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. Change is effective only if accepted!

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


Find a Remedy

Don’t find fault, find a remedy – Henry Ford.

Entrepreneurs could learn a lot from this simple statement.

In our 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

Learning from Losing

Many sports coaches have considered winning to be the only thing that matters. But, is losing always a bad thing? Losing could teach one valuable lessons.

If you always lose because you are not good at something or you have not done enough to prepare yourself to win, then losing has no redeeming qualities. However, if you are in top shape, are always practicing and improving, losing to a slightly better competitor is not necessarily all that bad.

Losing can lead to winning if you learn the lessons from your loss. What did the winner do differently? What could you have done better? Where did you feel you needed more effort or skill? If you can answer these type of questions, then they could be winning lessons from losing.

Entrepreneurs can also learn the same winning lessons from losses or failures. If you learn from losses and make changes to improve your business and grow stronger, it is in fact quite positive.

Losing is not a bad thing if you learn some winning lessons from it.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on January 5, 2021 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Able or Dependable Employees?

What is more important for an Entrepreneur to seek in his employees – being able or dependable? What should be more important?

Well skilled employees provide abilities for a growing organization to build the competencies in various functional areas. An Entrepreneur does not have time to train people, thus employees with ready skills are an asset. However, there is no assurance that employees with abilities are always reliable or dependable.

An Entrepreneur needs to be able to rely on his employees to do their assigned tasks without  constant supervision, absences, tardiness, and so on. Dependable employees, despite some known weaknesses, offer the Entrepreneur a comfort level that he/she can rely upon. Such employees could be trained to mitigate their weaknesses.

It would be ideal to have all employees possess high skills and also be reliable. In the absence of such, an Entrepreneur has to build a workforce that optimally blends a pool of employees with ability and dependability.

If such an optimal situation cannot be created, whom would you rather have – able or dependable employees?

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 15, 2020 at 7:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are You a Perfectionist?

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

Entrepreneurs are generally impatient. They 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 but 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

How Do You Know if You are Improving?

“You can improve only what you measure.”

Entrepreneurs might have heard of this expression. What does it mean?

Implementing solid business processes is crucial for superior performance and growth. But, how does one know that the processes are continuously improving?

Do you have metrics in place to evaluate how well the processes are functioning? Have you identified and picked the relevant metrics? Are the measurements timely and widely communicated? Do you analyze the results and brainstorm ways to further improve the procedures?

If Entrepreneurs do not have effective measurement systems for their business processes, it will be difficult to analyze and improve your performance.

Ravi Patel

Realistic Expectations

Entrepreneurs get into business with an idea that they hope to develop into something really big.

As they put together their Business Plan, they have certain expectations of how this idea will be commercialized and the Revenues and Income that the business model would generate.

Entrepreneurs hire people and have expectations regarding their performance. Similarly they expect clients or customers, vendors, other stakeholders will work with them in certain ways.

Entrepreneurs need to be careful about having realistic expectations rather than hopeful wishes when they develop their Vision and Mission. All expectations need to be rational, and take into consideration the factors beyond the Entrepreneur’s control.

Having false expectations leads to unachievable dreams and disappointment. Moderate your expectations to be realistic, so that when your expectations are exceeded one has a reason to be jubilant.

Ravi Patel


Unintended Consequences Matter

Optimal decisions for significant matters take into account all angles, even arguing from other points of view.

Adding to this process of making good decisions, Entrepreneurs should also weigh unintended consequences of their decisions. Did you evaluate, at least for significant issues, potential unintended consequences?

Take an example of developing an incentive program. If you have developed a program that correlates high performance with high reward, it is of course your intended consequence. But, what about unintended consequences of employees cheating or manipulating the system to obtain higher compensation? How have you protected the company against such unintended consequences?

When making crucial decisions consider potential unintended consequences and implement appropriate internal controls. Unintended, and un-thought of, consequences do matter!

Ravi Patel


Empower Your Employees to “Think Outside the Box”

Entrepreneurs start ventures because they have new, innovative ideas as a result of “thinking outside the box.” They often identify under-served niches in the marketplace and seek unique ways to fulfill unmet or unrecognized needs.

Once they start and grow the business, do Entrepreneurs foster the culture of “Thinking Outside the Box” in their employees?

The Entrepreneur’s original initiative due to creative thinking is also applicable to his/her organization. If the culture of the company is one of innovation and finding unique ways of doing things better and faster, it will promote not only continued success for the company but also tremendous job satisfaction for the employees.

Entrepreneurs should be careful not to create a control-oriented impression that “Thinking Outside the Box” is only meant for them. It gives a feeling of “Do what I say, not what I do.”

Empower your employees and let them come up with creative ways to perform their jobs better and improve processes in the company. Entrepreneurs too, for this employee performance management philosophy, should think outside the box!

Ravi Patel

Strive for Excellence, But Judiciously

Striving for excellence in everything is a noble goal.

However, if one becomes too focused on perfection on trivial things or items, the benefits may outweigh the time and resources devoted to achieving excellence.

Entrepreneurs need to be aware that they cannot ask themselves and their organizations to strive for excellence in everything. Focus on a few goals and aim for excellence on those, but de-prioritize lower-level projects and just accomplish them well. The resources of your organization should be allocated judiciously on higher priority goals requiring excellence.

It is okay to be excellent on major items, but good on minor ones.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on June 9, 2020 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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