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Category: Small business leadership

Entrepreneurial Education’s Biggest Challenge

We are big supporters of entrepreneurship education in the school system, however…. There is one huge difference between ‘real world’ entrepreneurial success and academic achievement – in the real world, you can’t ‘game the system’ because you are the creator of the system! Entrepreneurial education’s biggest challenge is to r... Continue reading

Discovering the Root Cause of a Problem

Last week’s blog touched on a process called ‘The 5 Whys’ which is best implemented as a tool to find the root cause of a problem. Quite often, ‘The problem is not the problem’. It was developed by Sakichi Toyoda, a Japanese inventor. It became part of the Toyota Production System and then Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. It is now... Continue reading

A Great Business Differentiator

A a business advisor, whenever I deal with contractors, I dream of a contractor who has a reputation based on one idea: We start and finish what we said we would do, when we said we would do it. That’s it. How hard could it be? Really hard! – I know this because we try and live by the same rules at our business and we can’t pull it off e... Continue reading

Self Limiting Beliefs

A fundamental part of our business model is to help business owners identify a self-limiting or business-limiting belief. The biggest problem in doing this is that they don’t look like self limiting beliefs to the business owner. To them and all of us, these beliefs show up as reality. As you can imagine in performing this part of the job, the d... Continue reading

What Type of Startup are You?

There are two radically different types of startups, each with different attributes and needs. Existing business model Existing business model and the startup is looking to implement it. Opening a retail store or a restaurant is an example. Buying a dump truck and a backhoe and finding customers to hire them out to is another example. These type... Continue reading

How Do You Motivate and Engage Your Employees?

There is a spectrum of management styles. Carrots or sticks? I happen to believe more in the ‘carrots’ or positive reinforcement style. I have witnessed tyrant bosses wielding a large ‘stick’ too. There is some good research reported in the best selling book, The Carrot Principle, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. They report that the... Continue reading

Business Decision Making – Dictatorship or Consensus?

What’s better? One dictator boss or a leadership team? Dictatorship Advantages: Speed -  A dictator can make a decision on the spot and start implementing it right away. Businesses with one boss therefore can make decisions quickly. Clear responsibility and accountability -  It is crystal clear who is responsible for the decisions. Less... Continue reading

Implementing Change in Business – Understanding the J Curve

Working with business owners, we observe many businesses seeking change and implementing an action plan, then terminating the plan early on in the effort. The reason these businesses striving for change abandon their plan is: the plan didn’t work. The reality is that the plan didn’t work YET. If you could use a horizontal line to demonstrate ... Continue reading

The Definition of an Entrepreneur

Here is my definition of an entrepreneur: An entrepreneur is a person who has a clear vision of their future business. He or she has the ability to assemble a team and communicate the vision to them in a way that motivates everyone to work together in pursuit of the vision. The entrepreneur’s main role is to passionately lead the team forward to... Continue reading

What is Your Business Style: Family or Corporation?

One of the intangible assets of any small business is its culture or style. In developing your own style for your business, there is a big difference between operating it 'like a family' or operating like a large 'corporation'. Corporation or family? Besides the fact that many of the employees may be family and friends, the family style cultur... Continue reading