Working Hand in Hand

Leaders lead from being in front of their people – not only in their thinking but also sometimes physically.

However, if Entrepreneurs are always ahead of their people, they might not follow. This could be for many reasons. Entrepreneurs might not have fully convinced employees of the reason for the task at hand; they might have previously seen you in action and are hesitant; or they don’t fully know you yet as they have not seen how you work.

Entrepreneurs might want to lead their people by being and  working side by side with their employees to mitigate these reasons..

Leadership by example can only happen if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work with your employees in doing tasks that are necessary. That means physically working besides your people rather than isolating yourself.

Leadership does not always mean that you decide and your people follow. Work with your people to tackle issues and develop with them solutions that need to be implemented. Think with them by involving employees in the process.

Situational leadership demands different styles – leading from beside your people is one of them.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

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Perseverance is Neccessary

Perseverance is defined as the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur possess this quality to be successful? Facing difficulty, obstacles, discouragement, setbacks and even failures are nothing new for Entrepreneurs. Frustration due to obstacles is common for all endeavors. The successful Entrepreneurs are those who keep on going and overcome obstacles.

Entrepreneurs who come through even after facing challenges are the ones who have a laser focus on their Mission and can navigate a steady, persistent course without being unduly discouraged. The story about the spider weaving a web despite repeated failures comes to mind.

If you desire to succeed in achieving your Mission, have perseverance! Your people will be inspired and support your efforts.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 4:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Credible

Talking a great game is easy for a lot of people. They convince others that they are successful even though they might not have done anything. Are they credible?

Entrepreneurs should learn from such people how not to conduct themselves.

Whenever speaking about your product, capabilities and skills, be confident and assertive yet understated. Don’t oversell yourself. In any case, don’t lie.

Let your actions speak loudly. Be exceptional in delivering results and let that do the talking for you. People who need to will be more impressed with your results rather than your promises.

Be understated in your talk, but exceptional in your actions to build credibility!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 7, 2017 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are People Listening?

Do people appear to be hearing you intently, but end up doing something quite contrary or not exactly in line with what you were asking them to do? In all these situations, people are indeed hearing you, but not listening. There is a significant distinction.

The other day I was in a restaurant and asked the waitress for a glass of water without ice. She did bring me the glass of water, but with ice. She heard me say water, but did not listen completely for it to register that I did not want ice.

Entrepreneurs should be aware that what they ask their people may be heard by them, but they might not be listening completely to follow the request correctly. What should Entrepreneurs do? Develop a routine to ask their people to repeat or paraphrase what is being requested of them, especially for significant issues. This allows the Entrepreneur to confirm that the listening process was correct and complete.

Entrepreneurs too should be mindful that they listen to their employees completely and do not fall into the trap of perfunctory hearing. Effective communication is a two-way street!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com

Knowing Your Weaknesses

As Clint Eastwood famously remarked in one of his movies, “… a man has to know his limitations,” should you know the weaknesses in your business?

The obvious answer is “yes.” More importantly, how do you find out your weaknesses?

Entrepreneurs can do honest assessments and perform an in-depth, critical reviews. They could involve the management team in this process and have them openly, without fear of recrimination, list each area of weakness in the business. Have each manager of a functional area review not only his/her own area, but also other functions in the company.

Entrepreneurs can also solicit frank feedback from the Board of Directors and mentors regarding the areas that need improvement. Such feedback is more likely to be objective depending upon their relationship with the Entrepreneurs.

The truest assessment of your weaknesses will come from competitors if you can obtain such information. Competitors analyze the business of their rivals very carefully to develop strategies to compete not only against their strengths but also to exploit their weaknesses. If you can find a way to gain analysis of your weaknesses performed by your competitors, it would be very useful in your strategic planning process.

Something to ponder ….

