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10

Dec
2009
Comments Off on The Mature Leader

The Mature Leader

Have you ever worked with a business leader who seemed to have it all together?  Have you met those on the other end of the spectrum who call themselves business leaders, but are, in fact, doing more harm then good?  Have you seen other leaders, still, who you are undecided about?

Where are you in the Leadership Maturity Spectrum?  In order to be that extraordinary leader, and run an extraordinary business, knowing where you are is essential to getting where you want to be.

What would happen if you were completely off track, and put your emphasis on areas wherein you were only marginally good?  Would you ever reach a level of Leadership Maturity that could make a difference in your organization?clip_image002

Being a Mature Leader will affect all areas of your business, and your life, for that matter.  It involves your ability to make decisions, managing your expectations, providing a model of your expectations, excepting assistance from others, trusting your team and other elements.  Interestingly that while you “give up control” of every area of your business, you are actually increasing capability and capacity of the business.

You can see a similar pattern in raising children – younger parents tend to shelter their children.  They protect them from every bump and bruise, people, situations, etc.  What happens, unfortunately, is these children grow up to be very poor decision makers, and often incapable of living completely independently.

Your business needs the same freedom to stretch and grow.  As a mature leader, you can see this – you would never want to hold the business from reaching its potential.  You understand that it takes a community to shape and grow a business.  It takes employees, managers, investors, the community and customers to shape how the business will fit into the industry and the marketplace.  While you will provide direction and framework, giving your business the room to grow will be the greatest gift you can give it.

Growing into a mature leader is not an overnight process, either.  Part of growth is experience.  While it is valuable to learn from other people’s experiences and avoid some of the pitfalls many leaders encounter, learning from your mistakes and from your successes will plant a solid foundation for you.  Knowing yourself, your strengths and your limitations will only help strengthen that foundation so that as you grow, you know where you will need compensation and where to place the emphasis.

Keep in mind where you are and seek to grow.  We all have room to do so.  Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask those who may know.  It takes a community.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Management and Leadership,Extraordinary
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9

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Extraordinary Business

Extraordinary Business

Being ordinary is easy.  Almost anyone can build an ordinary business.  Heck…you could run it out of the back of your car.  You could run door to door begging people to buy your stuff.and when your business is gone…no one will remember it ever existed.

Being extraordinary takes work.  It takes clear vision, focus, guidance, perseverance and courage.  When the business is gone, people will remember it.  People who work at it will cherish it.  It’s strength and capacity to impact those around it is the stuff for history books.Extraordinary Predator

Look at a Great White Shark.  It is known as an extraordinary predator.  It spends its time and energy focused on one thing: developing itself so that it can eat.  It is clearly focused on seeking out and eating whatever it desires.  There are other predators in the waters – even other sharks.  Why does the Great White stand out?  Because it is extraordinary.

When you look at the marketplace and your industry, what makes your business extraordinary?  Is it the way your customers can reach you any time, anywhere?  Is it the quality and type of information you provide them with?  Is it the constant results-driven solutions your provide for them?  Is it all of the above, or something else?

Finding out what makes your business extraordinary requires learning what your business’s strengths are, then finding ways to best utilize them in your marketplace.  Then, like the Great White, narrow your focus so that you can produce the same results over and over and over again.  Find ways to let people know that you are extraordinary in this area.  Keep the concept in front of people in writing, conversation, collateral, presentations and product or service delivery.

While building yourself up may not do you much good, letting people know what your vision is – to be extraordinary – will help them help you to become just that.  Remember – we don’t live inside of individual bubbles.  Focusing on what you believe about your company (or yourself, for that matter) will give you a very narrow perspective.  While you will define and push toward your extraordinary vision, it will take a village to get you there.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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Technorati Tags: Business Growth Strategies,Extraordinary,Business Path,Focus,Management and Leadership,Small business Consulting,Strategic Planning,Vision
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8

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Leveraging Your Strengths

Leveraging Your Strengths

As a business leader, it’s always interesting being in a position to ride out a recession.  I can’t help but wonder what will be different.  How will consumer preferences change?  How will their spending patterns change?  What are businesses doing to regroup?  How many businesses merged and what will they look like when they emerge?

