16 Compelling Practices For An Entrepreneur

garden_entrepreneur_MBA-coaching-Paris
“Because you’ve been reading too much Voltaire…”

This morning I chaired a seminar on entrepreneurship. When you’re addressing potential entrepreneurs, the best way to grab someone’s attention is to share the passion to switch on a creative vision.

Then it hit me like a ton of lego. Focus on leadership, innovation, how not to write a business plan, and how to construct something sustainable, i.e. Built To Last aka James Collins and Jerry Porras. Preparing also gave me time to pause and think back on my own entrepreneurial ventures, where we’ve been as a team and where we are headed into the future. Value creation is a never ending issue, but it can only work when you have sound leadership at the helm.

Here are some of lessons I have learned matching people with opportunities:

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“When you’re ready to go the whole hog…”

Leadership begins at home
Target who you admire. They can come from any walk of life not necessarily business. What inspires you most about him or her? Character is so important. One reason organizations fail is often a lack of a charismatic personality, who can empower and embolden his or her team to positive action. Such personalities stand out like diamonds in the window of Cartier. Think Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs or Mother Teresa.

The Written Word
Like any project, you will need a roadmap. Write down your vision. What do you see in 3 years? In 5 years? Ask yourself, will these milestones get me closer to my vision? What decisions must I make now if I plan to launch in 6 months?

Listen To The Music
Listening to your clients is obvious. When we first started, we only helped people apply to the top business schools. Quickly, our clients demanded more. Before we could say cha-cha, we evolved into a career management consultancy offering personal branding, social engagement, and feasible work-life balance platforms to bring more meaning into their professional lives. The marketplace is a great instructor.

However, to stand out from the pack, you will need to do more than just listen and deliver. You need to be innovative and creative. Forget fear. That’s soooo yesterday. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You fail. Bingo! If can live with this, which most entrepreneurs do, then you’re ready for anything.

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“Don’t jump without a parachute…”

The People’s Struggle
In today’s universe keeping up is just for starters. If you think technology has revolutionized your life now, it’s only going to get faster. Go with the flow and learn to swim in the Aegean like a dolphin. Leveraging innovation is necessary whatever your trade.

The Price Is Right
I’m not referring to that American TV show. The true price of leadership is not a number. It’s about dynamics. Believe in and deliver value. Clients can spot the difference at a glance. When you deliver true value, your target audience won’t care about the price. They will focus on a meaningful exchange.

Getting the A Team
Only bring on board people with a gang busters mentality. Fire power coupled to strong leadership gives you dominant position. Think of that basic management chestnut: 1+1=3. It’s called synergy. Clearly, this is essential for any start-up, but it also applies to larger organizations. There are times when you must let people go. Sometimes it’s for economic reasons and at other times individual goals don’t mesh with corporate goals. These are tough decisions, particularly if you have a heart. This precise issue came up this morning.

So, how do you let people go? With grace and dignity. Think of the greater good of the group. Low blows and nastiness are not the way forward. I know we don’t live in an ideal world, but you are responsible for your actions and behavior. To stand out as a noble leader, act like one in word and deed. Burning your house down is not a solution.

Someone Done Me Wrong
Unless you work for the mafia, learn the art of forgiveness. Grudges and vendettas are not sensible business practices and are unsustainable. I won’t even go into discussing the karma you will attract to yourself.

In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash
I once read this over a bar counter. What I am suggesting is do not extend credit unless the enterprise has the capacity to absorb this. For young entrepreneurs especially, make it clear that payment is due up front before work commences. When everything is clear from the outset, you won’t risk what strikes down many new businesses: cash flow issues.

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“Because some things are worth fighting for…

Work-Life Balance
People talk incessantly about this issue because it is a subject that does not go away. Balance is subjective. Some people live to work. Others work to live. Confucius once stated, “Find a job you love, and never work a day in your life“. Pithy don’t you think? The key here is passion. Make “work” fun. As an entrepreneur, you have this privilege. Use it and share the wealth.

Do Unto Others
You don’t need to read the scriptures to get this. If you want respect, then show respect to everyone you come into contact with. Forget the Godfather approach to business practices. One form of respect is to value your team. The words thank you and great job exist in every language. I’m not talking about senseless flattery. I talking about recognition. People don’t work just for the money. They want to feel useful, i.e. valued.

Focus
Multitasking is one thing. Focus is another. Be coherent when planning and implementing strategy. Set milestones. They are essentials in any venture. Benchmark your progress. Unhappy with the results. Change your tactics and adapt. Flexibility is key.