Ravi Patel

http://www.PatelCFOServices.com

Published in: on September 26, 2017 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Have a Playbook

With the football season is in full swing, it is impossible to miss the coaches on the sidelines with a color-coded sheet of possible plays to be called for that game. The head coach with all the assistant coaches spend hours prior to the game analyzing their competitor’s game, strengths and weaknesses, strategies and so on and blend it with their own team’s core competencies to create a game-plan for winning. Disciplined coaches with a good playbook are generally winners.

Entrepreneurs, do you have similar “playbook” for major strategic actions to be used against, in or with competitors, marketplace, economy, opportunities, employees and so on? Have you worked with your key leadership team to develop such a playbook?

Winning on the field, analogous to the marketplace, requires a lot of planning, analysis, strategizing to come up with the ideal game-plan for success. A playbook for winning a football game is similar to one required for succeeding in business.

Create a playbook for your business and ensure that you call the right play for the situation. Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.PatelCFOServices.com

Demand Progress, Not Perfection

How often have you heard someone say “I am perfectionist.” It might sound good, but it is not helpful for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are generally impatient and need to see the fruits of their invention right away. If they wait to perfect it, they get bored and move on to something else. The market will not wait either – getting it to the market first is the name of the game.

As Entrepreneurs grow their business, they should be striving for measurable progress on established goals rather than perfection at a point in time. Sustained progress in the right direction is desirable than perfecting some aspect of the product, process or service without overall forward movement.

An idea that is ninety percent complete and implemented is better than something that is not put into practice as it waits to be perfected.

While perfection might be appropriate for artists and scientists, Entrepreneurs need to be progress driven! Show leadership by demanding progress from your employees instead of perfection.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Survival of the Fittest

Entrepreneurs can learn from the law of the jungle – “survival of the fittest.”

Entrepreneurs must find ways to survive in any economy and business climate. Having the best product or service, superior management, strong processes and so on are not the only things necessary for survival.

Imagine the cheetah – the fastest animal on earth. However if not alert, a lion or other predator will devour the cheetah. Being fast would not help then.

Having the best of everything is not sufficient for Entrepreneurs. Survival requires being alert, adaptive and quick to react to the changing circumstances. Relying on one’s past successes is not adequate for survival in the future.

Being fittest in this environment does not necessarily mean being the best. It requires having “street-smarts” to navigate through these troubling times.

Are you fit enough to survive?

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on August 22, 2017 at 3:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rapid Growth Isn’t For Everyone

Entrepreneurs are mostly focused on growing their companies and would like nothing more than rapid growth. However, is rapid growth good for all Entrepreneurs? Not necessarily.

Being ready for and managing rapid growth requires tremendous preparation and infrastructure. In addition to unique product and services and a solid management team, items such as adequate facilities, reliable IT infrastructure, communication systems, developed business processes, working capital lines of credit, access to growth capital, a group of professional advisers (lawyers, accountants, etc.), an industry advisory group or Board, and so on must be in place.

Most Entrepreneurs have a few of these things in place as they expand, but reach a crisis point when certain required elements are not readily available or in place.

While rapid growth is desirable, Entrepreneurs must ensure that they have in place the requirements to manage such growth . Otherwise, rapid growth might not be good for them.

Ravi Patel

www.patelcfoservices.com

Published in: on August 15, 2017 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Developing a Management Team

Without having the benefit of an experienced, professional, and cohesive senior management team when they start and grow their companies, Entrepreneurs in order to expand and be successful in the long term must build a capable management team.

Blending in-house, on-the-job trained leaders complemented by key, experienced outside professionals (hired over a period), provide the Entrepreneurs the most cost-effective team. Identifying in-house personnel and training them to be managers should be the Entrepreneur’s focus once day-to-day operations have been delegated. Assessing the gaps in leadership, determining the management needs and recruiting appropriate outside leaders becomes the next step.

Having a management team in place is not enough. Entrepreneurs continually need to develop teamwork and cohesion to make the executives more effective for the long term. Entrepreneurs should find ways to train, motivate and reward the management team in a way that facilitates a group that can successfully grow the company, and allow the Founder/Entrepreneur to pursue other ventures.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com