Martin Robert Hall : Five tips for leadership in a start up

As a start up business or entrepreneur, it can be easy to get caught up in developing the business and pushing your product or service forward, without giving a thought to your own training as a manager or leader of people.

But when you start hiring a team and working closely with others, having a clear leadership strategy, and taking time out to work on your own skills as a manager will ensure that your team is engaged, motivated and happy.

Martin Robert Hall is a specialist in high performance, and has written two books on the subject of leadership.  He works with top business leaders and elite athletes to help them perform at their best.

Here, Martin takes us though his top five tips for success as a business leader:


  1. Have a clear focus


Many entrepreneurs are great ideas people, brilliant at starting projects but not great at finishing them. The danger of this is you end up trying to move in too many directions at once. The most successful work hard to stay focused on one simple aim.

Take inspiration from the late Steve Jobs, who revolutionised Apple by scrapping many of their products and focusing on a core of four. If it is possible with a company of that size, it is more than possible with a start up.

Having a clear focus for the business will allow your team to become more engaged, and more focused on the task in front of them.


  1. Trust the team around you


Most business owners struggle with sharing the responsibility in the beginning, which is understandable. The danger is that, down the line, they become too attached to being involved in everything, which not only disempowers the team but also burns you out.

Delegate more. Setting clear business goals that the team can get behind means that you should be able to trust them to make decisions that are in line with the overall objectives of the business. It can be hard, but trusting those closest to you and ditching the micro-managing will empower them, and you too.


  1. Hire for attitude and train for skill


Time and again I hear from my clients how difficult it is to find people who share similar values as them, but they hire them because they can do the job. This only leads to problems. It may take more time to train people to do the job properly but it’s the right thing to do and saves time and money in the long run.

Aim to build a team of brand advocates, people who share the same values and vision as you do. The right attitude towards work at hand cannot be taught.  And don’t be scared to hire people who are better than you at certain elements of business!


  1. Leadership starts by leading yourself


Busyness is seen as a badge by some, but not by high performers. High performers are focused, and work on priority actions.

Take time out every day to work out what are the real priorities for yourself, the team and the business that day. Stay focused and work on what is important.

Great leaders realise that taking time out for themselves is crucial to performing at their best. I also recommend taking at least two hours each week for thinking about leading the business, not just working ‘in it’. Sometimes, taking a step back and giving yourself time to reflect can open your eyes and allow you to see the bigger picture.


  1. And finally… Have fun!


It’s certainly not easy running a business and if you are not enjoying it then it becomes really difficult to sustain your drive and energy, especially when you are leading a team of people.

Enjoyment and enthusiasm is contagious, so make sure you are always building fun into what you do as a priority. Teams are more engaged when they are having fun, so take time out to socialise, get together and build relationships.


Martin Robert Hall


Martin Robert Hall is a specialist in high performance. He consults top athletes, organisations and ambitious individuals and helps them to consistently perform at the highest level.

 His work has been recognised by Sir Alex Ferguson, he is the author of two books and has recently made the top three list of finalists for Business Coach of the Year 2018.

You can find out more about Martin and his work at

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