Becoming a Leader by Design Enables Team—and Business—by Design

This blog is an excerpt from Cesar Quintero’s book, The Profit Recipe: Unlock Your Entrepreneurial Flywheel to Live Life by Design. The book describes the five stages of the E-Volution (entrepreneurial evolution) Flywheel and the common hurdles they present, along with practical solutions to get unstuck from every phase. These stages include Startup by Design, Leader by Design, Team by Design, Business by Design, and Life by Design. Navigating them enables businesses to grow and succeed, and founders to live the life they want to lead. 

Many traits comprise good leadership, from the ability to motivate others and making tough decisions under pressure to keeping a team in sync and moving toward a common goal. But “Leadership by Design” specifically involves elements that help create a Team by Design, which leads to a Business by Design: a company that can run successfully without the boss making every decision and being involved in daily operations.

Many of these skills overlap with being a quality leader—the best founders and CEOs know that success depends on unleashing the power of a great team. And, to put it simply, leadership by design depends on embracing that we can’t do everything. 

This may seem like an obvious concept. In practice, however, many entrepreneurs are so used to doing everything after starting a business that allowing others to take the lead is a huge challenge. That extreme dedication and total responsibility may have been vital for survival in the early days of some companies. But at a certain point, it becomes an insurmountable barrier to growth and success. 

And entrepreneurs who go through the E-Volution cycle a second or third time typically lead by design from the start of a new venture.

Let’s recap three essential characteristics of becoming a leader by design:

1. Self-awareness

“Know thyself” is an ancient Greek proverb that was inscribed in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi for a good reason. It’s a wise maxim for anyone seeking personal development and professional success, and it’s an essential step for entrepreneurs seeking to lead by design.

Introspective business owners know their weaknesses and their strengths. They focus on the strengths to unleash their entrepreneurial superpowers while building a complementary team around them to shore up their weaknesses.

2. Vulnerability

Recognizing weaknesses is vital but doing something about them requires vulnerability. Whether it’s the admission that a leader isn’t good at something and needs help or a public acknowledgment of business challenges that pulls a team together, vulnerability can be invaluable. Leaders by design fundamentally recognize that positive vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.

3. A willingness to let go

This is one of the toughest things for many entrepreneurs, but it’s also the most critical aspect of leadership by design. Successfully letting go depends on building a quality team that shares an overall vision and then effectively delegating to them.

Leader by Design enables new stages of E-volution

At its core, the main challenge involves a business owner’s mindset. As Gino Wickman writes in Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business: “You are not your business. Your business is an entity in and of itself. Yes, you created it, but in order to find success, you have to turn it into a self-sustaining organism.”

Leaders by design achieve this mental separation, which realizes a path toward a team and a business by design.

No single component is possible without the others, but leadership by design is a crucial piece of the puzzle. As an entrepreneur, we must first “know thyselves”—and learn to lead accordingly.

Cesar Quintero has been an entrepreneur since the age of 24, experiencing what works and doesn’t in business after starting three different companies. As a Certified Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) Implementer and the Founder of The Profit Recipe, he centers his practice on purpose and ensuring a leadership team creates alignment around its vision, while gaining traction to achieve that vision.

The following two tabs change content below.

Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!