Tag - leadership

Secrets of Leadership : 9 Traits of Effective Leaders

Traits of effective leaders. I can bet this has crossed your mind on several occasions. It won’t be surprising you stay up late asking what makes business leaders so effective?

 

Steve Jobs’ effective leadership took Apple to where it is. Elon Musk took SpaceX and Tesla to its heights. Likewise, Mark Zuckerberg took Facebook global and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos made it huge.

 

“When you were made a leader, you weren’t given a crown; you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others”. – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.

 

Thence looking at these successful entrepreneurs something about them jumps right at you. You realize they have the traits of effective leaders. You look at yourself and wonder if you have those traits as well.

 

Also it’s no secret that a business or an organization needs an effective leader to succeed. However, don’t beat yourself up thinking you don’t have these traits. You do. The traits are buried within, you only need to look deep within to bring them to the surface.

 

Traits of Effective Leaders

I can tell you for free that if you have the following traits be rest assured you have what it takes to effectively lead your minions.

 

  • Motivational and Self-motivated

This leader influences you and gives you a strong reason to act or accomplish something. Likewise, they are motivated to do or achieve something due to their own enthusiasm and interest, without pressure from others.

 

Traits of effective leaders

 

  • Empathy

This is the ability to understand and share what another is feeling. The capacity to place oneself in another’s position. In addition they are personable, have high emotional intelligence and very compassionate.

 

  • Visionary

An effective leader has unique and original ideas about the future. With imagination he makes wise plans for the future. Also, empowers others.

 

  • Self-reflection

Equally important is self-reflection. This trait allows you to have serious thoughts about your character and actions. It gives you the ability to combine instinct (intuition) with facts. And such leaders are willing to learn.

 

  • Dauntless

An effective leader is fearless and determined. Confident, poise, courageous and stares down the naysayers. He hangs in there even when others around him say it can’t be done.

 

  • Adaptability

Being able to adjust to new conditions no matter the circumstances. Effective business leaders know how to drive through failure and make it work.

 

  • Excellent Communication Skills

The traits of an effective leader entail the ability to write and speak in clear and simple terms without compounding issues in time of crisis.

 

Traits of effective leaders

  • Creativity

The use of imagination or original ideas to create something new that adds value. It could be in terms of product, services or the standard of operating the organization.

 

  • Ethics

This trait entails the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour most especially in a business environment. How do you comport yourself as a leader? Are you worthy of emulation? Or do you let everyone in your fold run wild?

 

There are different styles of leadership. No two leaders are the same, but the traits of an effective leader are the same across board. These traits aren’t necessarily inborn but they can be developed. Growing these traits takes you closer to being an effective business leader.

 

Additionally it takes an effective business leader among other things to make a business succeed.

Saving A Dying Business

How to Save a Dying Business

We have identified what signs to look out for to know if a business is dying but why wait till the business plunges when we can be observant in the daily operation of the business. Even when you see the signs that you have a dying business on your lap it is still not enough reason to pack up shop rather it is a wake up call to ensure all your efforts and resources does not go to waste.

You can still make that dying business a success. Here are some proven tested ways to turn around a dying business before it hits rock bottom.