Of course, with all of the resulting volatility, I have to look at the emerging needs in the marketplace and determine what I need to do differently.  If I keep doing the same thing that I have been doing (running on inertia), then I will likely get left behind.  If I keep my nose to the grindstone and keep pumping out new and exciting stuff for a market that doesn’t exist, or one that is saturated (red, shark infested waters), then I won’t continue to be successful.  If I find a way to identify and leverage my strengths, I can continue to be a service to my community.

That is a mark of an extraordinary business – they not only meet the needs of their market’s current needs, they are able to anticipate it’s future needs.What  are your strengths?

What does this have to do with leveraging your strengths?  Everything.  Some times when business leaders discover a need in the marketplace, they immediately loose focus on their vision to go after the shiny new bait in the water.  Many times, this new thing will take them on a new path, which for some, is fine.  However, for those who are trying to serve a specific population in a specific way, this could be devastating.  Therefore identifying and finding ways to leverage your strengths is going to be the most ideal scenario for meeting new market needs.

Strengths you might seek to leverage might be relationships, the ability to learn, resources you can use to hire new people or assistant, access to different types of information and the typical cash flow, client relationships, community relationships, access to investors or ability to raise capital through traditional methods.  It will be important to identify some more non-traditional strengths so that you can begin to get a fuller picture of what your capabilities truly are.  At the same time, you must be realistic.  Your strengths should be something that you can tie some direct outcome to.  For example, stating that you have access to $500,000, thinking that you can find investors (that you don’t have) for a product or service that hasn’t been developed might be a little far-fetched (though stating that you need that $500,000 may not be unrealistic.)

Once you’ve identified those strengths, look at the needs and trends in your market/industry and define opportunities that your company could take advantage of in the upcoming year.  If you are in the fuel industry, you might be looking at how you might leverage offer alternate fuel sources.  If you are in construction, you might look at how you might promote the company as a green company.  If you are in professional services, you might do research in your industry and sell a trend report based on your findings.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is a) part of your mission, b) help you move toward your vision and c) doesn’t compromise your values.

Remember that everything that your business produces has your business’s name on it.  Your market is watching.  If you confuse them, they won’t purchase from you.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Business Decisions,Business Strategy,Management and Leadership,Recession buster,Mission,Small Business Consulting,Strategic Planning,Vision,Values
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7

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock.Who's Afraid of the Ticking Clock?

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock.Who's Afraid of the Ticking Clock?

Time for a new work week.  For some, that means seven more days until the weekend.  For others, that will mean 6 more days to create opportunity, move the earth or make a difference.  For others, it’s the same stuff, different day.  No matter what your perspective, how will you make the most of your time?

One thing I like about watching football is the way that they manage their time.  They have very specific goals depending on the score, their position on the field and the amount of time left on the clock.  They make game-altering decisions based on how much time is left on the clock.  The clock can either make them or break them.Manage your time

Applying this to your business, you probably have an idea of the types of things you need to get done over the course of the week.  That could look like business development activities (networking, meetings, marketing activities, etc), client work, work on the business, product or service development, administration, management, etc.  I tell my clients, depending on their business model, to apply a certain amount of time to each activity they have to do, and schedule it during the week.  For example:

      • Each morning, I spend three hours doing some type of business development activities. 
      • Each afternoon, I do consulting work for my clients. 
      • Each evening, I do project work for clients or partners. 
      • On Fridays, I spend half of the day working on company projects, and half the day working on specific business development projects
      • On Saturday afternoons, I continue working on company projects and do administration for the projects

Now, with blocks of time set aside of specific types of activities, I can fill in those blocks with tasks or meetings, keeping some flexibility for some calls, and other activities.  I keep in mind priorities – first identifying activities in terms of importance and urgency, then by business hierarchy.  Most importantly, I make my workspace so that I can focus 100% of my energies on getting things done.  Thus, I am able to handle numerous projects, effectively.

In order to be an extraordinary business leader, you’ve got a LOT on your plate – not just right now, but ALWAYS.  In order to move things forward with any level of success, managing your time is going to be key.  You won’t be at your best if you are burning the midnight oil EVERY night, over working yourself or not making the best use of your time.  People won’t be able to follow you if you are scattered and confused about next steps and activities.  You’ve got to be able to manage your time and focus in order to be effective.

What about you?  Do you have another method that works well for you?  I would love to hear about it!

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Time Management,Business Decisions,Business Growth,Extraordinary,Management and Leadership,Small Business Consulting
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