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Many People Can Manage, But What Makes a Leader?

The business world is filled with people who can effectively manage tasks and departments to deliver results, but what happens when these managers are promoted up a level?

Before we continue to look at how people can make the step up from management to leadership, firstly let’s understand better what it is that effective managers do.

Managers are predominantly in place to make sure that systems and processes are in place to deliver the end results the business or department are looking for. They make sure that the people who report to them understand and follow the processes in order to deliver the agreed results. Their focus is primarily on the targets or bottom-line results and as such their mindset is mainly short term.

Often, managers are a copy of the manager or managers that they have had before, bringing with them both positive and negative behaviours they experienced as a junior.

One of the biggest overhead costs on any business Profit and Loss Statement is almost always, wages. But what are business owners really doing to turn this cost into an investment?

While managers continue to focus on all the important aspects of achieving targets and driving bottom-line profit up, what are they doing to inspire themselves and the people they lead to achieve more than just their targets? What are they doing to innovate the way they think and act to changing business circumstances?

The speed which the current business environment is evolving means businesses need both management and leadership to take their businesses to the next level of success. Great management allows the business to keep its operational excellence while the leaders inspire the team to find new opportunities.

One of the key factors that any business needs is a good balance between management and leadership; however it is the leadership aspect that is often the missing element allowing businesses to grow in a profitable way.

We need to understand that leadership and management are not opposing forces, but remember they should complement each other and add value to any organisation.

So what is a leader?

Leadership is all about the interaction, understanding and inspiration of people in the business environment. We cannot lead tasks, only people, so it is crucial that as a business leader, we invest more in getting to understand our people better.

True leaders can take a business to a complete new level of success as they make things happen, which without them, would never have happened. They are long-term thinkers, and can often see opportunities to take a business in a better direction.

Leaders are people who consistently challenge the status quo and look for innovative ideas to move the business forward. A leader’s main focus is the people in the organisation, as they do not just look at them to perform jobs within a process, but look to inspire them to be the very best they can be. With a good leader, team members feel more involved and have a greater passion for the taking the business forward often looking for ways in which they can improve their own roles.

So what can business owners do to develop themselves and others into true leaders?

There is a way of developing leadership skills to enhance leadership ability, and also measure current skills down to 10 key areas, it is called Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence helps leaders develop skills that enable them to tap into the aspirations of people and show how the business can help them achieve these, understand that people need to belong to a group and understand how to engage with the main drivers of performance in people, their emotions.

Unfortunately the terminology of Emotional Intelligence can often lead to creating the wrong perception of what it really is. Many people believe that it is all about putting your arm around people as a leader and showing them that you care, when in fact, it is all about skills that help a leader understand themselves and the people they lead to create an environment where amazing results can be achieved.

“Leadership is the art of achieving extraordinary things with ordinary people; Emotional Intelligence is how you achieve this.” Dr Martyn Newman.

Leadership does not just happen, it needs to be learned and developed just like any other skill.

If you are serious about taking your business to a much higher level of growth and success, how much time are you investing in developing your own and the other senior people in the business leadership abilities?

Great management will bring results and excellent operational efficiency, but it is good leadership that has the ability to look over the horizon and take your business to unprecedented levels of success and growth.

For more on this topic and to learn about the 16 cylinder concept, listen to Episode 109 of the Fluid Business Podcast:

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Setting your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)

BHAG is an acronym for Big Hairy Audacious Goal; a concept originally formulated by author, Jim Collins. It’s a long-term goal, usually between 10 and 30 years. Often when it’s set, the goal seems unachievable and the business owner doesn’t have a clear plan on how they’re going to achieve the goal. The BHAG should be something big, exciting and ambitious!

The purpose of the BHAG is to be a guiding principle; something that gives drive and focus to the team and provide a basis to make informed and effective business decisions. Deciding on your goal is important; it is going to be something that you dedicate a significant amount of time, money and effort to.

Here are some things to consider when setting your BHAG:

You’re going to need help

It is unlikely that you’re going to be able to achieve your Big, Hairy goal alone, so you’re going to need support from your team. If you’ve ever read Ben Hunt-Davis’s book ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ you’ll know that Ben and his rowing team were only able to achieve their BHAG because they worked collectively to make it happen.

The key to making your BHAG happen is surrounding yourself with a likeminded team, that are passionate about achieving the same goal.

 

Don’t keep it a secret

The only way to get support from your team is to communicate your BHAG! You won’t be able to achieve it alone, so your team need to understand and ‘buy-in’ to your vision.

Also, saying your BHAG out loud makes it slightly more real! You’ve made a public declaration of your commitment to achieving it, which means you’ve got to start working towards making it a reality.

When Ben Hunt-Davis and his team set the BHAG to win Gold in the Rowing at the 2000 Olympics, they used their BHAG to justify and shape the decisions they made as a team. If it doesn’t make the boat go faster, then why are we going to do it? You can adopt this principle in your organisation; if it doesn’t bring you closer to achieving your goal, why are you doing it?

 

If you want to discuss how to set or achieve your BHAG, book in a free consultation and speak to one of our coaches.

Listen to Episode 108 of the Fluid Business Podcast for more on this topic:

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FBP 108: Do you have a BHAG? (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

Andy Sleet and Ray Moore are on this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast to discuss BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Andy and Ray share some real examples of BHAG and talk about how it can help you to make better business decisions.

