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

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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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Be Decisive

An Entrepreneur needs to be decisive to be a good leader. A decisive person shows the ability to make decisions quickly but effectively.

When an Entrepreneur takes too long to make a decision – either due to lack of knowledge or fear of making the wrong one, it creates a period of anxiety in the employees. Uncertainty in any organization is a killer.

Procrastination is not an admirable virtue for great leaders. It is often better to learn to say “yes” or “no” more often than “maybe.” Your employees will respect you for making quick decisions even though you might be wrong sometimes.

Being decisive does not mean being impulsive or basing decisions on your gut feel. You need to consider all pertinent facts in arriving at the decision, but don’t over-analyze and delay unnecessarily.

Entrepreneurs need to lead by example. Being decisive themselves will instill the same level of rapid response in the rest of the organization.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on March 26, 2019 at 4:36 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 grandiose, has to be sold to people for its acceptance. A true leader goes about it the proper way.

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

Published in: on March 5, 2019 at 4:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Culture of Finding Solutions

Don’t find fault, find a remedy – Henry Ford . Entrepreneurs could learn from this statement.

In a 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

Published in: on February 12, 2019 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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When to Let Go

“Don’t let go too soon and don’t hang on too long.” – Mitch Albom. Quite useful advice for Entrepreneurs.

It is always a delicate balance as to when an Entrepreneur needs to let go and delegate responsibility of his/her business to someone else. If one leaves too early, the Mission and Vision might remain unaccomplished. On the other hand, hanging on too long might jeopardize long-term success.

Leaving the business to pursue other ventures is all dependent on to whom the Entrepreneur is relinquishing control. If the Entrepreneur has built up a strong leadership team and a solid foundation to accomplish the Mission, delegating responsibility to run the business to a competent CEO is prudent. However, if the leadership team and the new CEO are not seasoned and well-developed, the Entrepreneur risks a lot by leaving too soon.

Hanging on too long can be an issue also. If the business has grown beyond the capability of the Entrepreneur to successfully run it, it might be damaging to hang on to power. A new CEO is then necessary. Alternatively, if the Entrepreneur has recruited a solid leadership team and a likely CEO and trained them, hanging on will be demotivating to the capable successor CEO and the  team as they cannot show off their potential.

If Entrepreneurs run the business on their  own without a secondary leadership team and want to continue doing so, they do not face the question of leaving too early or hanging on. But is that continued retention of control achieving the Mission and Vision of the business?

Ravi Patel

Published in: on February 5, 2019 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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