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How to Encourage Entrepreneurs at all Businesses, not just Start-Ups

By on Dec 19, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

What comes to mind when you think of the word “entrepreneur”? The definition from Dictionary.com is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” Some other definitions specifically refer to starting a business. But as with most English words, the best way to get to the true meaning is to look at the origins. In this case, “entrepreneur” comes from the French entreprendre: “to undertake”. A little research on the definition of “undertake” leads you to concepts like committing to a goal, starting something new, tackling objectives. Commit. Start. Tackle. Sounds like a good overview of what’s needed to really get something off the ground, right? Commit: throw yourself into it, Start: find somewhere to begin, Tackle: go after it with force. But are these qualities only valuable when starting a business? Of course...

4 Steps to Better Meetings

By on Dec 14, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

For most of us in business, meetings take up a good part of our weeks. We’ve all been in really productive meetings where everyone leaves feeling energized and accomplished. Unfortunately, we’ve also all been in the meeting where no one is quite sure of the objective and the room is filled with open laptops or fingers flying over cell phones. Way too often the meetings of today are highly inefficient and unproductive. It’s time we took a look at how we’re doing things and figure out what’s not working. First, let’s dispel a common myth. “Multitasking” became a buzzword years ago, but the truth is our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. A recent study at the University of Sussex has shown that brain damage can occur over time from too much multitasking. If we’re in a meeting and working on our presentation for the next meeting or responding to emails, we cannot truly...

Quote

By on Dec 10, 2014 in Management | 0 comments


The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. (more…)

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

5 Practical Steps to Better Hiring

By on Dec 7, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

Have you ever been on a team where one person seemed to throw everything off balance? It usually goes like this: Ideas start to flow and then this person speaks up and progress screeches to a grinding halt. The air is sucked out of the room followed by an awkward silence. This is why hiring is so critical. It only takes one bad fit to thwart the progress of an entire team. You’ve heard people tell you to “hire well,” but what does that really mean? And what does it take to implement a modern hiring system that takes advantage of the latest best practices? Let’s talk through some of the most important tenants of good hiring. #1. Don’t hire your brother, best friend, neighbor, bible study leader, or your crazy cousin, Larry. It’s tempting, I know. Your sister is your best friend and you just know she’d be a great Sales Manager. Your neighbor has been out of work for three months and you...

3 Specific Ways to Improve your Company Culture

By on Dec 1, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

Company culture has become a hot topic in recent years. We know that the most successful companies of today respect their employees and take care to provide a positive work environment: not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because satisfied and valued employees contribute more to company goals. In fact, I recently posted about company cultures and three keys to creating an inspired workplace. Now I want to get more specific: what actionable steps can you take to put your company on the path to a purposeful and improved company culture?   1. Start valuing good work over hard work. You’ve probably heard people say, “work smarter, not harder.” Back in the days of non-automated assembly lines and literal throughput, working harder was a big asset. More effort created more items in less time. Today most of us lead creative, knowledge-based firms. If...

Inside the Mind of a Startup CEO: What does a startup CEO really do?

By on Nov 22, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

In many companies, there is a vast difference between what the CEO should be doing and what they are doing. Startup CEOs in particular should focus on just a few key things and then inspire others to handle the rest. It’s important for a startup CEO to keep their focus on the big picture and the critical elements that will keep the startup in business. So what are these critical elements? According to venture capitalist Fred Wilson of avc.com, startups CEOs should only be responsible for three things: Set the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicate it to stakeholders. Recruit, hire, and retain the very best talent for the company. Make sure there is always enough cash in the bank. This list is a really good start to understanding what a CEO should be doing. However, I think we can expand a bit on these three items to get a fuller picture of what a CEO really does....

The Joys and Tears of Entrepreneurship

By on Nov 16, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

When you own your own business, you can be on the top of the world one day, and stressed to the max the next. When you put yourself on the line to create something new, you will hit points of both utter elation and unimaginable frustration. Throughout my career as an entrepreneur and executive coach, I’ve seen successes and failures time and again across multiple industries. I know first-hand that running your own business can be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have, but it can also be devastating. You should prepare yourself by knowing the possible downsides and learning what you can do to minimize them. But first, let’s talk about the upside—the reasons we take these fantastic leaps of faith in the first place. The Joys As an entrepreneur, starting your own business allows you to get behind the wheel and take charge. The decisions are all yours; you are the one making...

Inspired Workplaces Need Inspired Cultures

By on Nov 12, 2014 in Management | 0 comments

Recently, I’ve read several articles that address the creation of inspired workplaces. This piece from Andre Eikmeier, cofounder of Vinomofo (an online wine retailer out of Australia) makes some good suggestions that include flexible rules for employees (without going overboard) and a great physical space to foster collaboration and reinvigorate employees. Eikmeier also points out that it is crucial to involve everyone in the future direction of the company. I unequivocally agree. If you establish a corporate culture where employees at all levels are encouraged to participate in the organization’s success, then that culture will truly become an integral part of the organization and survive any particular manager. But how does a team become invested in the company’s future? What are the most important elements needed to shift an uninspired culture in the right direction? In my...