About C-Level Reflections

Ravi Patel has over 35 years general, financial and operational management experience in C-Level executive positions with multi-sized companies in diverse industries.

Having substantial experience in leading and consulting with entrepreneurial companies, Ravi utilizes this blog to share useful management thoughts to hopefully assist Entrepreneurs in growing their companies.

 

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How Well Do You Manage Cash?

Cash flow management is a critical factor in an Entrepreneur’s ability to successfully grow a business. Yet more often that not, Entrepreneurs react to cash flow problems rather than actively managing this area.

Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves what metrics they are using to monitor cash flow. Are these the appropriate measures? How timely are such metrics?

What type of tools are Entrepreneurs using to manage and more importantly increase the available cash in their business? Are these tools continually refined to make them effective?

Entrepreneurs would be better served to proactively manage their cash flows, or at least monitor this important area if such management is delegated to others in their organization.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on January 21, 2020 at 5:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Respect Chain of Command

Entrepreneurs are often used to doing  mostly everything themselves when they start their businesses. As they grow the organization, Entrepreneurs should build a structure with people in key functional positions and clearly defined supervisor-subordinate relationships establishing a clear chain of command.

Due to their founding the company and established informal relationships with initially hired employees (could be friends), Entrepreneurs sometimes bypass the established chain of command and direct such employees at lower levels. This also encourages these employees in turn to bypass their supervisors and deal directly with the Entrepreneur or CEO.

Emergencies and critical decisions necessitate a breakdown in the organizational hierarchy. However,  organizational structure and the established supervisor-subordinate relationships need to be maintained to facilitate people to “Do the Right Things” and build companies for long-term growth .

This does not imply that Entrepreneurs should not maintain informal, leader-follower relationships at all levels in the organization. Instead, Entrepreneurs should cultivate an environment where the key management team and supervisors are the decision makers within their sphere of responsibility instead of relying on or promoting all significant decisions to be made by the Entrepreneur or CEO by bypassing formal relationships.

Ravi Patel

Continuous Improvement

Entrepreneurs might want to make a new year’s resolution.

Building a company focused on continuous improvement, Entrepreneurs have to strive in their organizations the need to constantly evaluate processes and make changes to enhance them.

Related to that Entrepreneurs might want to have a goal of implementing company-wide a new, significant idea periodically, minimally every quarter. Doing so will set an example in your company that you are focused on improving operations and introducing new ideas.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Happy New Year!

Published in: on January 1, 2020 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

Published in: on December 24, 2019 at 6:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Firing without Aiming

Some Entrepreneurs are passionate and innovative with a bias for action.

While a seasoned executive will take a calm, thought-out approach to decision-making, akin to “Ready, Aim, then Fire,” some Entrepreneurs like to make quick decisions rather than deliberate for very long. They jokingly call this approach “Fire, Aim and then worry about whether you are Ready or have correctly Aimed or not.”

Who is right? Entrepreneurs need to carefully blend both styles of decision-making depending on the situation at hand or surround themselves with advisors who can complement the Entrepreneur’s decision-making style. No one style is always correct!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 17, 2019 at 6:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lead by Example

Leaders often encourage their followers “to give their best” to whatever they are doing. Entrepreneurs do the same when motivating employees towards fulfilling the Mission of the company.

In a team environment it is normal for all employees to contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the mission. However, is it always true for the leaders?

If Entrepreneurs expect the best from their employees, then they too should give their very best to the employees and the company. Do they? Leadership by example is not just a catchy phrase!

Entrepreneurs need to give their best to the organization to inspire their employees to do their very best. If Entrepreneurs show an attitude of “do what I say, not what I do,” their employees are not going to be motivated for the long haul.

Doing the right things for leaders means giving 100% or more to prove to the employees that they all are part of the same team and everyone needs to contribute their very best.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 10, 2019 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Doing Right

In entrepreneurial companies doing the right things is critical for growth. In general, who is right should not matter as much as doing what is right.

How does this actually work in practice?

If the Entrepreneur has created a culture of favoritism and is partial to employees whom he/she likes, then who is right will take precedence. Employees will try to prove they are right to win favors with the Entrepreneur and might even try to put others down. Not a healthy environment!

On the other hand, if the Entrepreneur has established a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement, then what is right will prevail. There will be more emphasis on doing the right things for the company rather than establishing who is right. In this case it becomes a win-win situation!

What would you rather have?

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 3, 2019 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Grateful

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be grateful for!

First and foremost are our country and the free market system that allow Entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and grow businesses and prosper.

Employees are the backbone of companies and Entrepreneurs should be thankful for the dedication, loyalty and hard work put forth by their people to make businesses successful.

No business can sustain itself without customers and clients. Be thankful to your sources of revenue for putting their trust in you to provide services and products.

Entrepreneurs should also appreciate their suppliers and service providers who continue to supply essential goods and services to sustain their businesses.

Shareholders and financiers who have invested in your abilities to grow the business and provide a return on their capital should be high on the list of people to whom Entrepreneurs are grateful.

Do not forget to appreciate your gratitude to your business advisers who provide a sounding board for you to share ideas and seek advice.

Lastly, the community that you operate your businesses in should be appreciated also.

So on this Thanksgiving, I encourage Entrepreneurs to express their gratitude to the above stakeholders in your companies.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on November 26, 2019 at 7:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are You Really Sorry?

Everyone makes mistakes.

What separates leaders is that when mistakes are made, genuine leaders offer a sincere apology. How do they convey that they are really sorry?

You often hear someone say sorry and then add a “but.” In those cases there are all kinds of excuses after the “but.” All these apologies are watered down by offering excuses. Are they really sorry?

A sincere apology is just that – sincere! When you make a mistake, no matter affecting which stakeholder, just say a sincere sorry without any excuses or reasons. This will be more genuine than trying to explain what happened to cause that mistake.

To be even more effective, you should privately analyze the reasons for the mistake and establish corrective actions to prevent that in the future. This will appear more sincere to the offended party.

Entrepreneurs – Do the Right Things if you are really sorry!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on November 19, 2019 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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