Pacing Growth

“To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.” – William Shakespeare

As most Entrepreneurs know, starting a new business and helping it grow is akin to climbing a steep hill. If you climb too fast you run out of energy and might not get to the top; a slow pace is required at first to build up strength and stamina to reach the peak.

Entrepreneurs too need to pace their growth. At first, one needs to move slowly to ensure that all the building blocks (fully developed product or service, employees, backroom systems and processes, etc.) of the business are in place. If one starts running without these fundamentals, one might not be able to get too far.

Starting with a slower pace also ensures that you have time to make sure everything is working as intended. If corrective actions are required, you have time to fix the problems before you get too far down the road.

Once the foundation is in place and you have warmed up, you can gradually increase the pace of growth as your building blocks are strong and the business has stamina.

Pace yourself in business to climb to newer heights.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on February 4, 2020 at 6:36 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

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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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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Honor Veterans

On Veterans Day yesterday, we honored all veterans who have served and are members of the Armed Forces currently serving our country. How could Entrepreneurs honor current veterans?

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

Veterans bring with them an intrinsic understanding of how loyalty adds to team proficiency and builds trust in a work environment. For Entrepreneurs looking to make a long-term investment in an employee, veterans often outperform other candidates as proven team players.

Through service, training, and lifestyle, veterans typically have the work ethic that any Entrepreneur would be thrilled to replicate in all of the organization’s employees.

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

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on November 12, 2019 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Do What I Do

“Leadership by example” is no where more true than for Entrepreneurs as they build their companies.

When the company is just starting,  Entrepreneurs show great leadership when they roll up their sleeves and are willing to put in the effort that they demand of their employees. But then, Entrepreneurs sometimes say one thing and do something else as their companies start growing.

Entrepreneurs must ask themselves certain type of questions as they become successful:

  • Am I still putting the effort that I am asking of my employees?
  • Do I watch what I spend while I announce cost reduction programs?
  • What am I am doing to improve the company when I am preaching on continuous improvement in my organization?
  • Am I cutting corners while I demand quality from my employees?
  • Do I exhibit what it takes to provide superior customer service when demanding the same from employees?

Answers to these types of questions will determine if you are providing leadership by example. Make sure that you ask people to do what you do, not merely what you say!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on November 5, 2019 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Molding Consensus

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

Every new idea, whether small or huge, has to be sold to people for its acceptance. A true leader goes about it the right way.

Consensus is 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 molding, 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.

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

Ravi Patel

Published in: on October 8, 2019 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Leadership 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

Taking Care of the Present

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” – Buddha

“Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment” – Buddha

For Entrepreneurs the past, present and future sometimes all blends together as they try to stay afloat and on course.

The past is often a painful memory of struggles, mistakes and even failures. Entrepreneurs must selectively forget the past and only retain useful lessons to prevent the same errors. Dwelling in the past is counterproductive and drains energy away from current pursuits.

Worrying too much about the future is not good either. One needs to have a plan for the future, but constantly evaluating all current actions against what might happen in the future is not helpful.

Managing the present, by using lessons of the past, will create the future.

Entrepreneurs need to devote most of their energy to manage the present. Create the foundation, processes and effective teams to deliver current performance. Unless you can have a strong present, you might not even make it to the future.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on June 4, 2019 at 4:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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