Connect with us

Leading

Leaders Who Make Good Decisions Do These 6 Things Constantly

Bad cultures are created by bad decisions by leaders who are not ready for the accountability leadership requires.

Published

on

business-leadership-advice

The ongoing workplace difficulties at Uber – accusations of discrimination against women, rebellion among its employees and drivers against what they feel is a complete lack of appreciation for them – seem to surprise no one who worked there.

Every story I read indicates that these issues (and others) had been issues for a long time at the company. Uber’s workforce had long been frustrated with their leaders and their inability or refusal to have their backs and listen to their concerns. But, when business is good and managing growth is the only objective, who cares if the culture is failing? Things are good now!

What’s the point of making bigger, long-term decisions to keep employees motivated and their teams inspired? Those that complain can leave – and easily be replaced.

This is exactly why Uber is looking for new leaders from the top down: It knows so many of its so-called leaders were not ready for leadership responsibilities and increased levels of accountability required in today’s workplaces. It focused only on managing growth in the marketplace, not making good, thoughtful and smart decisions about the the people who worked there – as if the two were not connected at all.

What is clear is even in hard-driving cultures like the one Uber created, people still want leaders that can help them grow professionally and that have the influence to advance their careers over time. These leaders know how to organically manage from within the corporate culture, maximise resources, motivate, inspire and – most importantly – make good, sound decisions, not bad ones that create chaos.

Related: 4 Leadership Lessons You Won’t Learn In Business School

Are your leaders making the right and good decisions and thus ready for their leadership roles? Are you?

Those that are adhere to the following six behavioral patterns:

1Knowing experience matters only so much

business-marketplace

The only thing certain about business today is uncertainty. Marketplaces shift and competitors emerge globally in much less time than ever before. As a result, what succeeded 25 years ago – or even five years ago – matters only so much.

A track record of prior success doesn’t mean that it will apply within any organisation, even the industry you work in. What matters most is mindset: Leaders who are adept at being inclusive in their leadership in the workplace make good decisions by constantly seeing and seizing new opportunities.

2Refusing to play politics

Leaders that play politics lose their leadership identities, because they are always trying to serve other people’s agendas and motives that don’t align with their beliefs. That leads to bad and inauthentic decision-making.

It is possible to serve your company’s and boss’s goals and objectives and not get addicted to corporate politics. Is this always possible? No. But, at the very least, leaders who are transparent about playing politics when necessary maintain trust from the employees who depend upon them.

3Having clarity of purpose

clear-purpose

What do you stand for? Do you even know what your core values are? Do they align with what your leaders and company expect from you? Then how can you know you are making the right decisions?

Clarity of purpose allows you to make decisions that are true and consistent with the mission at hand and align it you’re your own. Lacking this clarity erodes your ability to make decisions authentically.

4Knowing how to manage resources

Do you know the resources you have at your disposal – both the human and intellectual capital and the tools and resources that are available and/or need to be acquired to compete?

I’m constantly surprised at how few leaders actually know how deep their talent is and what they need to succeed and thus make bad and uniformed decisions leading to a mismanagement of those resources. People are your playbook for success for not just managing growth but reclaiming it.

Related: These 5 Styles Of Leadership Don’t Work. Do Any Of Them Describe You?

5Being able to see and seize opportunities

Seeing and seizing opportunities are the keys to reclaiming growth and require what I call circular vision or wide-angle thinking that makes leaders proficient at anticipating crisis and managing change before circumstances force their hand.

It broadens their observation and allows them to see around, beneath and beyond the obvious detail before them.

6Trusting themselves

Do you trust yourself enough as a leader to adapt to the cultural demographic shift taking place in America’s workplaces and marketplaces? Do you have the courage and wisdom to embrace diversity of thought?

The best leaders do and thus have the trust not only of their people but also trust themselves as they lead through uncertainty, even if they can’t know whether their decisions will lead to success.

Many great leaders begin to lose self-trust as they fail or face uncertainty and thus fail to do the other five things that lead to bad decisions. Don’t fall into this trap!

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Glenn Llopis is the Chairman of the Glenn Llopis Group – a nationally recognized thought-leadership, human capital, and business strategy consulting firm. As a speaker, consultant, and executive coach to Fortune 500 companies and beyond, Glenn guides leaders and organizations to embrace a new type of thinking that helps them evolve and stay ahead of the rapid changes in the workplace and marketplace to drive growth. He is the best-selling author of the book Earning Serendipity and contributing writer to Forbes, Huffington Post, and Harvard Business Review. He has been recognized as a top 20 influential writer at Forbes and a top 100 leadership speaker and business thinker by Inc. magazine. His new book The Innovation Mentality (Entrepreneur Press) will release February 2017.

