Honor a Veteran Now

After having celebrated Memorial Day remembering all veterans who have sacrificed themselves for giving freedom and liberty to our country and other nations in the world, I was wondering what Entrepreneurs can do for current veterans.

When you hire employees, do you consider veterans? Serving in our armed forces instills leadership, discipline, adherence to established processes, teamwork, courage, overcoming adversity and other fine attributes that Entrepreneurs should be seeking from qualified prospects.

I suggest that Entrepreneurs should, all things being equal, give preference to veterans who have served our country. You will not be disappointed.

Ravi Patel


Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 5:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Setting Standards

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc

Great leaders set high standards for themselves. The growth of McDonald’s was in large part due to the quality, efficiency and customer service standards established by Ray Kroc.

Entrepreneurs too need to set and live by commendable personal standards for themselves so that they can demonstrate a high level of leadership to inspire their employees. How often have we seen leaders who ask their followers to do one thing while they do something else? How does that provide leadership by example?

If an Entrepreneur desires to set high standards of ethics and performance for their companies, they first need to set for themselves high-reaching standards. However, that is not enough! Entrepreneurs need to then adhere to their established standards and demonstrate via actions their commitment to such uplifting principles.

Leadership in this area is truly by example. If an Entrepreneur establishes a pattern of behavior that meets his/her lofty standards, then it will be easier to set high standards for the company and employees. It helps to inspire people by actions and then demand high standards of excellence and hold their followers accountable.

Ravi Patel


Sphere of “Control”

For Entrepreneurs understanding and managing their sphere of “control” is crucial in growing their businesses.

When Entrepreneurs start their businesses, they feel like they need to have total control over everything that goes on in their organization. All decisions are made by them and nothing can be done without their say so.

As the business grows, the Entrepreneur is forced to give up some control and delegate tasks to other. He or she still wants to know what happened. When successful, the Entrepreneur has to transfer responsibilities to a secondary level of leadership. In that stage he or she cannot keep track of all details.

At every stage of the growth of the company, the Entrepreneur reduces his/her sphere of direct control. This is very difficult for most Entrepreneurs, especially in the first business venture.

Building a stong secondary leadership team, guiding and mentoring the team, and periodically monitoring their accomplishments towards specific objectives and the overall Mission will reduce the anxiety of the Entrepreneur. If the Entrepreneur cannot learn to reduce his/her sphere of control, it will create stress that might be detrimental.

When things fall outside your sphere of direct control (to lower levels of the organization), resist the temptation to wrest such control or stress about it. Focus on the bigger picture.

Ravi Patel


Trust Yourself to Trust Others

Beginning Entrepreneurs like to be in “total” control. It is difficult for them to acknowledge that other people can do as good, if not a better, job than they can.  They also believe that if they share their ideas with people, someone may steal them and take advantage.

It is all about trust. However, it is less about trusting other people, but more about not trusting themselves enough.

Entrepreneurs do take significant risks in the business sense – that is embark on new ideas, in an uncertain environment, with a not fully developed product or service, no ready customers, lack of adequate funding and so on. They are good at that.

When it comes to relying on other people, their risk-taking is limited. While they may trust family members, it is difficult for starting Entrepreneurs to trust outsiders. So what is the problem?

In my opinion, the issue is that Entrepreneurs do not have sufficient trust in themselves to identify, train, and coach the right people to delegate key responsibilities. Sometimes loners, people management skills are the least ones they have developed. This often creates a situation where Entrepreneurs end up performing all key tasks and stretching themselves too thin.

Entrepreneurs need to train and then trust themselves to make appropriate people decisions so they can then trust those people to do the things right. The sooner they learn to do that the faster their growth and success.

Ravi Patel


Retaining your Advisors

Much has been written about the concept of a Mastermind Group and the role of advisors for an Entrepreneur as he/she goes about growing the business.

Once the Entrepreneur seeks good advisors and forms an advisory board, the important task then is to seek advice and bounce off ideas and issues with these advisors. The Entrepreneur should be prepared to receive honest feedback including any constructive criticism.

The success of utilizing such advisory boards depends upon how often the Entrepreneur has somewhat formal meetings. If meetings are sporadic and infrequent, the purpose and effectiveness of having advisors is negated.

Even more importantly, if the Entrepreneur does not heed to the advice or feedback and continues to face the same issues, it will be difficult to retain such advisors. While the Entrepreneur does not need to blindly accept and follow the advisor’s suggestions, it is important to listen and carefully evaluate the merits of what is being advised. Constantly ignoring advice, without rational arguments, is not going to help to retain the advisors.

While building a good board of advisors in important, retaining them for a long period is even more critical. An Entrepreneur has to work at it!

Ravi Patel