The Difficult Path to Success for Millennial Women Entrepreneurs

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Women entrepreneurs face many challenges when it comes to achieving success. Apart from the obstacles any entrepreneur must overcome, unfortunately, gender biases are still in place to a large extent. Add to this the skepticism towards millennials in general, it may seem that millennial women barely have a chance to make it big. However, this may not necessarily be the case.

Sexism is Still a Problem

Most of us are probably aware of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. It would be unfair not to admit that there have been some improvements throughout the years. However, real change is slow to come, and business women still have a hard time attracting investors.

The pay gap can be considered another problem in the works when it comes to startups. Women may find it difficult to set aside the necessary budget to fund their businesses. While many dispute the existence of a wage gap, the truth is there are very subtle ways in which these adjusted over the years, so much so that it may be difficult to spot. For example, a female secretary may earn less than a male P.A. (personal assistant) simply because the job names are different, implying that there’s more to do, when in fact, the work itself may be the same.

Being a Millennial Makes It More Difficult

As a young entrepreneur, there’s a different set of problems to face. Ageism can be very frustrating when you want to be taken seriously. To a certain degree, this prejudice is no longer as pervasive as it once was, since there are plenty of millennial success stories out there to prove that young entrepreneurs are just as capable as seasoned business veterans.

The costs of living and getting an education are also much higher for a millennial than they were for previous generations. Young people are also facing strong competition on the job market, which makes it difficult to kick-start a career.

How to Overcome These Challenges

Dealing with these obstacles is not impossible. As a millennial woman, though some of these issues may appear frustrating, you must understand that these sort of mentalities are hard to change since they’ve become second nature for most. We all probably have certain biases, and these are no different.

Don’t Get Forced into a Niche

Millennial women entrepreneurs might find it easier to achieve success in a field that is generally seen as feminine. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s what you want. However, you shouldn’t feel yourself pushed into it. If you don’t feel your company’s vision is in tune with your perspective, then you might need to consider making a change. Otherwise, you may end up unsatisfied with your success while enforcing common stereotypes. Stay true to your principles, and keep your goals in sight at all time.

Network

One of the best things women entrepreneurs, especially young women, can do is to form strong business relationships among themselves. This doesn’t mean they should form exclusivist clicks or feminine versions of boy’s clubs. On the contrary. As entrepreneurs, their duty towards to community is perhaps even greater, since they must focus not only on their own success, but educating others as well. This will require a great deal of patience, and you may not see the benefits as soon as you’d like, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run.

Be a Professional First

No matter what pressures you’ll have to deal with, always maintain a professional attitude. After all, in the business world, you need to be seen as a professional first and foremost. Every entrepreneur must deal with difficult people nearly on a daily basis. Successful entrepreneurs don’t let minor nuisances get to them, no matter how aggravating they are. Neither should you, not matter the extra issues you might encounter based on your age or gender.

Get Proactive

Do not let these challenges discourage you. Achieving success is not going to be easy, but nothing important really is. Regardless of gender or age, all entrepreneurs are faced with daunting tasks. The difference between those who dreamed of making it big and those who reached their goals is that the latter persevered until they got the job done. And they didn’t stop there, they continued to grow, and looked forward to their next big challenge.

Things have begun to change, and as a young woman who’s looking to start her own business, you should take advantage of this positive thrust. Overcoming the challenges you’re faced with is going to be a powerful learning experience you should cherish.

Author: Thea Millard is a Market Data Analyst and a Contributing Editor at Job Application Review. She has a great interest in everything related to personal branding, online marketing, and entrepreneurship, and loves helping people and businesses thrive.

3 Top Strategies for Getting Closer to Your Clients

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As the CEO for In Touch EMR, a healthcare consulting and software business, I’ve found that personalizing your offers to existing clients lessens the burden of having to gain new customers. It not only lowers costs but significantly increases client satisfaction. Once my team and I started identifying the needs of our customers and tailoring our offers to them, In Touch EMR grew by 40 percent in 12 months—without any increase in the number of clients.

Back in 2007, we provided business consulting and marketing software to physical therapists, but we soon realized they needed help with scheduling patients, documenting visits and insurance billing. Our customers consist of private practice owners and clinics across the United States. Once we offered value-added services to them, we increased our revenue per customer.

There are three tenets of “getting personal” with clients: client segmentation, service diversification and proactive client communication. Here’s how to accommodate all three tenets and succeed in the new information-driven economy.

Tailor Your Marketing With “Client Segmentation”

The best way to serve clients is to collect data points that identify exactly what the consumer needs and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. This method, known as client segmentation, opens up exciting new possibilities for your business. Characteristics you can collect include the client’s annual income, preferred line of communication, buying history and more. Client segmentation allows our consulting business to tailor content according to these characteristics. Once we identified which clinics needed help with medical billing, attracting more patients, staffing/hiring, etc., we lowered marketing costs and had a higher rate of return with all our advertising and promotions. Try taking it a step further and use precise marketing messages which result in higher client satisfaction.

Provide Service Diversification

Service diversification expands on your core business service. You can deliver a range of related services using a unique payment model. This allows a business to reduce or eliminate the dependence on referral sources from third-party companies. Often times, clients that come to your business also search for related services. If you can anticipate these needs, why not offer those services in your own business? In fact, this concept has changed the way traditional medicine is practiced. A TIME magazine article published in December 2014 entitled “Medicine Is About to Get Personal” states: “Pay frontline doctors a fixed monthly fee directly instead of through the byzantine insurance bureaucracy. Make the patient, rather than the paperwork, the focus of the doctor’s day. The result will be happier doctors, healthier patients and a striking reduction in wasted expense.”

This concept of service diversification can be applied to your clients, potential referrals and business partners. Ideally, your business would have a range of clients with different needs, including companies of all sizes, referring your business to a larger target audience.

Proactively Communicate With Your Clients

Staying in touch with your clients on an ongoing basis (even if they don’t respond to you immediately) is a simple way to get ongoing referrals. It may even take several touch points to get the desired response. Use different media to communicate. Clients can be reached by phone, SMS, email and snail mail. Don’t rely on just one touch point. If someone misses your message via email, they might get it via text, voicemail, etc. Let’s say you are reaching out to a previous client with the hopes of being referred to a colleague. Find as much contact information as possible. If you aren’t able to reach him/her through email, an SMS may be much more convenient for the client to respond to. Increase the avenues through which you can reach clients.

Proactive communication must be an ongoing process for your business. A client needs to be conditioned about the benefits of your product or service, which may take multiple follow-ups.

Combine all these principles to get personal with clients. The result will be higher client satisfaction, increased referrals, happier staff and a profitable business.

Author: Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is the founder of physical therapy newsletter marketing systems, medical electronic documentation software like In Touch EMR and medical billing companies like In Touch Billing. For more articles and information, click here to visit his physical therapy marketing blog.

Your Key to Success: Sales Preparation

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Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

It’s an often heard adage that applies to virtually any situation, but with sales it’s especially important because failure isn’t a mere inconvenience—it can be the difference between financial success and financial ruin…or at least financial mediocrity.

I once saw the results of a study that said 57 percent of a purchase decision is made before the buyer has any contact with a supplier. Let me put this in graphic terms so you can really get a feel for how important it is.

Imagine you’re about to start a race. You look up from the starting blocks and find that the person you’re running against is already 57 percent of the way down the track.

You have some serious catching up to do!

This underscores the importance of doing extensive preparation before you make any sales call—whether it’s to an existing customer or you’re prospecting via cold calls. You see, if you are able to intelligently engage your prospects or customers (who are 57 percent ahead of you) you can get them to pause long enough for you to catch up to them. If you fail at that, they’ll keep running and cross the finish line without you.

Sales preparation steps

Your preparation falls into two general categories:

  • Understanding your prospect’s needs, and
  • Understanding how your solution meets those needs.

With both of those basic elements understood, then you can begin to craft the best way to engage your prospects to eventually get the sale. Engaging the prospect involves asking the right questions and being attentive to the answers. Let’s first look at how to understand the needs of your prospects.

You’ll first want to get a solid understanding of the company itself and how it stands in relationship to its competitors. What are its strengths and weaknesses? If you’ve been in this industry segment for a long time, you may already have a good feel for this. But even if you’re experienced, talk to others and read industry materials. Know who the leading companies are and if you’re approaching one of the “also-rans,” what would it take to push them into a leadership position? Be able to discuss the trends within the industry and how your product or service supports these trends.

Do a little digging so you know the history of the company. Has it had any major successful projects or products? If its president or CEO were to give a talk and brag about the company’s achievements, what would they be?

Using social media for sales preparation

Social media is a huge benefit for us today. If you follow the social media accounts of your prospects, you’ll quickly discover what they assume to be their strengths. Then, by noting what they don’t tout, you’ll have some clues as to their weaknesses.

Next, you’ll need to get a good feel for the person or people you’ll be meeting directly with. Again, social media can be a huge benefit. Look for shared LinkedIn connections and if any of these shared connections are people you are close to, make some calls to get additional details about your prospect.

Look for shared interests and if your prospect seems to be actively engaged in social media, become a “follower” of his or her account.

By the way, this kind of “research” doesn’t stop at social media. When you eventually head to the office of your prospect, look for more clues that tell you about the person’s interests and background. This information could inform your decision later on when you’re sending gifts to your customers.

Once you understand the industry, company, and the individuals you’ll be working with in the company, then you can see how your products or services fit into the picture. This will help you ask the questions that steer the conversation to a place where your prospects can begin to see the benefits of doing business with you.

The danger of disengagement

Without a deep understanding of your prospect’s needs, you’re likely to end up rambling on about features that are irrelevant. This will cause your prospects to disengage from the conversation. You’ll get a polite, “Thanks for stopping by, we’ll consider it” and nothing more (maybe not even a second chance down the pike.)

I heard one person say that every minute devoted to preparation pays off with 10 minutes saved in time spent with the customers. I don’t know if the 1-to-10 ratio is exactly correct, but the general idea is true. What is even more dramatic is the fact that if you don’t put in the preparation time, you’ll end up losing the sale to a sales rep who is willing to invest the time to properly prepare.

Startup Off the Ground? 5 Things You’ll Need as Your Business Grows

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Too often startups launch with a powerful idea or innovative product but have a limited growth plan or clear exit strategy. The following includes five things you’ll need to keep in mind as your business grows.

Third-Party Contracts and Litigation Planning

Eventually, you may choose to keep marketing, or IT or other departments in-house, but early on you will most likely contract with a third party for these services. Or perhaps your company offers the service. Whether you are the contractee or the contractor, it is essential that all parties understand agreement terms. Hiring a professional with a law degree analyze contracts and litigation can save your company future expenses as you grow and expand.

Develop a Well-Informed Regional Growth Plan

If your startup provides a service, it is important to fully understand and adhere to the regulatory laws of various service areas. Be sure to spend enough time on developing a well thought out growth plan.

An Exit Strategy

Aside from the law, there are financials to consider. If you received money from investors, then it is important to plan how you will pay them back within five to seven years. Have a plan in place for a number of scenarios including: liquidation, merger and acquisition, sale to an interested party or a strategy for going public.

A Core Mission

The annals of business history cough up a number of companies that failed to maintain connection with their core identity and, as a result, lost core customers. It’s important to take a good look at this aspect, and not be afraid to make changes to it when needed. Sticking to the core mission can help your business stay focused and accommodate future growth.

User Experience Professionals

User attitudes change over time, sometimes because of your own product’s influence. For instance, when Apple introduced its original products, it had to educate consumers on what to expect from new technology. Now users have high expectations. Today, Apple products are capable of disappointing the very people the company used to educate. As your startup grows, be prepared to learn from your customers.

Overall, it is much better to start with a core mission, legal counsel, user experience, and an exit strategy in place than it is to through something together during a crisis.

Anita GinsburgAuthor: Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She enjoys writing for business institutions like Champlain College, which offers an online master’s in law.

Get Your Employees Engaged in Your Business

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There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.

~Jack Welch

Having staff engagement is so important for every business. It is critical for your profitability and customer service. Highly engaged employees are more committed to your business, its goals and its success. In short, they are better employees.

Additionally, keeping employees engaged is a great way to increase the longevity of your staff, especially among Millennials. People tend to stay much longer at jobs where they are engaged, and this greatly reduces the cost of turnover.

Unfortunately, according to a recent study by Deloitte Consulting, only 13% of employees are highly engaged. The results of this study raise questions about why engagement is so low and how you can increase it.

The first thing you can do is ensure each employee understands how their jobs help achieve the company’s goals. Of course, you cannot simply tell them once how important they are. You must continuously tell them how their work adds value and contributes to the mission of the organization.

One of the best ways to foster a deeper level of engagement is to ensure each employee is evaluated on a regular basis so they know when they are doing a great job. In my opinion, the annual evaluation is one of the worst things ever invented. I just feel that they are ineffective.

Too often, what should be an evaluation of the entire year becomes more like an evaluation of the last two weeks. Plus, who can really wait a whole year to find out they are not living up to their boss’ expectations?

For these reasons, I recommend businesses adopt a more frequent system of evaluations. Evaluations should be completed monthly, at the very least, but more frequently is even better.

Deloitte, Accenture and Adobe are three major companies that have replaced annual evaluations with systems that provide continuous feedback on performance throughout the year. All businesses need to move in this direction.

Finally, you can help increase engagement by making sure your staff feels like they have a voice in the management of the organization. Employees—especially Millennials—need to feel as if their voices are heard and their opinions are valued. You can accomplish this by asking staff about critical decisions you are facing. This really does help foster engagement and empowerment among your staff.

Now go out and conduct an objective analysis of your employee engagement, then develop a plan to improve it.

You can do this!

How the 2016 Overtime Rule Affects Small Businesses

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As a small business owner, your largest overhead component, 70% on average, is labor. You might have assumed that, within the bounds of things like the minimum wage, you’re essentially free as a small businessperson to negotiate whatever wage and salary with your employees that you’d like. There are, however, additional requirements that you must be aware of, some of which are currently in flux. Perhaps the most relevant to small business owners is the ‘New Overtime Rule.’ In this article we’ll look at what the ‘New Overtime Rule’ is, and how it affects small business owners.

Background

In early 2016, the US Secretary of Labor overhauled the overtime regulations that govern when and how much an employer (including small business owner) has to pay his or her employees for overtime. The ‘New Overtime Rule’ was prompted by President Obama, to address perceived abuses of the “management loophole” under which an increasing number of employees were exempted from overtime eligibility. Those new regulations go into effect on December 1, 2016, and unlike some other employment related laws which only apply to larger companies, this applies to all employers regardless of size.

What It Is

The ‘New Overtime Rule’ essentially states that any employee who earns less than $47,476 per year is automatically eligible for overtime. Under the old overtime rules, if an employee was in a management role and was salaried, they were not eligible for overtime pay. Now, however, regardless of whether that employee is categorized as a manager, if the employee’s total compensation is below the threshold of $47,476 per year, the employee is eligible for overtime.

Moreover, the ‘New Overtime Rule’ clarifies that overtime pay must be paid out at ‘time-and-a-half’ or greater (e.g. if the employee makes an effective $20 per hour for regular pay, their minimum overtime rate is $30 per hour), and that it must be paid out for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

What Does It Mean For Small Business Owners

The new rule was designed simply, and the application is fairly straightforward. If you have an employee that was previously ineligible for overtime because they were categorized as a salaried manager and that person earns less than $47,476 per year, then effective December 1, 2016, you’ll need to make some changes.

Specifically, your options for that employee are: (1) to start tracking the employee’s hours and begin capping their total hours at 40 hours per week, (2) to start tracking the employee’s hours and pay any hours worked over 40 at time-and-a-half, or (3) increase the employee’s salary to $47,476 per year or greater.

Conclusion

While there are certainly some strong arguments to be made for the benefits of this rule for the nation’s workforce as a whole, as an individual small business owner this is almost certainly going to raise your individual wage costs. That said, by understanding the ‘New Overtime Rule’ ahead of time, you have some time to consider your options and make the best choice for your small business.

Disclaimer:

This blog post does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.

Author: Brad Martin is an editor with Soar Payments, a high risk credit card processor that focuses on serving small businesses and startups. You can learn more about Soar Payments by visiting their Google+ page.

Marketing Mistakes That Will Crush Your Growing Startup

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Growing a successful business is incredibly difficult. Less than one in five businesses survive after the first few years.

A number of factors can contribute to failure, but marketing mistakes are the most common. Too many promising entrepreneurs have shot themselves in the foot by failing to have a good marketing strategy in place. Avoid these mistakes at all costs if you want your start up to survive.

1. Blindly Expanding into Unchartered Markets

You’ll eventually completely penetrate your target market. This is something to be proud of, because it proves you had an excellent product that your customers loved.

You will need to start pursuing new markets to sustain growth. However, it’s important to do so strategically. New demographics may not be as receptive, especially if you employed the same marketing strategy. You’ll need to carefully research new markets carefully before targeting them.

There is another problem with expanding into new markets. You can hurt your brand image by venturing into markets that don’t support it.

This is a mistake that Fab (formerly known as Fabulis) made. They transitioned from being a gay dating site to a designerware company. This was a brilliant move, because they captured a huge portion of the U.S. market.

However, Fab started to falter after pursuing a couple of new markets. They tried selling their primary products in Europe. They also tried selling to lower tier markets in the United States.

This was a terrible decision, because they were unable to reach either of these markets effectively. They lost millions on advertising and hurt their core brand in the process.

2. Not Tracking Your ROI

Marketing can become very expensive very quickly. Some startups have spent over $2 million on an SEO campaign.

Before investing serious money, you need a system to track the performance of your marketing. It’s important to kill any marketing campaigns that aren’t paying off.

3. Failing to Make Your Content Stand Out

Thirty years ago, experts estimated that we see about 5,000 ads every day. This figure could be even higher in the digital era. The only way for advertisements to work is for them to stand out.

Virgin America demonstrated this with their promoted tweets. Many other companies used very spammy messages, but Virgin America was much more engaging. Their ads had a much higher click through rate and conversion rate than their competitors.

Here’s an example of one of their old tweets:

“What’s hotter than WiFi, Movies, Games @ 35k FFFT? 500 promooo codes to fly www/z fffrrriend 4 50% off!”

This looks much better than a typical tweet from their competitors.

This is especially important for companies that develop apps. New apps are a dime a dozen, so they need to find innovative ways to get their message out.

4. Copying Your Competitors

Every single business wants to outperform their competitors in every way. Then many of them turn around and copy their competitors’ strategies. This obviously makes absolutely zero sense, particularly if your competitors’ ads are starting to burn out. You may also be trying to brand yourself differently, so employing another company’s marketing strategy confuses your own customer base.

Be original. Laziness never pays off.

Ryan KidmanAuthorRyan Kidman is a big data and analytics expert, marketing digital products on Amazon’s Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he’s totally into it. Follow his latest posts on Business Catalyst. Follow him at @ryankhgb.

Common and Costly Bookkeeping Mistakes

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Tax Question

What are common and costly mistakes made in corporate bookkeeping during the year and how can these be avoided?

Facts

There are many simple checks and cross checks that can be done monthly to help find and correct common and costly bookkeeping mistakes.

Discussion

Bank accounts, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Sales Tax accounts are common areas of avoidable bookkeeping mistakes.

Bank accounts are often reconciled using a reconciliation report within your bookkeeping software. This is a step where you check transactions. Sometimes, even though this report will tell you the bank account is reconciled, an error has occurred within the software set-up and the account is not actually reconciled to the account balance on your ledger.

This can be avoided by additional steps such as cross checking the numbers that the computer is relying upon. For example, checking that your closing bank statement balance per the reconciliation actually agrees to your bank statement for the month and that your closing bank account ledger balance per the reconciliation agrees to your ledger. Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable modules in accounting software sometimes will let you post a transaction to the controlling account without using the sub-ledger module. This creates errors in that your Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable summary listing will no longer agree to the amount in your ledger account. This can be avoided by cross checking monthly that your summary Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable report balances agree to your ledger. If you do this monthly, errors should be easy to identify and correct.

Sales tax returns are often filed based on the sales tax reports within your bookkeeping software. However, sometimes transactions get posted through the general ledger to these sales tax accounts without being linked to the sales tax reports. Therefore, it is important to cross check these sales tax reports each month to ensure they tie to the balances in the ledger. Then the appropriate adjustments can be made on the sales tax return for any discrepancies due to journal entries that were not caught by the monthly sales tax report.

Recommendation

All of these checks and cross checks work on an old software adage GIGO (garbage in equals garbage out): If the software user is not checking what is entered they can not rely on what is being output.

Author: Grant Gilmour has been in the CA business since 1988, starting his own practice in 1994. His tax expertise encompasses tax planning, international tax issues, and Scientific Research and Development tax credits. He is a graduate of the CICA In-Depth Tax Course and in 2012, Grant received the CA Community Service Award and the Scout Leader Medal.

Sales Funnel: When Are They Going to Buy?

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For the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring how you can use your website to move prospects into and through your sales funnel. In this week’s post, we’ll examine what needs to happen once someone has been in your sales funnel for a while and is continuing to show interest.

Having the right timing matters. You don’t get to this part of the funnel after the first couple interactions. If I see one consistent mistake, it’s that people shift into these sorts of strategies way too early. It’s like meeting someone in a bar and proposing the same night. Odds are you aren’t going to get too many yeses.

I totally get it from a business’ point of view and have often felt that frustration myself. You’ve shared your expertise. You’ve answered their questions. Surely they should be ready to buy by now. They obviously like what you do enough to keep coming back. So why aren’t they buying?

In my thirty years of being in business, I’ve rarely met a buyer who is as anxious to make the sale as the seller. Sure, there are those customers who come to us in crisis, and we scramble to put out their fire but they’re not the norm. So what do we do? We hang in there, and we keep being helpful and we work to stay top of mind until they’re ready to move forward.

The other factor to remember is that while we are the ones who build the sales funnel, it’s the prospect that moves through it and they control the pace and direction. So while one prospect may linger in the getting to know you (remember our know • like • trust = sales model) or growing to like you section for years, another may whip through both of those and be willing to trust you enough for a trial purchase in a matter of a couple visits.

For your website to truly be an effective sales funnel, you need to offer different levels of engagement, so the prospects can move themselves through at their own speed. As we talked about in the last couple posts, that means free content (text and video if possible) and content that you’ll give them for an email trade. But what kinds of things should you have available for those who are ready to consider a purchase?

Believe it or not, one that many companies miss is having contact information on the site. Don’t make me look for your phone number or email address. If you have the capacity, live chat is great. But make sure I can contact you and give me more than one method. If you have a brick and mortar presence, be sure you list your street addresses as well, with a link to one of the mapping sites.

You can also offer the ability to schedule a call, demo or take an assessment that will require you contact them (usually by email) with the results.

Remember that most buyers want to be pretty sure they’re going to buy before they speak to a salesperson or company representative. When they do reach out, they may have some final questions but they’re very close to making a buying decision. Which means you need to be ready to respond quickly once they do trigger that next level of readiness. Test your site and all your internal systems to verify that nothing is going to get in the way of you finally connecting with this potential buyer.

Today’s consumers want to be able to shop us on the web. How well that works for you is completely in your control. Is your site ready?

Business-Focused, People-Centric

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Often in understanding business leadership, people tend to focus on two extreme models of leaders. The first is the “It’s all about the numbers” leader. Typically, these are portrayed as hard charging, data driven, task and goal focused, and sometimes ruthless executives.

The other model is the human/people focused leaders. These are portrayed as caring more about people, their satisfaction, creating great collaborative work environments, expecting this will produce great results.

In reality, great leadership requires a balanced approach to both (minus the ruthlessness).

Great leaders are intensely business focused. They are driven to achieve, they have clarity about the strategies, goals, priorities, and directions of the organization. They are impatient in achieving those goals, recognizing results count.

But they realize, the only way they achieve these goals is through their people. Without engaged, motivated people executing the strategies, their ability to achieve their goals become nothing more than wishful thinking. Without making sure they have the right people, in the right jobs, performing at the highest levels possible, it is impossible for the organization to perform. Without continued coaching and development, over time, the organization will fail to grow and execute its strategies successfully.

Successful businesses leadership is about establishing a vision, setting goals, developing strong strategies, building capabilities and capacity within the organization to execute those goals, and knowing these are achieved through people.

But where they differ from the first type of executive I described, is these leaders recognize the only way they can achieve the goals, the only way they can execute the strategies is through their people.

The reality of top leadership performance is you have to span the extremes of these model. Focusing on one without the other is a recipe for failure. Too large a focus on one over the other creates stress and imbalance in the organization.

Afterword: Joel Trammell wrote a terrific article in Inc Magazine: 6 Habits Of People Centric Leaders. Make sure you read it. I wanted to expand on his discussion.

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