Leading

What A Grade 1 Sticker Business Taught Me About Business

It’s the very fundamentals that are frequently overlooked amid ambition and “blue sky thinking” – yet, these remain the most crucial element of any business.

Grant Field

Published

on

sticker-business

When I was a kid, my father believed that instead of getting pocket money, my brothers and I should learn how to make money. Stickers were the school craze when I was in Grade 1, and we wanted a collection for ourselves, so Dad said if we wanted to buy the stickers, we needed to make the money. So, logically, we started a sticker trading business. Dad gave us the start-up money and took us through the basics of business.

We had a cash float for purchases, and learnt about cost price, mark-up and selling price – very basic accounting. We kept recycling that money, making extra and using it to buy more stickers. Then we worked out that if we increased the mark-up, we’d make a bigger profit – so why not make the mark-up as big as possible? The obvious happened. Our prices were too high, and we lost customers.

Valuable business lesson learnt, we came back down to a mark-up that other kids were willing to pay for.

More lessons to learn

Then people came to us and asked if they could take a sticker today and pay us tomorrow. We saw no reason not to trust them. Guess what? They didn’t pay us back. We had bad debt on our hands. When we sold out of stickers, we had cash-flow issues and couldn’t buy more stock. Dad was there to help us out, though, so we received another capital injection to get back off the ground. And this time, if we did extend credit, we loaded it for the privilege of “buy now, pay later” – another lesson learnt.

We ran a proper ledger for the business, tracking our inventory, sales and profit. Even if our “bank” account was a piggy bank, we had a clear record of what was going on. When I look back on it, none of what I learnt was irrelevant.

Today, I run a leading financial services company with billions of rand running through our bank accounts. Even though the finances of the business are run on a much larger scale, the principles of business – those basic principles that we learnt trading stickers – still power our company. And when I see entrepreneurial ventures failing, or when friends come to me for advice because their business is struggling, it’s almost always because they haven’t got these basics right.

Related: Successful SA Entreps Share Their Most Valuable Business Advice Ever Received

Clarity

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is that if you don’t fully understand how the money is being made, walk away. Whether you are dealing with stickers or financial services, the business principles should be straightforward: money coming in, money going out, and profitability.

Every day, I look at an Excel statement of my company’s forty bank accounts. Every day, I look at the cashflow, and unusual big-ticket items get a note so I know what’s going on. It’s just like that Grade 1 business, only on a bigger scale.

Entrepreneur, thwarted

Once the other kids saw the success of our sticker business, they started to want to get in on the action, so they came to market with their own competing products. At first, we were able to innovate as the competition squeezed our margins and started to impact on our profits. Eventually, the whole situation got completely out of hand and the school banned sticker trading for profit.

While I didn’t become a sticker magnate, the lessons I learnt in Grade 1 remain central to every business I am involved with – get the basics right.

Continue Reading

Leading

How To Handle A Director Who Always Says No

Diverse opinions on a board is a good thing — but is it boosting your business, or hindering growth and decisions?

Carl Bates

Published

on

director-refused

Do you have that director on your board who always says ‘no’? Regardless of what the issue is, regardless of the context, who raises it or whether or not it is indeed a good idea, their response is either a simple ‘no’ or an elongated perspective on why they disagree? It can even feel at times that they are actively working against the company and against the board. Although they obviously do not see it that way.

Experienced directors will have multiple war stories related to this subject. Aspiring directors should be aware of how to approach these situations when they arise and how to avoid becoming the subject of such stories.

Develop a culture of trust, candour and professionalism

A board’s conduct must be characterised by trust, respect, candour, professionalism, accountability, diligence and commitment. It is the board’s collective responsibility to build this culture and to engage with one another in a productive and effective way.

Dissent should be welcomed when it is constructive and engaging. The idea of being the ‘devil’s advocate’ for the sake of it however, is not the best way to approach this. Dissent should be based on a real belief that the issue has not been fully debated or creates a real challenge for the company going forward.

If you have a director who genuinely believes a different path is right for the company, hear them out and engage in the discussion. In my experience, this often opens up an issue or changes a detail that when taken as part of the whole, improves the decision-making outcome for the board and the company.

