Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’
Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
I’ve just been talking to someone about business tools and which are important and which are just ‘nice to have’. The one area he had not considered was the tool of ‘time’.
We all have 24 hours in the day but how that time is used can make a massive difference on the success and growth of a business. We are in the main holiday season now and it’s easy to slip into ‘coasting’ mode as many of our contacts and customers are on holiday. This is though, a great opportunity to look at what we want to achieve before the end of December. We have the time to think and the time to plan, before everybody comes back from holiday and we find ourselves back in the ‘cut and thrust’ of the day to day operations.
Use this time wisely. Think, plan and of course enjoy the time and hopefully weather, to prepare.
But don’t forget to give you, your family and friends time as well. Life is not all work!
Thursday, July 16th, 2015
I had my day all planned. I was working in the office. There were some emails to write and a number of ‘phone calls that needed to be made and a possible VOIP call, together with a couple of face to face conversations.
All very manageable I thought. Then I realised that there was no internet. It wasn’t slow or intermittent, it just wasn’t there at all. First step, check again, just in case, no still not working. Next step, ring the tech guys, they’ll investigate and respond. Now what!?
It’s surprising what happens when you look at a situation in a different way. The ‘phone calls were made, the face to face conversations took place and a proposal I needed to complete for the following week, was completed early. The emails? Extra ‘phone calls were made to explain for the important ones and the VOIP meeting. The rest waited until my internet was back on line.
Think differently. It works
Friday, July 3rd, 2015
His comments were straight to the point, that’s what I expected from a man known for his forthright views. Sir Digby Jones is not what you might call a diplomat (I’m sure he will admit that!). If you ask him a question, he will give you a direct answer and look at you when he talks to you. I like that in business. His comments and answers were easy to understand.
We, in the northern hemisphere, tend to much more direct than others in different parts of the world. We understand each other, however it can cause problems, and offence, if the company is exporting or dealing with other companies that take a different view to doing business.
It’s neither right or wrong, it’s just different. So many companies try to do business ‘their way’ when a little understanding and ability to adapt to a different cultural environment, could generate opportunities for them
Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Lara Morgan is Founder of Pacific Direct which she set up in 1991.
She talked a lot of sense and most of that was ‘common’ too.
As she mentioned, listening is a good skill to learn. Listen to your customers; listen to potential customers and listen to those that didn’t become customers!
Listen to your team; your suppliers; even your competitors. So much can be learnt from just listening. Then, of course, interpret it and turn it into action.
Ask questions that will encourage people to answer, then listen. If you don’t understand or the answer is not what you expected, than ask for clarification. People will give it.
Don’t leave without understanding. Your business will be better for it. Just a Thought.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Michelle Mone, Founder of Ultimo, grew up in the east end of Glasgow, left school with no qualifications but had a ‘can do’ attitude to life.
She had a paper round whilst still at school and ended up ’employing’ 17 other people to service the various paper rounds.
Her early career was modeling but at 19, she had a baby and thought that she should find a job although that prospect didn’t delight her.
Throughout her life, she has always had this positive attitude and believes that nobody should wait for the opportunities to appear; they should go out and find them.
Listening to her and the peaks and troughs that she has had in her life, just highlights how business life can be. Sometimes it’s good and other times, it’s tough but the one thing it never is, is boring.
The opportunity to grow the business is always there, just seize it.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Adam Shaw, Founder of the Ideas Company, has a view of how to grow a business.
His view is that we spend a lot of time fearing the destination; being concerned about what’s going to happen when we get there.
That is one reason why we never ‘arrive’. Instead of concentrating on the steps to get us to where we want to go, we sometimes think too far ahead.
His comment was that his mother kept asking ‘why not’ to his queries (I often ask that!). Why can’t you just be ‘perfectly imperfect’ and once he understood this, it gave him the freedom to go forward.
So why try to be perfect when ‘perfectly imperfect’ is ok!
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Wayne Hemingway,founder of Red or Dead, and now a driver for social change, challenged the audience to identify what makes an entrepreneur successful.
He believes that Passion plays a very important role when starting and building a business. That passion will take you to places and people that you never thought you would have access to,allowing your fledgling business to grow; but of course, you then have to deliver your promises to those people.
I’ve heard Wayne speak on several occasions and he is very passionate about the things he believes in and straight talking in his approach.
‘If you care, you will force change, because of your passion’
Now there’s a thought!
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was commenting to a colleague about how Christmas was fast approaching. Now it and the New Year celebrations are over and we are into the second week in January 2014.
This year is forecast to be mixed. The public sector continues to be under pressure whilst the private sector is starting to build growth into their balance sheets.
Companies are taking control of other companies or are the target of a takeover themselves.
The government continues to encourage exports by financially or otherwise, supporting businesses to look beyond British shores. Governments in other countries too, are also pushing their companies to have a more international approach to ways of growing their bottom line.
All this with one eye on corporate governance and another on supporting their local communities and being a ‘good’ company. Leaders and Boards are going to be busy this year. I for one, look forward to it.
Thursday, November 14th, 2013
I was speaking to Dov Seidman, the Founder and CEO of LRN after he spoke at an RSA event recently.
The consultancy helps over 500 companies worldwide and is advocating more innovative structures and cultures.
His comment was that in the 21st century, we have gone from being connected, to interconnected, to interdependent and whether it be Government, Business, or Society, we all rise or fall together. This interdependency is also between peoples, nations and cultures, so the rise and fall can become critical if not acknowledged and fostered.
He is promoting the idea of ‘How’, meaning that it is no longer about what a leader does but how a leader does it, that matters. This reinforces the current thinking about leadership in that the role of a leader is now more about coaching, communicating, connecting, collaborating, creating a culture that accepts mistakes, will apologise, change things and move forward. It’s about trusting people to do the job they’ve been asked to do, giving power to those people and supporting those that need it.
There is still a tendency to ‘micro-manage’, born out of a desire to control. This will not bring out the best in people and only by a more inclusive and supportive approach, will leaders of this century survive.
Monday, October 28th, 2013
In this month of October, I was fortunate to be invited to the launch of the ‘Youth Charter 2012 Games Legacy Report’, which was held in the State Rooms, Speakers House. This is the Report driven and produced by Geoff Thompson MBE, seen here, who is the Executive Chair of the Youth Charter. He is passionate about his aims and goals for the organisation which he founded 20 years ago. Geoff knows from his own experience, how sport can make help with self development. He, himself is a 5 times World Champion and now speaks around the UK and other countries, to children and young adults about using sport to develop themselves.
As we, in the UK, come out of this recession, it’s important that young people are not forgotten. They can make an enormous contribution to a growing and successful business. They think differently and can challenge the ‘norm’; they have a different view of the world and can share that view, sometimes leading to a company being quite innovative in its thinking and translating that into operations. Most young people also have comprehensive understanding of technology and social media and look at new ways of working as interesting, without fear of change. It comes back to ‘team work’, and having the courage to do things in a different way, using the different skills of the team, to move things forward, not backward.
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