What’s the Value of Listening Skills to a Leader?

As a business leader, listening shows that you appreciate your team and it forges trust between you and your employees.

We all feel the need to be recognised and one of the ways leaders can recognise team members is to praise them in public and be sure to give them the time they need.

It is one of the most important leadership skills you can develop.

The best leaders give their teams the necessary tools, resources, training, technology, people, and most importantly their time and attention.

Are you a Fox or a Hedgehog?

The rabbit and the tortoise. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. The three little pigs. Animals have featured in tales about morals and decisions about life since dawn began. But have you heard about the hedgehog and the fox?

The concept stems from an ancient Greek parable, which roughly translates as “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one thing”.

In 1953, famous philosopher Isaiah Berlin applied this to how we live in modern society. He said that people can be split into one of two creatures – foxes and hedgehogs.

Foxes choose to pursue a great many things at one time, but as a result, they achieve very little.

Book review: The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, by Patrick Lencioni

This masterpiece from the business author Patrick Lencioni is one of six books that inspired EOS.

Anyone familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s work will know how popular his ideas are among business leaders.

The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive is aimed at leaders with a studious nature and open to learning about business culture.  

Five leadership abilities for business growth

Growing any business entails strong leadership skills.

A good leader helps maintain and enhance the employee motivation and creativity required to increase levels of service or the products you are offering.

Signs your business growth is slowing

Businesses never grow in a straight line, they generally thrive and grow then “hit a ceiling” when they reach a period of slowdown or growing pains.

When this happens, business leaders often feel they’re stuck in a rut or overwhelmed and frustrated with daily operations.

Five leadership abilities for business growth

These five essential leadership abilities will help you break through the ceiling and get back on track:

Four ways to improve communication with remote and flexible workers

In order to stay competitive with changing work patterns, most companies need to consider a policy for remote and flexible working.

With so many advances in technology, it doesn’t make sense for people to waste time commuting during peak hours, when they can work remotely, far more conveniently and efficiently.

Companies which focus on results, rather than the number of hours seen at a desk, will be able to attract the smartest, most personally responsible and accountable team members.

I can see a number of companies outsourcing to the best person, regardless of where they are located, whether in the UK or elsewhere. For example, my outsourced marketing contractor uses a graphic designer who lives in Canada.

How to manage millennials

There is a lot of noise around at the moment about how to manage millennials.

But what exactly is a millennial? When I canvassed the team in the office, the one person we thought was a millennial – our office assistant – did not identify as one.

She described them as “following the latest trend”, “high maintenance”, “seeking approval through social media” and “shallow.”

She felt that they are afraid of showing who they really are, being themselves and it’s hard to have a genuine conversation about things that matter with them.

Although she is officially a millennial (Wikipedia defines them as having been born between 1981 to 1996 – 22 to 37 year olds), she believes it’s become more a description of a type of person than simply being defined by the dates you were born.

Setting Targets the EOS way

Most business owners recognise the importance of setting targets.

Leaders regularly set goals to achieve in the next quarter, next year, three and perhaps five years. But ten years? Really?

Introducing the BHAG

Some leaders find it difficult to set a ten year goal because they dealing with day-to-day pressures and continually firefighting.

One of my clients said; “I can’t think 10 years in advance. Why set a 10 year target?”

Implementing EOS – Self-implementation vs using a Professional EOS Implementer

Many businesses around the globe have discovered the discipline, focus and accountability that the Entrepreneurial Operating System brings.  

One of the key decisions for companies at the start of the process is how to implement EOS.

An effective implementation can mean the difference between the system working and helping a business to grow and scale, or it remaining unstructured, inefficient, disorganised – and stuck.

Are you award-winning?

Ann Wright from Rough House MediaIn this post, Ann Wright, who runs the media consultancy Rough House Media, and manages Bold Clarity’s PR and Marketing, discusses the value of businesses entering awards.

Have you ever entered your business for an award?

If not, it’s something which is well-worth considering.

Winning, or even being nominated, is an excellent opportunity for some positive PR both in the short and long-term.

Just this week, a Bold Clarity client, the security specialists Welcome Gate, has been nominated as Supply Chain Champion in the Small Awards – which would make you far more likely to trust them as a potential security supplier. (Good luck!)

After all, if you win, you will always be able to describe your business as “award-winning” which definitely gives you an edge over your competitors.

The 10 commandments of good decision making

The 10 commandments of good decision-making, from the free e-book Decide

The 10 Commandments of Good Decision-Making are taken from the e-book Decide which was written by EOS founder Gino Wickman.

Decide will teach you how to make better and faster decisions, solving issues that have been lingering for days, weeks, months, and even years.

As well as the 10 commandments, you’ll also learn the four discoveries that lead to world-class decisiveness and be shown a simple and effective decision-making track that can be used by every team in your company.

If you’d like to more help with good decision-making, you can download a free copy of Decide,  here.

The Ten Commandments of Good Decision Making

 

1. Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus

Consensus management doesn’t work, period. Eventually, group consensus decisions will put you out of business.