The Oscar Wilde Syndrome
Forget the lavish waistcoats. However, appearance always matters. Look sharp. Be smart. You will feel better. Best of all, you don’t have to go home and change before going out to dinner at a chic venue.

Don’t Build A Cage
You have the freedom to make your work space suitable to the organization you want to build. As long as the work gets done, introduce spaces for people to create, snooze, meditate, and if you can, do sports. Great companies have already done this. You can too, if you put your mind to it. Getting a life is also about making your organization breathe with the times in which we all live.

Act With Grace
Grace is something we should all be thankful for. Embrace grace and your team will act as a support network for each member.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Prioritize your work or you will burn out. There’s always more to be done. This comes with the terrain. It isn’t just a question of leadership. It’s about pragmatism.

Avoid The Comparison Conundrum
There will always be someone younger, older, smarter, creative or more beautiful than you. Be comfortable within your own skin. Never live someone else’s life. Just to thy own self be true. Now, sit back and enjoy the journey because entrepreneurship is gonna be one hell of a ride.

Article Title: 16 Compelling Practices For An Entrepreneur
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

How To Inspire Your Leadership With A Higher Purpose

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“Because you love singin’ in the rain…”

Is your management threatened by disruption? Then it’s time to take the bull by the horns. If you are a business leader put your employees first and set a healthy vibe in the workplace. Change management should start with a smile. The secret is to generate trust, which should be central to any working relationship.

Without trust, nobody will take risks. Sure, they’ll do their jobs, but at arms length keeping their heads in the sand as a form of protection. Everyone has had the experience of working with individuals not worthy of their trust. The atmosphere is deadly and we are highly unlikely to engage our full potential for fear of criticism or worse.

It goes without saying that change management is disruptive. To step up to the leadership challenge, inspire your mission with a higher purpose.

Start by demonstrating respect for your employees. They are after all, the front line between you and your clients. They are your brand ambassadors. People speak. Spread the word. Share the wealth. The negative tactics of force and manipulation are so yesterday.

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Here are just a few cues to change your leadership style in order to inspire your business with a higher purpose. Start by Implementing a positive incentive program and build your CLQ (company likability quotient).

I know like you do that the raison d’être of an enterprise is to generate loot. Nobody is debating this simple fact. It doesn’t mean that you must run your business like a sweatshop manufacturing T-shirts in Bangladesh.

Take the example of Richard Branson. This guy leads the Virgin Group front and center. He knows everyone’s name. He asks employees about their children’s football matches. He’s engaged, and his employees know he cares about their welfare and growth. The final result: they work twice as hard because they believe what they do matters. Every person feels empowered and valued.

RB emphasizes coaching skills. His managers are effective because they support their teams. When managers coach employees, positive outcomes become reality. Empathy and a respect work wonders. Test this out and you’ll witness a dramatic change. Nobody wants a guerrilla in the room. When employees harbor resentment, it will be terribly hard for you to win back their trust and allegiance.

Recently Seattle CEO, Dan Price cut his salary 90% so he could increase his employees’ wages to $70k. “There’s greater inequality today than there’s been since the Great Recession,” Price told The Huffington Post.

“I’d been thinking about this stuff and just thought, ‘It’s time. I can’t go another day without doing something about this.'”

Because it was unexpected, every employee was thrilled to bits. Why did he do it? Because he felt it was the right thing to do. Talk about social responsibility and inspiring his work force.

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“Because there are times you need to think the business through…”

How Employees View Their Organization
I find it fascinating how employees rate their organizations. It is quite revealing. It takes you to the heart of the mechanics underpinning organizational culture. Before you start tooting your own horn, remember admiration and respect must be earned. Leadership that get’s it understands. They don’t live in a glass tower.

Just For Fun
Just for fun conduct a survey and tally the results. Do you work in a culture where collaboration and unselfishness are business mantras? Do appreciation, compassion, and respect flourish? Does C-suite generate a culture of respect where everyone is really on board?

Clearly great leaders don’t need to be told about their greatness. It would be meaningless. They strive to invest their energy into productivity, profitability, and client satisfaction. However, they also recognize that nothing would happen if they didn’t express their gratitude to their team for making it happen.

The team here is not an inner circle of psychopaths. The team is everyone who works for or at the organization. This includes the guys who sweep up at the end of each working day. When everyone is valued, the pulse of a vibrant business environment becomes a sine quo non. Work should be a passion not just a job.

Why You Should Inspire Hope
People need a reason to wake up in the morning. Even a great paycheck is insufficient. You need more to inspire your team to greatness. This is where hope comes into the picture. Everyone wants to believe that what they do matters. In my experience at WCW, everyone knows that our future lies in our hands. We thrill to the challenges as a team. We recognize that changing people’s lives is a privilege, and we strive to do this one person at a time. Does everything run smoothly? Not always, but together we laugh, joke, and drink barrels of espresso.

I recognize that not all business organizations are the same. Some are more vertical than others. However, you have the power to put into place a culture of hope no matter what your firm’s activity is. It is easy to calibrate lists of things that don’t get done fast enough, why goals are hard to obtain, or why certain initiatives cannot generate successful outcomes sooner.

To do this consistently creates a negative atmosphere. Not only will talented employees leave your organization so will you if you look in the mirror. Every great business leader understands that people need to dream and hope. A corporate culture void of hope is doomed to implode at some stage.

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“When the time has come to change your tapes…”

Take A Reality Check Jack Welch once stated, “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.” Unconsciously, he reiterated one of the old and noble Vedic truths: “The world is as you see it. Embrace it.” This is what I refer to as crazy wisdom. Injecting a small dose of crazy wisdom into your business will work wonders.

As a business leader, you clearly want to be frank with everyone on the team. However, frankness doesn’t give you license to exercise bad manners. Nobody wants to work with an ogre. If you are having a bad sales quarter, firing the sales team is not necessarily the solution. Maybe your strategy needs recalibration? Perhaps rather than thinking within a box, you should drop your box mentality completely. Learn to be more flexible. Above all, learn to laugh at yourself. Be serious, but take yourself less seriously.

Lastly, we counsel building alliances. Work should be a collaborative experience. Fostering steadfast relationships ensure that team members have opportunities to fulfill their own developmental goals. This builds a sense of reciprocity. When you’ve done so, trust will flourish and harmony in the workplace will dominate.

Article Title: High To Inspire Your Leadership With A Higher Purpose
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values

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“She sells seashells at the seashore…”

Mentorship is the path of true business leadership. It’s like opening the window and letting the light enter the human heart. Acting as a mentor is a responsibility many shirk. Either they feel they can’t spare the time or they feel there is no return on investment. If this is how you feel? However, reflect on how you are where you are today? It’s a no-brainer. You become the leader you are because others selflessly took the time to counsel and help you grow, stretch, and reach out of your comfort zone. Now is the time to give back. Not because you must, but because you want to. This feeling doesn’t originate in the head. It comes from the heart and is the true hallmark of business leadership.

Contrary to the popular view that most people are inherently selfish, self-centered and narcissistic, there are many who hold the opposite view. To succeed in any field, we all require role models. These unique personalities inspire us to do more, be more, and share more. Think of that great sage from Arunachala Mountain, Ramana Maharishi. He rarely spoke. He taught from the depths of silence because he understood the nature of mentorship.

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“When you cherish the words of wisdom in silence…”

This is particularly true in business education and career management. People in these fields have the power to help shape the destiny of another individual’s life. Remember, “A life is a terrible thing to waste.

Acting as a mentor or coach is not about bottom lines. Leave this to the humorless accountants who would outsource every person’s job to God knows where on behalf of their soulless masters. Mentorship is about building relationships, authenticity, and recognizing that we belong to one family, the human family. When you see each individual as part of your Self, how can you turn someone away? This is why many societies are in meltdown mode. They were brought up to believe that only the Darwinians survive. They have forgotten that zero sum games have only losers. The rest of us were inspired by respected and successful people, who helped change our corner of the world.

The Beauty Of Mentorship
There is nothing more beautiful than watching some else succeed when you facilitate a growth environment. Sharing your expertise and experience is not just a way to leave an invisible legacy. It challenges you to use your knowledge in a creative and dynamic format.

Although you may have no wish to become the Dalai Lama, the mentoring experience will deepen your sense of humility and appreciation of everything around you. In this sense, we act as bridges across cultures, diversity, and even generations. Each of us was born with a sense of uniqueness within set communities. It is when we step beyond these frontiers and confront what is different do we optimize our potential and see that once superficialities are stripped away, we are indeed all the same.

