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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Secondary Leadership

Entrepreneurs love to do everything themselves as they start and grow their companies. As they build staff, they do delegate operational  responsibilities as required.

However, do they delegate decision-making responsibilities and authority? Is there a clear backup person to whom the growing organization looks to make decisions in the absence of the Entrepreneur? Or, does the company postpone decisions awaiting the return of the Entrepreneur?

It is expected that when the company reaches a certain size, it should be in a position to have a secondary leadership team to run the organization. But what about the period until such a stage is reached?

An Entrepreneur needs to groom a backup person to whom the organization can rely upon and who has the authority to make certain decisions. This allows the Entrepreneur to focus on other issues that may require his/her absence from the business (or even take a vacation!).

Ravi Patel

Published in: on May 21, 2019 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Trusting People

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.  A few 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 beginning Entrepreneurs to trust outsiders. So what is the issue?

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

Published in: on May 14, 2019 at 4:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Delegation Requires Follow-Up

Entrepreneurs cannot do everything themselves in their companies so they have to assign projects, goals, and objectives, or collectively tasks to various individuals. Delegation of responsibilities is essential for growth.

Do you have a good system of tracking those tasks? If so, that is a step in the right direction. If not, you need to get a system or process that works for you.

But, more importantly, do you follow-up on the assigned tasks? Do you have a system to track the progress on the various items? Do you have a reminder system?

Assigning tasks is not enough. Monitoring the progress on the completion status of these tasks with regular follow-up is crucial. Otherwise you are sending a message to the employees that you are not going to hold them accountable.

While some employees will take the initiative to report on the progress of the assigned tasks, you need to have a system to hold all people accountable.

Follow up is critical when you delegate tasks to others. Otherwise, don’t always expect results.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on May 7, 2019 at 4:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Being Popular Shouldn’t be a Goal

A goal to be popular is not worthy in itself. Entrepreneurs could be effective leaders and be popular, but it is not always possible.

Leadership is about making the optimal decisions for the company even though they might be tough, unfair to some, and even unpopular. In order to do the right thing for the company, a leader might lose in popularity.

Entrepreneurs are often charismatic individuals and have loyal supporters within their companies due to not only their personality, but also for creating employment and opportunities for individuals. This type of following often converts to loyalty and the Entrepreneurs normally use it to motivate employees.

However if tough decisions are required, the Entrepreneur might no longer remain popular. This could happen if the Entrepreneur fails to make critical decisions when necessary, or does make them negatively affecting people.

Leadership is not always about being popular, but being tough and fair to chart the successful course for the company. If being popular comes with it, that’s great. However, do not make your decisions to be popular.

Do the Right Things by being a Leader!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on April 30, 2019 at 4:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Apologize with Sincerity

Making mistakes is human.

What separates leaders is that when mistakes are made, genuine leaders offer a sincere apology. What does that mean?

How often have you heard 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.

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!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on April 9, 2019 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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