service or product, execute your ideas, get feedback, be able to ideate on that and learn as you go. It is important to run the community this way as well.”
The Most Valuable Insight...
Jake: “You need to recognize that as the leader, you do not have the most powerful voice- the most powerful person in the room is someone that is least expected to agree with a certain idea or one that does not give their opinion often.”
By embodying these principles, leaders can inspire, guide, and empower their entrepreneurial communities, creating an environment that nurtures success and enables individuals to reach their fullest potential. Thank you to Jake for sitting down with us to share his insight.
Manage your community today on EKOS.AI.