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  
Tags: , ,

Molding Consensus

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus” – MLK Jr.

Every new idea, whether small or grandiose, has to be sold to people for its acceptance. Change is effective only if accepted!

Consensus is defined as a majority of opinion or general agreement. In many organizations, getting consensus becomes a “political” process wherein the idea promoter seeks out or searches for people who agree with him/her, largely based on personal appeal of the person rather than the idea. This is not true leadership in getting consensus on an idea.

Rather, a genuine leader stresses the virtue of an idea and actively persuades people on its benefits thereby molding or building consensus. The acceptance of the idea then becomes internal to the believer rather than being forced upon him/her through brow-beating or intimidation. If the leader is successful in building, rather than seeking, consensus the implementation of the idea is more effective and lasts for the long term. The benefits of seeking quick consensus are often short-lived.

True Entrepreneurial leadership should strive for molding consensus to generate wide acceptance of new ideas in their companies.

Ravi Patel

 

Find a Remedy

Don’t find fault, find a remedy – Henry Ford.

Entrepreneurs could learn a lot from this simple statement.

In our blame-rich rather than solution-oriented culture, leaders (mostly political) often seek out whom to accuse of problems rather than find solutions. Sometimes this extends to poorly run companies with unhealthy culture and negative management practices.

In the real world it is acceptable for leaders to hold people accountable for their performance. However, it is not wise to continually blame others for problems. Entrepreneurs have to take responsibility for the issues facing their business and teach their managers to do the same.

More importantly, blaming others or even accepting responsibility does not solve the problem. Entrepreneurs need to create a culture where finding solutions or remedies to issues takes precedence over blame. Such a positive culture allows people to readily accept responsibility for decisions without having to face ridicule.

Do the Right Thing by creating a solution-oriented culture in your company and incorporating that in your Mission.

Ravi Patel

Learning from Losing

Many sports coaches have considered winning to be the only thing that matters. But, is losing always a bad thing? Losing could teach one valuable lessons.

If you always lose because you are not good at something or you have not done enough to prepare yourself to win, then losing has no redeeming qualities. However, if you are in top shape, are always practicing and improving, losing to a slightly better competitor is not necessarily all that bad.

Losing can lead to winning if you learn the lessons from your loss. What did the winner do differently? What could you have done better? Where did you feel you needed more effort or skill? If you can answer these type of questions, then they could be winning lessons from losing.

Entrepreneurs can also learn the same winning lessons from losses or failures. If you learn from losses and make changes to improve your business and grow stronger, it is in fact quite positive.

Losing is not a bad thing if you learn some winning lessons from it.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on January 5, 2021 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Year-end Inventory of Your Business

Similar to physical inventory, have Entrepreneurs ever considered taking an inventory of their “business” at year-end?

What are your really valuable “assets” (not in the accounting sense) and what is the balance that you are carrying at year-end? You might want to prepare a list of such “assets” for assessing where you are, determining what you need to grow such assets, and monitoring progress throughout the year.

An Entrepreneur might consider certain goods and services, pertinent technology, engaged and high-performing employees, key clients, reliable suppliers, valuable advisors, and so on as core “assets” to run a successful business.

Taking inventory of these assets at year-end, and planning on how to increase or enhance them in the coming year could be a key component of your annual plan. Measuring your assets at the end of the next year would determine your year-to-year performance in this area.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 29, 2020 at 6:21 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Season’s Greetings!

This is a wonderful time of the year.

A festive season with sharing, giving, receiving, praying, and of course partying (safely though).

Enjoy the holiday season and celebrate all religious and non-denominational events.

Season's Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Published in: on December 22, 2020 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Able or Dependable Employees?

What is more important for an Entrepreneur to seek in his employees – being able or dependable? What should be more important?

Well skilled employees provide abilities for a growing organization to build the competencies in various functional areas. An Entrepreneur does not have time to train people, thus employees with ready skills are an asset. However, there is no assurance that employees with abilities are always reliable or dependable.

An Entrepreneur needs to be able to rely on his employees to do their assigned tasks without  constant supervision, absences, tardiness, and so on. Dependable employees, despite some known weaknesses, offer the Entrepreneur a comfort level that he/she can rely upon. Such employees could be trained to mitigate their weaknesses.

It would be ideal to have all employees possess high skills and also be reliable. In the absence of such, an Entrepreneur has to build a workforce that optimally blends a pool of employees with ability and dependability.

If such an optimal situation cannot be created, whom would you rather have – able or dependable employees?

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 15, 2020 at 7:03 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Have Perseverance

Last week’s blog here reflected on the essential quality required for a successful Entrepreneur – keeping a cool demeanor.

Another such quality is perseverance. Perseverance is defined as the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur possess this quality to be successful. Facing difficulty, obstacles, discouragement, setbacks and even failures are nothing new for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs who come through even after facing challenges are the ones who have a laser focus on their Mission and can navigate a steady, persistent course without being unduly discouraged. The story about the spider weaving a web despite repeated failures comes to mind.

If you desire to succeed in achieving your Mission, have perseverance!

Ravi Patel

Having a Cool Demeanor

Do you, as an Entrepreneur and leader, keep your cool demeanor when facing stressful and chaotic situations?

Have you watched firefighters, policemen or even bomb diffusers operate in high-stress situations? Their ability to act calmly reassures everyone around them not to panic.

Similarly, leaders who stay calm and keep their cool under chaotic business situations inspire confidence in their employees. Instead of panicking, they all tend to follow their leader and behave productively to resolve the issues. If the leaders lose their cool, who can blame the employees for doing so too?

Great leadership inspires people to do phenomenal things. Calm and cool leadership in volatile situations prevents their followers from panicking or performing irrational acts or even worse inciting riots.

Be a cool leader!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 1, 2020 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What Are You Grateful For?

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be grateful for, especially in these times of Covid 19 and the lockdowns.

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 24, 2020 at 6:56 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Leadership, Not Heroism

Entrepreneurs sometimes think of themselves as heroes trying to hit a home run or create miracles. This is heroism, not leadership.

Heroes are created infrequently and for a short duration. While one might feel that the company has to be rescued from all situations, it is not always possible and more importantly not always the right thing to do.

Successful companies need long-term leadership that builds the organization and the employee team to solve problems and exploit opportunities in the absence of the leader. Dependence on heroism can only work in the short term or in a few instances.

While Entrepreneurs might think of themselves as super-heroes for starting the company and making it grow though its infancy, strong business leadership is necessary to nurture it for long-term growth and success.

Inspire for leadership, not heroism!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on November 10, 2020 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,