Related: Contributing In The Boardroom

Remove the politics from the boardroom

At the heart of this issue is often politics. Politics between directors, who are also shareholders or executives. Politics between the ‘new guard’ and the ‘old.’ Regardless of the genesis, politics really do not have a place in the boardroom and directors who engage in it should be called out by the chairman or another senior director.

In local government I have heard stories of councillors who always vote ‘no,’ so that whenever something goes wrong, they can say “I told you so,” and show the public why they should be re-elected. But that is indeed politics. The boardroom is a very different space. It is private and discussions should be confidential.

Board rotation, a simple solution

While the removal of an errant director should never just be left to resolve itself, there is a simple solution that can support the easy removal of the most difficult directors. The challenge is that it requires forward planning prior to the appointment of any new director.

Directors should only ever be appointed for a predefined term, with automatic rotation at the end of that term. This does not stop you from reappointing a director for a further period. It is, however, always easier to ask someone to consider a further term than it is to tell them that their time has come and they should resign from the board.

Having a predefined term for a director essentially ensures an automatic resignation period. A simple rotation policy for directors is not just good governance, it is a practical step you can take to provide a way out of a sticky relationship.

Ultimately the board as a whole must address issues that detract from the board fulfilling its function as and when they arise. A rotation policy might provide an effective backstop. A high-performance board is one that will tackle the issue head-on.

Read next: How Diversity Drives Board Performance

Continue Reading

Leading

The Power Pose: Using Body Language To Lead

Use the way you move and stand and interact with others to become a better entrepreneur and leader.

Howard Feldman

Published

on

amy-cuddy-power-pose

In 2012, the power pose became a global sensation. A Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy hit a staggering 46 million views and became the second most popular Ted Talk in history. The premise was simple – hold a powerful pose and it will not only affect the way you behave but it will even change your body chemistry. Since the talk, the power pose has met with heavy criticism and been labelled as nothing more than pseudoscience. Fortunately for believers, they were proven right. Amy Cuddy released further research this year and it fundamentally proves that this bold stance works exactly how she said it did back in 2012.

The power pose isn’t something that you’d adopt in a meeting or around the office but the science behind it shows how important it is to pay attention to your body language as it can fundamentally change how you are perceived.

Notice how you are noticed

People spend a lot of time reading one another’s body language and the way a person stands or holds their hands or moves can influence how others see them. It’s very natural to judge someone else’s posture, but what about the way they are judging yours? Few people look at how their body language is affecting the way people engage with them.

Related: [Quiz] How Good Are You At Reading Others In Business?

So, what are you supposed to do?

Fake it until you make it

Want to know how can you adapt to become a better leader? You can fake it.

The power pose isn’t the only way to change your mood. Research has shown that whether you laugh naturally or put on a smile and make yourself laugh, your body still releases the same levels of serotonin.

Whether you are really laughing or just pretending to laugh doesn’t matter – they both have the same impact on your demeanour.

Change how others see you

Think about the pose that every athlete adopts when they win a race or achieve something that’s been physically taxing. They hold their hands outstretched in the air. Even blind athletes hold the same pose. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s a physical manifestation of success.

Now consider the defensive pose. The tight hunched shoulders or inward curve of the spine. These poses immediately make a person look nervous, afraid and lacking in confidence. Like the porcupine curling in on itself for protection.

The same ideas apply to daily business life. While the power pose and the athlete pose are not necessarily a team activity, ensuring that you hold your body upright and with confidence means that you’re conveying an attitude of strength. You come across as confident and capable and positive. You are ready to take on anything and overcome the odds.

By contrast, if you are hunched and withdrawn, you come across as nervous and lacking in confidence and these are not the qualities you want associated with you as an entrepreneur and a leader.

Related: (Slideshow) 5 TED Talks That May Change Your Perspective on Life

Body language for entrepreneurs

  • Shake hands like a hero. The way you shake hands with someone is very significant in terms of establishing equality. Be even, be firm but don’t pull people towards you or turn their hands under your own. This makes them feel like you are trying to establish dominance.
  • Create an atmosphere of openness. Maintain eye contact, say hello to people with warmth while holding a strong posture. A warm and open greeting is essential to establishing trust.
  • Do the power pose for two minutes before any meeting or interview. This will get those chemicals stirring and make you feel confident and in charge.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending