Make it About Others

Effective leadership should never be about you. Unlike dictatorship, it should be about others and a common cause.

Although Entrepreneurs start companies and should take pride in that, they should not focus the growing of the company all about them. Instead, the emphasis should be on the Mission of the company.

It is far easier to lead people around a common cause or good than for someone’s personal victory. A true leader strives to make it about others and constantly reinforces the message that achieving a particular Mission serves ALL stakeholders rather than only the leader.

Entrepreneurs can become great leaders if they can ensure that it is not always about them, but others!

Ravi Patel

Staying Cool Right Now

Entrepreneurs are facing a stressful and chaotic situation with the effects of the coronavirus. Are you keeping your cool demeanor in these trying times?

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.

Stay cool during these tough times Entrepreneurs!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on March 24, 2020 at 6:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are you Looking for Funding?

All Entrepreneurs, especially start-ups, are in need of money. What are the key things you need to do first when looking for funding?

1.   Ask for a specific amount. Don’t state ranges or be vague. If you do not know the specific amount, it does not speak well of you understanding the financial needs of your business. It is okay to ask for slightly more than you need to provide for contingencies, but still look for a specific amount.

2.   Outline exactly how you are going to use the money. If you do not have a well-defined idea of how you plan to spend the funds, it does not provide a high level of confidence to potential investors/lenders. However, resist going overboard and itemizing each and every item. You should have that for your own use, but do not need it when looking for funds especially in the initial meeting.

3.   Present a realistic argument of how using the funds will build a business that will generate positive cash flows. This will be the essential selling point. Investors or lenders are not only interested in knowing how they will be repaid (with upside), but also whether the business can become a self-sustaining cash generator. Again, the idea is not present a thick business plan with fluff, but rather a well-defined and articulated strategy backed by realistic projections.

Spend some time in working on the above three requirements before you start looking for funding.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on March 17, 2020 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Managing Perceptions

A few simple tips for Entrepreneurs to positively manage perceptions in various situations:

  • Never overreact to situations where there is employee dissatisfaction or customer or vendor complaints. Analyze the situation calmly before taking proper corrective action, instead of taking hurried actions due to external pressure.
  • If you do have a serious situation, do not create a smokescreen and divert attention away from it to hide the real problem.
  • Do not focus on the small or minor issues in managing your companies; focus on the larger or macro issues for greater impact. Let your management team manage the details.
  • If you need to make a statement or message regarding any irregularities in your company, do it for significant issues not trivial ones. If you mostly emphasize minor matters, your employees or going to be dismissive of such gestures.
  • Be sensitive to the message that you send with your actions. If you are being austere or are having cost reduction programs, do not have bonuses or spending that is contrary to the current environment in your company. Having incentives is not inappropriate, but make sure that they are related to the right objectives and are perceived positively.
  • Of course, when you are borrowing a lot of money, do not spend it on bonuses or management extravagance. If contractual obligations are involved, renegotiate those for the long-term financial health of the company and goodwill for all stakeholders.

While the above sound obvious,sometimes we tend to lose sight of reality and the negative perceptions that are created.

Ravi Patel

“Mismanaging” Your Time

There is enough written about time management and numerous seminars are available to obtain practical tools. So, this is not a blog on how to effectively manage your time.

Instead, think about time management in another way. If you don’t have time to get things done, are you actually doing the Right Things? You might be “mismanaging” your time!

Entrepreneurs, especially early in their careers, often have a tendency to not only do everything themselves, but also focus on doing tasks right – whether they are important or not!

The focus for Entrepreneurs should be to define and do the Right Things and delegate the rest. Once you discover and focus on the Right Things, you will probably have more time to do them. Wasting time on things that Entrepreneurs like to do, being perfect on insignificant tasks, or not delegating steals time from more important things to do for your business.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel