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How To Be A Great Leader When Leadership Doesn’t Come Naturally To You

These people may not be famous, but they are important nevertheless.

Jeff Broth

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Some people are born leaders. Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela – these are all examples of greater leaders, people who changed the world and left an indelible mark on history. Not all leaders end up in the history books. There are many great leaders in the workplace. These people may not be famous, but they are important nevertheless.

Most great leaders show leadership potential from an early age. They are the people who take on leadership roles at school, college, and in life. Other people look up to them; they have an innate sense of gravitas. For a natural born leader, stepping up to the plate and taking on a leadership role comes easily to them. However, there are people who would rather take a back seat. We are talking about the introverts and the shy types who hate being the centre of attention.

Sometimes we are propelled into a leadership role when the very thought of leading others makes us weak at the knees. Perhaps we have been offered a promotion on the back of some outstanding work, but the new job involves taking on a managerial position with junior employees to manage on a day-to-day basis.

Related: 25 Leadership Lessons From Millionaire Business Owners

Alternatively, perhaps this is a life of death situation and there is nobody else who can lead the group to safety (don’t laugh; you never know when this might happen to you!). Either way, don’t despair because you can still develop leadership skills, even if you are not a natural leader.

Listening Skills

Introverts can make great leaders. It may sound counter intuitive, but an introvert isn’t motivated by ego, so they are happy to let others have their say. Whereas an extrovert will want to be the centre of attention and talk over people in the process, an introvert will be content in taking a backseat in group discussions, which is the best place to gain a better oversight of the issue at hand.

Build Relationships

It’s understandable that leading a large group of people is going to feel uncomfortable, but as an introvert, you are at your best when you are working one-on-one. Use this to your advantage.

Take time out to talk to individuals and use your natural skills to delve deeper into problems and look for solutions.

Guide and Direct

alpha-male

Some leaders are very dominant individuals, the classic “Alpha Male” types like Donald Trump. These people get results by being larger than life and shouting a lot. For an introvert, this approach won’t work, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to.

Be a quiet leader. Offer advice, direction and guidance quietly and confidently. This creates a more nurturing environment where employees have the space to grow and feel comfortable offering their unique perspective on issues.

You don’t need to be a controlling megalomaniac to be a successful leader. Creating a culture where people are afraid of failing is unhealthy in the extreme. Your strengths lie in being empathetic and quietly decisive, to use this to your advantage.

Just because you are an introvert, it doesn’t mean you are a pushover.

Related: Leadership: A Potent Combination Of Strategy And Character

Is a Leadership Role Right for You?

Some people are just not comfortable in a leadership role. If this is you, finding an online business consulting company to guide you may help, but don’t be afraid to turn down a role if you strongly feel it’s not a good fit for your skillset.

Not everyone can – or wants to be – a leader, and if you are a square peg in a round hole, it won’t be good for you or the company. Be true to yourself, always.

Jeff Broth, a business writer and advisor. Consulted for SMB owners and entrepreneurs for 7 years now. Mainly covering finance, stocks and emerging fintech trends.

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV

The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.

Alfa Romeo

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The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession. The Stelvio pass is widely seen as one of the most beautiful and engaging roads on the planet.

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Enhance Your Entrepreneurial Flair With An Online Postgraduate Diploma From The University Of Pretoria

The Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria, a leader in business management education, will be offering an Online Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship for the 2018 academic year with some seminars to enrich your action learning experience.

Dr Alex Antonites

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The Department of Business Management at the University of Pretoria, a leader in business management education, will be offering an Online Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship for the 2018 academic year with some seminars to enrich your action learning experience.

The programme content focuses on the start-up processes, creativity and opportunity recognition, business planning and marketing as well as financial management. Furthermore, the programme emphasises entrepreneurial growth and small business policy development with relevance to the enabling environment.

Who should enrol?

The programme is designed for pre-, nascent and start-up entrepreneurs who want to attain an advanced degree in entrepreneurship. It is also intended for individuals who work in an entrepreneurial environment and are involved with small business policy development. Although many students in the programme have academic credentials in entrepreneurship or business management, the programme is also appropriate if your education and/or experience may be in other disciplines (e.g. engineering or medicine).

Admission requirements

A relevant bachelor’s degree.

Related: This Enterprises UP Expert Explains Why Start-Ups Really Fail

Additional programme information

The duration of the course is one year. The language of tuition is English and the course will be presented in two blocks by means of the blended learning method (70% online and 30% contact sessions). Students need continuous access to the internet to complete the course.

Course Contents

Overview of modules for Block A

  • Ideation-to-market: Starting up
  • International Business Venturing
  • Venturing Strategy Building (Part 1)

Overview of modules for Block B

  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Entrepreneurial Supply Chain Management
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Venturing Strategy Building (Part 2)

Click here for more information.

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Win A Business Makeover With Retail Capital To The Value Of R250 000

Retail Capital is giving SMEs an opportunity to win a makeover to build their brand with an investment of R250,000.

Retail Capital

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Retail Capital is giving SMEs an opportunity to win a makeover to build their brand with an investment of R250,000. During the summer campaign, SMEs are encouraged to share the vision of how they would like to see their business grow, and led by a team of experts, Retail Capital will work with the winning SME to help make their vision come true.

While South Africa’s economy is not faring well, Retail Capital CEO Karl Westvig remains optimistic about the country’s retail and hospitality sectors. “We are seeing some green shoots, with an increase in turnover in these sectors – starting from the end of September. Economic conditions remain very tough, but businesses seem to be trading well into October and we’re hoping this continues into the festive season trading.”

According to recent statistics from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), South Africa’s retail sales rose by 5.5% year-on-year in August 2017, following a downwardly revised 1.6% gain in the previous month and above market expectations of 2.3%. It is the biggest gain in retail trade since August of 2012.

Related: How To Raise Working Capital Finance

“I do believe that these sectors will see an improvement during the summer season. But, key to this will be for small business owners to ensure that they have the right amount of stock, adequate cash flow, as well as other systems in place to meet the ever-changing needs of customers,” says Westvig.

For many small businesses, however, continually adapting to market changes requires cash injections that they don’t often have.

The prize includes the following:

  • Business plan/consulting
  • Marketing strategy
  • Design and branding
  • Website and social Media and,
  • R50k capital to gear your business.

Westvig explains that the summer campaign tagline ‘Your Vision. Our Belief’ really speaks to why Retail Capital first opened its doors. “Our goal is to see the potential of small businesses and to work with them in making these become a reality.”

He adds that the idea is not to simply help one business during the campaign either. Westvig points out that one of the biggest challenges that small businesses face in the sluggish economy is enough foot traffic through their doors. “Generally, the main hurdle in creating brand awareness and projecting credibility of their establishments boils down to establishing a strong online presence.”

“One of the first ways that South Africans identify a business or service provider that they want to work with is over social media – even in a country where the digital divide has traditionally separated the technological haves from the have-nots,” he says.

He explains that companies that don’t have a social media presence are running the risk of being overlooked entirely. “They may attract customers in their own community with signage or word of mouth, but to grow a business, they need to expand their reach – and that’s where social media comes in.”

But, the reality is that resource and time constraints mean that for many SMEs, social media is not prioritised. “Unfortunately for the average small business owner, they don’t have the time or expertise to get connected.”

Understanding the importance of having an online presence, Retail Capital has also committed to developing the digital presence of all campaign entrants. This would include setting up each entrant’s digital presence on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Zomato and any others that may be relevant to their specific market or industry.

“As a partner to many SMEs in South Africa, we are continually looking at new and innovative ways to help provide them with the much-needed support in order for them to realise their visions. SMEs need to be supported with initiatives like targeted education and training, supportive legislation, and funding opportunities that collectively help them grow our national economy,” says Westvig.

Related: 6 Great Tips For A Successful Shark Tank Pitch

Who we are and what we do:

“More than R1.25 billion has been extended to a range of businesses including food trucks, hair salons, restaurants, spas and franchised retail stores. Many of these businesses have not been able to raise funding in any other way, other than to go to unscrupulous lenders,”says Karl Westvig, the CEO Retail Capital, a company that provides working capital with the help of innovative lending technology.

“We have also estimated that for every R160 000 we lend, we create a new job. This means that 625 jobs have been created purely by enabling small businesses to get the funding they need for working capital requirements or expansion opportunities.”

Retail Capital’s system, which enables it to advance funding to small businesses, based on real time information on credit card transactions, is providing a new funding alternative to entrepreneurs who have previously been turned away by banks. Because it is able to get actual sales information, it can approve funding immediately, and allow for flexible repayment options based on sales cycles of the particular businesses it is funding.

“This creates significant opportunity for small business owners to focus on their business and grow volumes or look for expansion opportunities rather than spend their time frantically trying to repay debt or keep the business alive after debt repayments have eaten away at any cash reserves they might have had.”

Retail Capital funding is repaid by it taking a percentage of a business’s recorded credit or debit card sales, with repayments fluctuating in line with their business cycle. This has the effect of ensuring that it isn’t overburdened with debt.

“In the past six years since starting the business, small businesses have had the benefit of R1 billion in funding they would have been unable to get through traditional channels,”says Westvig.

Against the backdrop of recessionary conditions in South Africa, Retail Capital’s client information reveals growth in informal sector turnover across a number of industries.

“We believe that growth in the informal sector is outstripping that of the formal sector,”says Westvig.

As a large proportion of the businesses it funds are women- and black-owned, there is evidence that entrepreneurs who have previously been excluded from access to finance are now enjoying success now that their access to finance problem has been solved.

Win A Business Makeover with Retail Capital

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