2. Thou Shalt Not be a Weenie

The solution is often simple. It’s just not always easy. You must have a strong will, firm resolve, and the willingness to make the tough decision.

3. Thou Shalt Be Decisive

In a study that analyzed 25,000 people who had experienced failure. Lack of decision, or procrastination, was one of the major causes.

4. Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information

You can’t solve an issue involving multiple people without all the parties present. If the issue at hand involves more than the people in the room, schedule a time when everyone can attend.

5. Thou Shalt Fight for the Greater Good

Put your egos, titles, emotions, and past beliefs aside. Focus on the vision for your organization. If you stay focused on the greater good, it will lead you to better and faster decisions.

6. Thou Shalt Not Try to Solve Them All

Take issues one at a time, in order of priority. What counts isn’t quantity but quality. You’re never going to solve them all at one time.

7. Thou Shalt Live With, End It, or Change It

If you can no longer live with the issue, you have two options: change it or end it. If you don’t have the wherewithal to do those, then agree to live with it and stop complaining.

8. Thou Shalt Choose Short-Term Pain and Suffering

Both long-term and short-term pain involve suffering. A great rule of thumb that makes this point is called “thirty-six hours of pain.” Solve your problem now rather than later. Choose short-term suffering.

9. Thou Shalt Enter the Danger

The issue you fear the most is the one you most need to discuss and resolve. When you’re afraid, your brain actually works against you. Being open and honest will enable you to confront and solve your critical issues and get moving forward again.

10. Thou Shalt Take a Shot

Taking a shot means that you should propose a solution. Don’t wait around for someone else to solve it. Don’t be afraid to take a shot. Yours might be the good idea.

The e-book Decide by Gino Wickman is full of great advice about good decision making. To download your copy, click here. 

Book review: The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey

The other day, I was talking with a tech entrepreneur and asked him “What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?

He replied “Me, I’m the bottleneck. I tend to see something isn’t working, and I jump in and get involved.”

Most dedicated business owners can relate to this.

Letting go of the reins and handing them over your employees can be a real struggle, and if you want to grow your business, you’ve got to do it.

Business owners must carefully define the roles and responsibilities of the company, hand these jobs to the right person and have the confidence not to jump in or micromanage every task.

If you struggle with “bottleneck syndrome”, we recommend Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.

London Kolbe Certification Seminar

As a big fan of Kolbe, and a Certified Consultant, I was delighted to hear that they are bringing their signature three-day certification seminar to the UK for the first time this April.

The Kolbe A Index is a brilliant way to identify people’s natural talents and help individuals and organisations utilise those talents productively.

It assesses people on four different types of behaviour: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor. Each trait is regarded as equally positive and is rated on an inverted scale of 1-10 on what Kolbe terms a Continuum.

The value of outsourcing core skills

Don’t do what doesn’t need doing.

Figure out your strengths and what you love, and resource everything else.

When you started your business, you probably did a number of non-core things in an attempt to save money.

And even once a business has grown, leaders often don’t consider outsourcing key skills, roles or  responsibilities.

However, today’s market has changed.

How to build positive team culture in your business

Building a good team culture in your business is essential. It can be the difference between success or failure, stagnation or growth.

When I founded my first business, Retail Profile, we started small.

Despite this, we consistently doubled the size of our business without growing the size of our team.

This was because we consciously set out to build an amazing team culture that made sure everyone fitted in, felt involved, felt valued and everyone shared the company vision.

What’s first? Traction or vision?

One of the favourite sayings of EOS implementers is “Vision without traction is merely hallucination.”

Vision and Traction are two of the elements, along with Healthy, which make up the Entrepreneurial Operating System.

  1. Vision: ensuring everyone shares the same outlook on where your organisation is heading, and how it will get there.
  2. Traction: bringing discipline through responsibility and accountability, so you can execute to achieve every part of your vision
  3. Healthy: help them become a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership team, because unfortunately, leaders don’t always function well as a team

Which should come first – traction or vision?

How to design your hiring process

Hiring the right staff is one of your most important tasks – if you don’t have the right people in the right seats, it can have a real impact on success of your business.

It is important to hire people who share the vision and culture of your business.

Here, our intregrator Majida Burch, describes the steps we take to make sure we hire staff who meet our vision and values.

How to find the right peer group

It’s rare that anyone who starts their own business has a totally smooth ride. Ask any entrepreneur what they learn most from, and they’re bound to say their mistakes – and the lessons they learnt.

And I’m no different. I have experienced the entrepreneurial roller coaster.

Since 2001, I’ve launched a business in three European countries and have also lost a business, restarted it, rebuilt it, merged the business with my largest competitor and exited.

In 2014, I started my current business, Bold Clarity.

Regardless of where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s vital to have a network around you who understand what you’re going through, can revel in the good times, and can help and support you through the bad.

Throughout this journey, I have had a supportive peer group of entrepreneurs.

There are many different networking and support groups aimed at business owners, both non-profit and some are for profit.