Will it make the boat go faster? Ben Hunt-Davis

Can YOU Step Up To The Growth Challenge? Ray Moore

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

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FBP 107: This Simple Change Could Massively Improve Your Productivity

Have you ever noticed that you seem to be able to get loads more work done in the week before you go on holiday? With the promise of a distraction-free week on the horizon, tasks on your to-do list just seem to get done! It’s the Holiday Time Warp. But imagine if you could be this productive all year round. Tune in to Andy Sleet and Ray Moore as they discuss how to massively improve your productivity.

Read more about the Holiday Time Warp.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

FBP 106: Is your business out of balance?

Ray Moore and Andy Sleet discuss the common symptoms business owners experience when their business is out of balance. Without planning, growth often disrupts the drivers in your business. So, how can you achieve balanced growth? Tune in to find out!

To get your free business growth book, visit: thelevelsbook.com/order

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

Why you need to build a saleable business

Very few business owners build a business that is capable of being sold and even fewer achieve the price they expected in the marketplace. This often leaves business owners feeling confused; how, after providing the owner with many years of success, can the business be worth so little?

Here are the three main reasons a business is not saleable:

– The business owner is the most valuable asset. If the business owner left, the profitability and value of the business would be significantly impacted.

– Family members and friends are employed or involved in the business and it may prove to be difficult for the purchaser to change the way the business operates.

– The valuation is unrealistic as there is a lack of profitability and reliable financial information.

Selling the business is usually the last thing on the owner’s mind; but building a saleable business isn’t just about the actual sale. Readying a business for sale means that it can operate without relying on the business owner, creating a business that has value and provides the business owner with the freedom to continue in the business or sell.

We often hear business owners say “my business is my pension,” but they aren’t building a business that has value and could fund a retirement! This is why the process needs to start with identifying the ‘end in mind’ – the dream lifestyle that the business needs to help the owner achieve.

Here are some things to take into consideration if you want to start readying your business for sale:

  • Start with your end in mind. What exactly does your business need to help you achieve? Ensure you start out with a clear idea of why you are building your business in the first place.
  • Remember that this isn’t a quick process. Allow up to five years to get the business ready for sale.
  • Communicate with your team. Make sure that they’re aware that this process will provide them with long-term security in their roles.
  • Ensure that business processes are streamlined and that your team is comfortable and confident in making decisions in the business.

Click to read more about readying for sale.

Ray Moore and Andy Sleet discuss in more detail on the Fluid Business Podcast:

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FBP 105: Why you need to build a saleable business

Selling the business is usually the last thing on the owner’s mind; however, building a saleable business isn’t just about the actual sale. Andy Sleet and Ray Moore explain that readying for sale is about creating a business that could operate without you, creating value and giving you freedom.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

Five books every SME business owner should read

At Fluid Business Coaching we love a good book, so here are our top five must-read books for owners of small to medium-sized businesses.

  1. Can Your Business Step Up To The Growth Challenge? By Ray Moore

Authored by Ray Moore, founding coach at Fluid Business Coaching, this book gives a completely new perspective on business ownership. Ray explains his framework for business growth and how to overcome the common challenges faced by business owners. Commonly described as the “manual for business growth,” this is a must-read for SME owners.

  1. Black Box Thinking, By Matthew Syed

In this book, Syed covers the recipe for success and what gives some people the competitive edge. Black Box Thinking uses real-life examples to highlight how these learnings are transferable into the world of business, and why making mistakes is a crucial part of personal and business growth.

  1. 24 Assets, By Daniel Priestly

Why do some businesses have huge success, while others don’t? In 24 Assets, Daniel Priestly sets out the structure needed to build a valuable business capable of scaling and making an impact.

  1. The 7 habits of highly effective people, By Stephen Covey

This book is often referred to as one of the most influential books ever written, with millions of copies sold worldwide. Among the seven habits is ‘sharpening the saw’ the concept of consistently renewing and developing yourself. Which is a habit that all business owners should adopt if they want to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of business.

  1. Who moved my cheese? By Dr Spencer Johnson

In this book, Dr Spencer Johnson highlights the need to approach change an issue that often makes business owners feel uncomfortable. As an SME owner it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business, but this book demonstrates that by challenging the status quo, huge improvements can be made.

Did your favourite business book make our list? Let us know your recommendations!

 

 

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

FBP 104: Accounts Debunked

Business Coaches Ray Moore and Andy Sleet are on this Episode of the Fluid Business Podcast talking on the subject of accounting and finance. Often an overwhelming subject for business owners, Ray and Andy discuss the importance of having a good financial understanding of your business. Register below for Ray's free Accounts Debunked webinar series.

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.

Charlotte Richardson-Beck No Comments

FBP 103: You Ask We Answer: Should you employ family and friends?

Hugo Heij and Ray Moore are back on the Fluid Business Podcast answering your family business questions. This week they’re answering this listener’s question:

“So many people have warned me against hiring family members and friends. Is it really a bad idea and how can I make it work?”

Dealing with difficult situations can be hard especially when employing family and friends. Hugo and Ray discuss best practice and why establishing fair systems and processes is essential for the business to run smoothly.

Got a question about your business? Send it to us at [email protected]

Our team of professional business coaches share their expert knowledge and experience every single week, empowering you, the business owner, to develop and grow your business the right way.

Join us as we cover core subjects areas in our unique and relaxed way, including: Rapid Growth, Family Business, Team, Efficiency and so much more.