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“Because one size doesn’t fit all scenarios…”

This is a particularly useful skill set if we manage people. Managing people is not about giving orders like a drill Sargent having a bad hair day. It’s leading by example. Some individuals believe that a title empowers them to use authority and control to manipulate, humiliate, and intimidate. This is what one of my colleagues refers to as the France Telecom mentality. This is a casebook example on how not to manage or lead teams. Coercive leadership corrodes the heart and soul of the organization. It is a destructive path, which leads to negative outcomes and unproductive scenarios. Mentorship cannot flourish under these conditions.

A Question Of Balance
Mentorship requires an open heart. Having an open heart does not imply as Cole Porter wrote, “anything goes”. It demands honest criticism, which enhances the role of the protégé through guidance. Putting somebody down is not criticism. It is an exercise in bad behavior and at best stupidity. Demonstrate to junior colleagues that improvement comes through determination and the willingness to adjust by being pragmatic.

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“Because nobody lives on Gilligan’s Island…”

Fostering and retaining talent in any group demands a light hand not a hammer blow to an individual’s head. By providing a support network, careful planning, and implementation systems establish a series of reachable benchmarks. When you walk this path, you are building confidence. Remember that line in Skyfall: “Youth is no guarantee of innovation; Age is no guarantee of wisdom.” What is required is balance as the Buddha would say.

When people reach out, they help one another. Ultimately the path of mentorship gives satisfaction to everyone. Changing somebody’s life by providing them with the tools to build a successful future is beautiful indeed.

Article Title: Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Why Leadership Is A Journey Not A Destination

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“Because you need to change your perspective…”

To an earlier generation, Bob Dylan’s music captured the leadership of the 1960s, its hopes, its dreams, and its desire to remake the world into a better place. For Millennials, this is ancient history in the way living through the Depression was to Boomers.

Fast forward to 2015. The world is a vastly different place to anything we could have imagined. Some of it is amazing. However, many problems are still with us and some have become exacerbated. Think income inequality, race, war, and environmental degradation.

One of the drivers to our brave new world is the digital revolution. It has changed everything from the way we network, interact, create value, share, and solve problems. We don’t work the same way nor do we lead teams as previous generations did. Technology has made it possible to create different business models. Just look at Snapchat.

This is the great paradox. It is easier to launch a new enterprise now than at any other time in history. The hunger for connectivity is exponential. It’s not just the Millennials. It’s everyone. If you were born before 1985, you watched as our world changed. It’s as if we were born before electric lights and along came Edison to light up our universe.

No matter which generation you belong to our challenge is not to be left behind. Leadership therefore, demands an understanding of shifting market trends and the ability to capture or better still, generate new trends. Here are some of keys:

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“Because every generation seeks to establish its own voice…”

The New Ideology
Although the customer has always been front and center of any business paradigm, the rules of engagement have changed. My colleague, James D. Roumeliotis, has been writing about this for years.

Because customers are better informed than ever before, they have become more discerning and more demanding. Anyone can broadcast their views to God knows how many social media channels in a flash. Bad service or poor products were never acceptable. That goes double time for today. Creating customer advocacy is a relatively new phenomenon and one that business leader must master. Think community engagement, the onslaught of blogging, and sharing. The hardest strategy is to remain focused because customer advocacy is multi-dimensional.

As another colleague of ours points out at RedHerring, even a toothpaste brand must have a soul. It’s no longer about cleaning your teeth.

Constant Reinvention
Since our world continues to change at lightening speed, it can be quite challenging to managing what one advocate refers to as disruption. Innovation causes disruption and sweeps everyone in its path. Others will copy and a new standard comes into place.

The case of Blackberry is iconic. It set the proverbial standard until Apple created the touch screen iPhone. Millenials live on their smartphones. Mobile apps have altered communications, the way we shop, buy, and sell products and services. Google has even re-calibrated its algorithm to favor mobile handsets.

Digital enablement continues to feed the fire of change. In a recent interview, Evan Spiegel revealed, “I want to make it easier for brands to be brands.” Given the nature of his leadership and vision you are now witnessing how this generation wants to further reshape the world in which we live. In retrospect, he makes Facebook appear as a stick in the mud. The takeaway here is you will need to restructure the way your venture communicates sooner than you think and more often than you ever imagined.

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The Power Of Culture
Culture has always mattered. The challenge is that now we live in a world both online and off of intersecting identities and allegiances. Customer culture must reflect these dynamics. For leadership to thrive, trust must be established.

If you make the customer the center of your corporate agenda, then you have made him or her the final judge on what your firm produces or serves, unless of course, you are the trendsetter. Think of the entrepreneurial and business icon of this generation: Steve Jobs. He started a revolution of giving people things they never knew they needed and can no longer live without. He also taught this generation a new brand of leadership with a focus on how to be iconoclastic.

When I look back at the customer service culture CAREO created, naysayers said why did we give clients so much free time? Why did we put them at the center of our enterprise? We did so because to us, this venture was always more than a business. It was a way to invest in the dreams of others and help them make their aspirations a reality. Was this easy? If you have tried this, then you know the answer. It is constant hard work. But then again, leadership demands that you stand by your core beliefs, build trust, and to be responsive. In our view, involvement must be total.

Why Innovation Is Essential
Innovation is a term often misunderstood. A superficial understanding pegs this word to technology and science alone. This is only a small part of the equation. Real innovation also must call into play creativity and a revolutionary change in human behavior to instill personal growth and positive outcomes. This is a road less travelled because it demands something most people feel uncomfortable with: authenticity.

People feel that if I am too authentic than I am too personal. It’s this side of business that builds trust. Most organizations demand compliance not creativity or authenticity. You can identify these firms without a problem. They are ruled by an accountant’s mentality. These are the bottom line data driven nerds who took the word human out of human resources. In their lexicon, resources are to be used, i.e. expendable components in a machine to be exploited.

From our perspective, anyone can be an innovator. You just need the right culture for it to prosper. Empowering people and valuing their performance will certainly heighten your brand and it will also get you the commitment every firm needs to really thrive. So what are we implying?

Create a true learning environment. Encourage risks. Applaud boldness. Celebrate humanity. Millennials intuitively know this, which is why they are rejecting the business vision of their predecessors. Will they become better leaders? It is hard to know. Time will be the judge. For those of us in leadership roles today, we have the benefit of hindsight. Make your journey all it is worth and leave a legacy where people are truly valued. As a great sage once stipulated, “Life is a journey, not a destination…”

Article Title: Why Leadership Is A Journey Not A Destination
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Leadership: How To Tackle Authenticity

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“Who ever heard the sound of one hand clapping…”

The best leaders are free from compulsive instincts. They see their career as a mountain stream. Man or woman, they have transformed their need for applause. They roam in the world as lions of self control. They take pleasure in thunder and rain because according to fortune cookie wisdom, the true sound of leadership is silence.

To really exercise leadership, it is best to be authentic. Take for example, a master chef I know. He works at Wo Fat’s Cantonese kitchen and is know by the name of Mencius. He could speak volumes on leadership. However, he is more at home selecting the finest ingredients from the market. Wok hay drives him crazy. That’s what you would expect from a Taoist leader, who favors the meditative breath of fire.

On the other side of the world, Socrates taught another path to leadership. He too was obsessed with self-mastery. He understood that diligence and astute planning took place in silence. To settle his mind, he would stroll the streets of Plaka. Although the tavernas and cafes are filled with rhetoricians, he would go for insight elsewhere.

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“Captain, I’ve spotted Isle della Muerta…”

Simply put, Socrates preferred to watch the fisherman. He’d contemplate their banter and salty songs. He loved to watch them tenderize the evening’s octopus on the rocks. Performing humble tasks emptied his mind. In this emptiness, he found the meaning of all things. Perhaps, we should do likewise.

Emptiness is often confused with ignorance. Ignorance however, is more than a lack of knowledge. A lack can be sensibly remedied. It is a question of training. Real ignorance is the misapprehension of all things. Take the case of the Buddha. Although not a sailor, he desired more than a career sea change. He desired smooth sailing.

hok_leadership
“When your reflection is just a fleeting fantasy…”

Determined to achieve this state of being, he sat under a fig tree, legs crossed in a full lotus position. He was resolved not to budge until he was filled with clarity. By learning this lesson, he saw leadership was a question of equilibrium. The mind is a close friend of ignorance and this is the trap. Give the mind conundrums, and it will smile and spin in a vortex of relentless aggravation.

On the other hand, you could give the mind something nobler to consider such as the following Taoist proverb: “The sound of water is silence.”

Mojito?

Article Title: Leadership: How To Tackle Authenticity
Photographs: (1)manofthemmnt (2)curated by ES (3)stayfr-sh

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Why Innovative Leadership Shakes The World

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“When you have your audience by the tail feather…”

Good management focuses on evaluation and performance. Innovative leadership “gently shakes the world”.

