A few months ago, the news that Sachin Bansal, Founder of Flipkart, had stepped down and made his Co-Founder, Binny Bansal the CEO of Flipkart had shocked the e-commerce industry. It was a bold and a strategic move by Sachin Bansal. He knew that Flipkart, though being a pioneer in the e-commerce industry could not perpetually enjoy the advantage, and was flanked by many competitors like Amazon and Snapdeal. Flipkart needed to evolve, and that too under the helm of a new person, a new mind. Sachin Bansal thus proved that business always comes first, and that there is no place for egos in business.
Entrepreneurship is a tricky game. There is no set formula to success. However, I believe that a massive and an unchecked ego can certainly get in the way of growth.
Here are a few golden rules for every entrepreneur to keep their ego in check:
Treat all mistakes as learning’s for the future. An error in judgement does not mark your incompetence, but what you make out of that mistake is what will set you apart from the rest. Whether that of yours or those of your counterparts, each mistake that is made today is a lesson for tomorrow. The road to success is paved with millions of miniscule errors, and the sooner you can accept them, the faster will be your accent to great heights.
Master every step and process in the company. While holding the reins might appear easy, it most definitely is not so! To be at the helm of an organisation, you need to have a holistic understanding of the company as a whole. You can only expect quality work from your employers when you are aware of the exact contribution at each level, and the efforts that go behind it. Moreover, learning and mastering the process of all the components of your business will keep you grounded and connected to it in ways you can’t even imagine.
Make knowledge your ultimate superpower. No one entrepreneur can claim to be the Oracle of Knowledge! There are times when you need to seek advice or help from mentors, experts of the domain or even take classes to improve your skill set. All you have to do is ask for help and you will undoubtedly find it. Also, never associate learning with weakness, and never be in the illusion that you have all the answers. In fact, the more you learn, the more humble you will become. So keep on learning, from books, from people and from circumstances.
Don’t be a lone-ranger. Keeping information and responsibility to you can become a major hindrance to your growth trajectory. One of the key attributes of a successful business is great teamwork. After the initial launch phase, you need to delegate responsibility amongst your fellow workers. If you feel the company can benefit from a more skilled, experienced or knowledgeable person than you, then don’t hesitate to bring them on board. Accept your areas of weakness, if you feel any.
Give credit where it’s due. Success cannot be achieved alone, there’s a good chance others helped you along the way. Try to understand that every measure of success is a direct outcome of the combined efforts of the entire team, and not of just one individual. Hence, share the credit with the team and pull people up the ladder of success with you.
You must remember that while ego can make you strong and confident, it will only take you so far in life. Empathy, understanding and humility are the qualities which will serve you in good stead and eventually make you successful.