  • Identify exactly where the business is presently and what it needs. Does it need a face lift or total overhauling? This is when you decide to either Pivot (it could be to change the direction of the business, your marketing strategy, customer care strategy, your customer base, your products and services or your business model. It entails your team identifying what exactly needs to be changed and what it should be changed to for results) or Persevere (continue as you have been doing knowing fully well you are on the right track). I recommend “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries for better understanding.
  • Re-brand your products and services to re-position your business and overhaul the impressions customers have formed about your business.
  • Focus by narrowing down your products and services. Carve out your niche to help streamline your resources and ensure you get one thing right at a time.
  • Revisit your Customer Care practice. You will be surprised at what something as little as Customer Care can do to your dying business.
  • In this period the 20% of your customers that bring in 80% of your business (check Pareto Principle for that) should not be left in the dark as to what is happening. Be open to them, they just might know who or what your dying business needs for that turnaround.
  • Before you come up with a new Business or Marketing Plan seek and re-evaluate your customer’s view on what needs they expect your business to meet because overtime your customers’ tastes will change and you need to change with it if you still want to remain in business.
  • Cut off the bad debts customers, the ones that do not pay on time and the high maintenance cost customers.
  • Ruthlessly cut down costs and unnecessary expenses the business may have incurred over time. Close down the branches that are not generating income.
  • Set up a team to investigate your marketing strategy; change it if the need arises (most likely you will need to).
  • Read and Research everything you can find on your niche of business.
  • Qualification and Management: Are the people in your management team qualified for the job or did they get it on a man know man basis? If not it is high-time you overhauled them and employ qualified hands.
  • Bring in a tried and trusted Consultant to give you a third party view on what needs to be done. This is essential since they will not attach sentiments and immediately see what is wrong with the business.
  • Get a good legal representative if you do not already have one to advise you on every step you intend to take so as not to incur costs by being sued.
  • Motivate your employees; their morale and self confidence could drastically be affected as soon as they start noticing the decline in business. Motivating them will bring back the can-do spirit they once had. At all cost ensure you keep the high performance managers and employees.
  • Communication is key. Make sure you run an open house especially to key players in your business.
  • Lastly if you have done your best and still could not revive the dying business sell it off to more capable hands and try a new idea with the proceeds you make from the sales. The idea is to never give up as an entrepreneur. The big names you hear today made a lot of failures before they made the successful business you know about.
Business Failure Yardstick
Business Failure Signs

Business Failure Signs

In every clime the first five years make or mar a business. This is the period that determines if the business will succeed or not. Not until few months to the final melt down do entrepreneurs realize the business is going under and start scrambling to save it meanwhile the business failure signs had been there forever.

A business does not just collapse suddenly; there are signs but most entrepreneurs ignore the signs while most do not even recognize these signs. If these signs had been taken into consideration and dealt with early on the chance of survival would have been higher.

What are these business failure signs and how do we know a business is heading towards closure?

It is a general belief that entrepreneurs have it easy; no they don’t. A lot goes into making a business stand the test of time. There are economic, social, financial, technological and psychological factors that affects the continuity of a business. A perfect or almost perfect blend of all these factors increases the survival of a business.

It is of the essence to recognize the most common and visible signs of a failing business before doomsday so as to decide whether to pivot (change the direction of the business) or persevere (stay the course but make necessary changes to enhance the survival of the business). For further understanding of Pivot or Persevere I recommend you read the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries. You can get it here.

SIGNS OF A DYING BUSINESS

  • Poor cash flow management. Cash flow is the life blood of a business; if not properly managed sends the business crashing. There is a big problem when you do not know when and what to spend on or save.
  • When your clients have nothing positive to say about you or your business and cannot even refer you.
  • Your clients constantly get excuses instead of results.
  • When the satisfaction of the entrepreneur(s) comes before the customer’s.
  • Whether a business is non-profit or not one of the entrepreneur’s motivating factor is profit; if at most after a year the business is not making profit or breaking even there is a problem.
  • As an entrepreneur if you do not love what you do; how do you get people to buy into your idea thereby sustaining the business?
  • When a business lacks in innovation and unique ideas it is gradually dying.
  • When your employees have low morale; employees are the internal customers, satisfying them goes a long way in determining how well they satisfy the external customers.
  • A business set up by greedy entrepreneur(s) is headed for the rocks.
  • When an entrepreneur constantly ignores the market trends and his competitors.
  • The negligence of an entrepreneur and his management is a recipe for business failure.
  • When the growth rate of a business is slow and the parties involved are not driven to proffer solutions to the problem.
  • Expansion without focus: Before expansion a business should focus on one thing. After it succeeds in that one thing it can diversify into other areas.

The points listed boils down to the factors listed in the diagram above. Failure to properly put them into consideration while planning would eventually lead to a business failure. Avoiding these loopholes increases the chance of a business surviving.

Do you feel we have left out helpful tips as to how to identify business failure signs please feel free to drop them as comments.

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