To find out, what makes great leaders v. mediocre managers, I chaired a seminar on business leadership. Participants chose to discuss CEOs for their charisma, accountability, and legacy. Many of these leaders are known throughout the world, and are role models. They are admired for their accomplishments at work and contributions to their societies.

Every participant agreed that leadership is more than just posting good quarterly results. Best of all, the leadership traits we value, can be learned and mastered.

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“Because leadership demands you change your prescription…”

Often the most neglected leadership skills stem from not understanding emotional intelligence. They are intuitive. Take for example, the issue of motivation. How can you get staff to reach beyond their limits? It is a question of encouragement.

Some managers just focus on mistakes made. Why drive errors into a state of culpability? Innovative leadership points out mistakes. It is called constructive criticism. Remember, nobody sets out to fail. The best corporate cultures build initiative and mentorship into their working practices.

However in risk-averse environments, team players remain cautious. They never step out of the box. They do not want to be penalized. Senior management can be so hard pressed for bottom line results that they establish a set of “red line” rules. Such rules never generate effective results.

Managerial intentions should be clear. Resolve issues when they arise so that they do not become handicaps. Benchmarking milestones should keep most projects on track. This is the hallmark of nurturing innovative leadership.

The Roving Electron Theory
Call this procedure “detection and resolution”. Negative thinking patterns will alter the ambiance in any work environment. Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset where individuals are praised when it is deserved can reverse this process. Corporate culture can sometimes be debilitating. Why not inculcate aspirational values rather than despair?

Ever notice that negativity is contagious? One colleague of mine referred to this dilemma as that of the roving electron.

A roving electron is a concept from physics. By nature it is unpredictable. Because it can not be controlled, it generates positive or negative outcomes. From an organizational standpoint, you can see why weak leadership would fear such individuals. For example, if someone suggests trying out a new idea, the typical response is: “That is not the way we do things at Yoyo Inc.”

Firms that nurture this psychosis become hidebound and sclerotic. New is seen as threatening to the power structure. Creative talent will run away from such organizations. Problems under these conditions do not dissipate. They only expand in equal proportion to the negative “cannot do” environment.

Real business leadership knows that positive practices are the right way forward. Under this form of stewardship, optimism and gratitude prevail as the key elements of team building practices. The leader’s vision should be to embody and feed the collective creative spirit with the right thinking. It gives the group understanding, value and purpose. By doing so, you will be able to taste the spirit of engagement.

Please note however, that leaders do critique. They do so with an eye to positive growth not to chastise. The acknowledgment of errors is important. Then, the group moves on. Why? Because they know that there is a shared sense of objectives. The positive aura can be felt. Everyone recognises that whatever his or her input, there is appreciation.

The power of gratitude comes from a deep spiritual understanding of leadership. This does not prevent players from striving to better tackle challenges.

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“Because the best leaders set an example…”

Avoid The 4 Ps
How many of us have shown deep gratitude for all that we have? How many of us have given thanks to our team members for their contributions? Or better still, given thanks for an invisible but guiding hand helping us make the “right” choices?

You see, at a deeper level, genuine appreciation is beyond the level of the self. It is “spirit” and manifests as genuine concern. Great leaders know how to use this quality. The concept of “I” is dropped. In fact, it does not even enter into the equation. It is about giving without even thinking of “return on investment”.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Many business practices stress the 4 P’s: power, prosperity, pomp, and pedigree. This has always been the case, and given the context of human behavior is what drives people most. Self aggrandizement becomes the catalyst to action. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you are motivated to make a genuine difference to your organization, why not choose a different path to leadership?

By changing your leadership prescription consider these terms: sat, chit, and ananda. Although I broke up this Sanskrit term on purpose, it means: being, awareness, bliss. It is a term never breathed in business school although it should constitute a class just by itself. In certain cultures its value resonates. It represents the basic striving of all human beings inside and outside the workplace.

Why is this so? Because every wants to be happy. That’s right. Inside and outside the workplace. However, it eludes our grasp because we are looking in the wrong place. “Satchinanda” represents your inner state of completeness beyond the balance sheet. It contains a profound sense of integrity, which should be a core value of leadership. In our highly cynical world, most people would state that this is idealist and not feasible. You would be wrong to think so because all it would prove is how you undervalue your self as well as others.

Why not prove the naysayers wrong. Show your team the true value of “optimism” as a vehicle to success. Great leaders not only know this, but have used this principle for millennium to achieve incredible goals. So can you.

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Article Title: Why Innovative Leadership Gently Shakes The World
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

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Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane