StartupDelta’s Prince Constantijn shares his leadership insights:“Don’t be ashamed about seeking advice”

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StartupDelta special envoy Prince Constantijn van Oranje recently shared his leadership insights in the Huffington Post. As special envoy at the Dutch startup ecosystem, he brings together startups, investors, launching customers, governments, and knowledge institutions. We’ve summarized his top leadership tips for you below.

1

Grant people freedom and autonomy

“My leadership style is to give as much freedom and autonomy to people as they require. I work to get the best out of people and give them a general view of where we are going,” Prince Constantijn summarizes his leadership style. “I give them all the support they need, when they need it, while allowing them the freedom to develop their own actions and initiatives. Great leaders empower people.”

2

Actively engage people

Constantijn believes leadership is largely about communication. “Not just the communication about the big picture, but also about the small picture,” he elaborates. “Feelings of people should be taken into consideration. It should be enquired if people are actually doing well in a team and I think that is actually difficult.”

He adds, “I tend to focus only on achieving the overarching goal and understanding where the company will be as a result. But to understand when people need additional support and ask for feedback you have to actively engage them. I think that we have an open culture, but that culture does not develop by itself. You have to establish and cultivate it.”

3

Break things down

“Break complex matters down into bits,” he says. “Time is always an important factor. Things may look very complex, but if you take one decision at a time, it will surely lead you to the next. If you try to take all the decisions at the same time, it will surely be complex.”

He adds, “In fact, by initiating an action and taking a decision, the situation changes. Over time, a new element comes in, which offers you more variables to choose from. So, it’s a question of breaking it down and claiming it with time”.

4

Create a desirable workplace

How does he pick the best people? He shares, “I think it is very important to create a work environment people want to work in. The workplace should have values and should be a place that inspires the workers.”

He emphasizes StartupDelta’s mission in this regard, “Our organization works with startups. Our mission is to support entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and across the world. That’s the mission with which we have been able to convince people to join us.”

5

Seek advice

And finally, he says, “Get a good coach or talk to people who have done it before. Do not be ashamed about seeking advice. However, do not get frantic or suggest that you do not know what you are doing. You want to convince people that you are self-confident, but at the same time, do not act as if you’re overconfident.”

“You can admit that you do not understand certain aspects of the work, and you should organize conversations around inviting the opinions of other people, even others on your team,” he says. “I think it’s all about being transparent, but also knowing that you don’t know everything. I think that attempting to prove that they know everything is the biggest mistake young leaders make.”



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