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Find Out If You’re A ‘Connector’ Leader Who Inspires Your Team

Leaders who are Connectors inspire and sustain the natural energies of their teams.

Carl Bates

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The Connector inherently unites people, resources and ideas. They see opportunity and how best to leverage that opportunity.

Discover how to maximise the value of this profile’s social capital, be it through your own profile or that of an executive, manager or director on your board.

Uniting Teams

Connectors have a special gift that can unite the right people at the right time and place. This ability to connect is driven from a combined understanding of what people really need and the resources and opportunities available that may best serve those needs.

They excel in communication and being able to talk through ideas, challenges and solutions to create a collective way forward in their area of expertise — the market that they know.

Related: Got The Eye of The Tiger? How To Lead Like A Champion

They are natural diplomats, who love exchanging with others and finding amicable solutions in a calm and practical manner. They will often seek opportunities to mediate for others and support the negotiation for the best possible outcome for all parties.

Connectors will quickly become disengaged if they do not feel a resonance with the underlying promise or cannot see that a solution or connection is mutually-beneficial, sustainable or practical for all parties.

Connectors who have learnt to maximise their natural energy, understand the immense value of their networks, relationships and associations. They invest in these with a long-term view to the future value of the social capital they create.

They demonstrate their ability to seek opportunities for those around them at the right time and place, and to broker value-creating solutions.

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The Connector Contribution

A Connector director brings to a board a human touch combined with a deep appreciation of the practical reality faced. They would be concerned about issues affecting the people in the company and any actions considered short-term and non-sustainable. They would be particularly focused on the stakeholders of the company and the extent to which those stakeholder relationships have been maximised.

With an eye for seeing opportunity to leverage others, the Connector director brings diplomacy and deal-making onto the board’s agenda.

Creating return by mobilising their social capital to grow the company, Connectors excel at identifying, engaging and closing deals with aligned partners and stakeholders at an ever increasing value size.

This can result in the company having access to best-in-class research, resources or situations where one strategic relationship opens the door to a much bigger pool of connections.

Related: How The Motivator Ignites Greatness

A Connector director who struggles to maximise their natural energy is one who may have a broad base of contacts, yet does not invest enough time and focus in order for them to translate into sustainable value creation.

They can also get so carried away with the joy of creating new connections that they fail to leverage the real value of their existing database and its associated capital. This may result in an executive team pursuing leads down dead-ends or deals, once explored, that actually lack substance and meaningful potential.

A matured Connector director has learnt how to get to the point in conversations and avoid spending too much time deviating from their core focus, or consuming precious time in a board meeting drifting from the key objective being discussed.

They can therefore unlock massive value through clearly defined board outcomes that they can support to translate into effective action steps in the market place.

Connecting The Dots

The Connector contribution, whether on your board or in your team, ensures that the right people are engaged at the right time, for the right reason. When there is a need for mediation and negotiation, expect the Connector to navigate through the process with ease.

If your board does not seem able to tap into the market or source the right strategic partner, the Connector will open the right doors and expand the board’s thinking about external relationships and high-value market connections.

Related: A Catalyst Can Transform Your Board

Take Our Quiz

Answer Yes or No to the following:

  • You’re able to explain your ideas in a way that inspires your staff
  • When your ideas are questioned you listen and consider another person’s point of view
  • Networking is important to you, you believe relationships will come in handy in the future
  • When faced with conflict, you naturally act as the mediator to help reach an amicable resolution
  • You have a talent for matching the right people together who can both benefit from each other’s networks.

Answered Yes to 4 or more? Then you’re exhibiting the traits of a Connector Leader.

Carl Bates is a global entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor and director. Currently based in South Africa, he is a dynamic entrepreneur from New Zealand who guides small to medium businesses to achieve Extreme Business Success.

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Leading

How To Make Speedy Decisions As A Leader

Whom of us has not been held prisoner by our own devices of procrastination and fear? Whom has not used delaying tactics purely to play for time only to learn the true practical meaning of Shakespeares words: “I wasted time and now time doth waste me”?

Dirk Coetsee

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“Trusting one another, however can never mean trusting with the lip and mistrusting in the heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi


“Self-trust is the first secret of success” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Whom of us has not been held prisoner by our own devices of procrastination and fear? Whom has not used delaying tactics purely to play for time only to learn the true practical meaning of Shakespeares words: “I wasted time and now time doth waste me”?

Rapid decision-making

Harvard research has identified amongst other key traits of the most successful CEOs’ of Fortune 500 companies the ability to make decisions quickly and act on them at a rapid speed albeit with the inherent acknowledgement that they might get it wrong forty percent of the time.

Related: 7 Strategies For Development As An Entrepreneur

Why is speedy decision making and a rapid pace of execution so critical? Top leaders know that making quick decisions combined with swift execution creates a much better chance of success as opposed to very slow and bureaucratic verdicts underpinned by little or no action.

When there is a high level of distrust amongst the stakeholders in any entrepreneurial venture literally everything slows down as negative arguments ensue and takes up an enormous amount of precious time. Forced action underpinned by distrust loses quality and speed and can potentially bring a business to its knees.

“The speed of trust” is therefore an extremely valuable principle that all Leaders should live by, that is if they wish to serve a higher purpose than themselves and others. Those Leaders whom have developed a high level of self-trust and have earned the trust of their team members have put themselves in the very advantageous position of being empowered to move towards their vision at a rapid pace through quickfire decisions positively multiplied by confident and competent execution.

“The speed of trust” does not mean that decisions are made without careful consideration and stakeholder input putting the level of quality of execution at imminent risk. It simply means that the decision-making process is quicker than most as mistrust does not cast unnecessary shadows of doubt over the intentions and ambitions of all the stakeholders.

A Leader or Leaders whom has fostered self-trust within themselves will not go through lengthy spells of procrastination that those whom lack self -awareness and suffer from severe self- doubt has to go through.

How do I execute at the speed of trust?

How do I practically bring the principle of the “speed of trust” to fruition within my business? Firstly, ensure that this critical principal is applied throughout all business processes which starts with hiring trustworthy people and by working those out of the business whom cannot be trusted.  Secondly, as  a Leader your actions and words echo throughout every aspect of the business therefore do what you say you are going to do. Admit to your mistakes and fix them.

Thirdly be authentic in your pursuit of the vision of your business. One of the possible ways to achieve that is by being a visible and living example of the business values that you advocate as a leader.

Related: Sales Leadership: The New Frontier

Lastly in order for you to be trusted as a leader you must first show trust in others. Trust others by giving them more responsibility and verbalise your high level of trust in your team members. Passionately speak about this principle and its positive fruits at every opportunity. Make the practical display of this principle by employees or any other stakeholders known to all stakeholders and be lavish with your praise when anyone is willing to earn the trust of other team members.

A very good example of this principle in action was embodied by the Supreme Russian commander, Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov whom never lost a battle and was respected by both his men and his enemies. He earned the trust of his men by being amongst them as often as he could, by sharing their hardships and by offering them the most authentic and quality military training known to man within that period of history.

Suvorov was a humble student of warfare and documented every detail of his learning experiences which included setbacks that he faced. He observed the morale of his men first hand and ensured that he inspired them not only through his inspiring speeches but by being a living example of discipline and bravery.

I will leave the reader with an important question to ponder, one that has echoed throughout history: Do you trust enough to be trusted?

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What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Your effectiveness in scaling your business starts with the kind of leader you are. Here’s how you can build yourself up into a leader others will follow.

Nicholas Haralambous

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When you are in start-up mode it’s tough to take a step back and think about the kind of leader you are or want to be. Most of the time you’re fighting to keep your business alive, never mind think about how you lead.

This is especially challenging when it’s faster and more efficient to just step up and do things yourself. It’s easier for you to make the decisions, do the work, check the work, follow up on the work, etc. However, it’s this situation that prevents young companies from scaling to the next level.

Ask More Questions

I work really hard every day to be quieter. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail so dismally that I actually do more damage than good. You see, I like to talk. I like to hear other people talk and I like to bash around ideas until they become something bigger, something better and something that can move from idea into action.

Related: Your Leadership Journey Starts Now… And Go!

Coupled with liking to talk, I also like being right. Who doesn’t? Add onto these two things the fact that I like to read and research and then throw in a teeny bit of ego or pride and it’s a recipe for leadership disaster.

If I am the most well-read, loudest and most opinionated person in a meeting then all that happens is that I end up pitching an idea, getting everyone to agree with this idea and then assigning the work on the idea to become a reality. Basically, I am working with, for and amongst myself. It’s an echo chamber that leads to bad ideas surviving and an unhappy team leaving.

The Collective Is More Intelligent Than the Individual

As a leader and founder, you probably feel like you are the person with the best understanding of the problem you are trying to solve and the best person to solve the problem. This can lead to a dictatorial approach to leadership, team inclusion and problem solving. You have an idea, you tell your team and they do what you tell them.

If this is how you do it then I have to ask you a simple question: Why did you hire smart people? Just so you could tell them what to do? If that’s the case rather hire capable but cheap people, not the best.

Your best people are there to help you scale your business beyond your own thinking and time. There are a set amount of hours in the day. There are only so many emails you can answer in your day.

A good example in my business is customer support. We pride ourselves in our impeccable customer service online and offline. I can’t physically answer every question posed by customers but I can hire incredible colleagues, entrust them with my vision and views on our customers and then trust them to go out and use their good judgement.

Work With The Best

Here’s the kicker to being a good leader: You need to work with the best people.

This is not something I say as a passing statement. I want you to stop reading right now and think about the ten people you interact with at your company every day. Are they the best people you could be working with? If not, why not? How do you find the best people and bring them into your business? Go and do that.

Related: You’re The Boss, So Be The Boss

It’s important to work with the best for two very simple reasons.

Working with the best people pushes you to be better. If you are literally the smartest person in the room in every aspect of your business it means that you are surrounded by subpar players and you are not learning anything. The people around you are meant to educate you and push your business into places you didn’t even know were there.

Second, working with the best people attracts other incredible people. If you have a business full of average team members, can you guess what kind of people they pull towards your business? More average or less than average people. Why? Because average people don’t want to be surrounded by incredible people. If they are, they look worse and not better.

It’s incredibly difficult to be a good leader all of the time. In fact, it’s close to impossible. What you can do is try to be a leader who communicates, learns and grows with your team in an open manner.

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All The Business Wisdom You Need From 4 Famous Entrepreneurs

Combine the knowledge of the greatest entrepreneurs with your own hard earned lessons.

Brian Hamilton

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There’s a lot of deification of entrepreneur “personalities.” The truth is that a few entrepreneurs, in my opinion, are probably luckier than good. But, some of the praise and deification is warranted. There have been some fantastic business leaders in this country, and one can learn a ton from studying them. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the four entrepreneurs who have taught me the most over the years.

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