Objectives: Learning to Lead
Self-motivation and motivation skills
Ability to negotiate
Strategic thinking is being concerned on the future, on the business idea, on the business survival.
It has mainly to do with the Company Vision, the Company Mission, the Values, the basic Competitive Business Factors.
The company activity pressure is often a threat towards a clean orientation to the future, which should be the best for business success not only in the very immediate term, but also in the middle and wishfully in the long-term. A manufacturing operator should be focused on his own daily or weekly work; a foreman or middle-management manager probably on the monthly or yearly work. The person who needs to be a leader should be focused on the next 3-5 years. This kind of engagement brings him/her to be a motivator for the collaborators and somebody who pulls, rather one who pushes. The important and discriminating aspect is however; to have one idea in one’s mind (the Vision) whichh is acting as a magnet toward the iron, and other sensitive metals.
The future should sound for the business members as an attracting show, where they can be the successful actors.
Decision making means making decisions as more as possible being focused both on the different factors which are dynamically present on the competitive field, and mainly on the TIME factor.
A decision is quite always the final part of a process, which virtually proposes several options. The decision maker has to choose amongst two or several alternatives.
It is important to take care not just of short-term options, but also – and more and more every once this is possible - in view of the middle and long-term Vision.
SELF-MOTIVATION AND MOTIVATION SKILLS
The leader must be able to encourage all his/her internal and external collaborators to provide their own energy in view of the business ideal aims and practical objectives.
In the last 20-30 years, the globalization has come. This means that we can say the world has become smaller and smaller.
Mainly thanks to technologies, and particularly to internet, time is simultaneous everywhere there is an internet connection; and distances have become really “shorter”.
Thus, the basic, strategic and potentially most competitive business propeller has become the human role. Thus people’s individual and genuine involvement is strategic, and can make the competitiveness difference.
The Business owner must be a people leader and a facilitator of single guys motivation.
It is important to keep in mind that PEOPLE CANNOT BE MOTIVATED: THEY CAN ONLY SELF-MOTIVATE!. Then the leader’s role is now in proposing to his/her collaborators some objectives and aims that “sound” interesting and worth of genuine engagement for their collaborators… beyond money. Money must alse be there, but is no more enough.
ABILITY TO MANAGE TIME, TO NEGOTIATE AND DELEGATE
A leader has always today more jobs and more work to do, than s/he can actually perform. Then, s/he must be able to find out and practice some approaches which can help him/her in governing all his/her time action needs
Time management. The basic rule can be summarized as follows:
“You should manage your time, not be managed by it!”. Then you need to identify your most important objectives, and behave after their importance priority, not after the sequence they happen to ask for your time. In other words, we can agree with Peter Drucker, a great expert and writer, and the management discipline inventor: “Do the most important things first, and … do not do the second ones... Otherwise you will not be able to do neither the first not the second ones!”
Negotiation. Information and Communication are more and more important today. A leader must be able to manage both information, which is linked to objective data, but mainly communication, which includes a personal approach. Negotiation means to be aware that one cannot always get 100% of one’s goal, but must generally mediate at least a little bit. In negotiation there is the risk to get to a dead point, while things should go ahead. It is important to know that in a negotiation, or in a deal the really important things are not the ones which are openly proposed. They are generally concealed. In other words the expressed reasons are generally not the really important ones. It is necessary to get to the really important ones.
Moreover, it is important to avoid “polarization” also called “wall against wall”. Things must go on. In the polarization/radicalization case, it is important to find out a third way in order to go out of the “wall against wall” trap (after M. Ghazal, UN professional negotiation office worker).
To delegate: Particularly for new entrepreneurs, who often have started their own business mainly thanks to their own energy and ideas, it is a real challenge to learn to delegate. They are used to give orders. However, when the job becomes more complex, they must learn to delegate.
To delegate correctly means to empower collaborators to take the burden of getting to a final result, to get a goal. It is wrong to delegate only part of an objective. And controlling the delegate person’s job should be done at the end of the process or at least at the end of some steps, which must not be too short. Checking the delegate’s job continuously, during his/her ongoing process action, will end into a delegate’s initiative paralysis.
Following and practicing ethical values means to be focused not just an the “immediate advantage” (then not just on the short-term), but also on the company reputation (in the middle-long term),
This means that sometimes you should avoid doing something which at the moment sounds as economically desirable for the company, in order to keep your image “clean”. A good guide to facilitate the choice in some crucial moments can be this simple warning:
“If you don’t want that what you are going to undertake is known, DO NOT DO IT!”.
Ethical values are a basic component of the Company Values, which are the intangible but often unique and very competitive heritage of your company. In storm times ethical values become a reliable and reassuring anchor for all the business members.
Teambuilding is the attitude and the set of skills which are needed in order to gather and keep alive in the middle-long-term a business team of self-motivated people. That is a real life-insurance action for the company future.
Building a team implies giving attention to your people; gathering them in workgroups; proposing them and analysing together with them your personal and your business aims and objectives, in order to share them with you. This means:
- to propose a Vision, which should be understood, discussed, then shared as more as possible; your people should feel themselves identified in the company Vision;
- to clarify the Company Mission, which means to understand and clarify which solutions you are going to propose to actual and potential clients. You should do that in order to let the clients be happy to remunerate you and your company by buying your service and your products.
- to declare and consolidate you and your Company Values, in order to have an anchor on which to count in the stormy times, when the cardinal points of your navigation risk to get lost.
- To focus on the real Competitive Factors which make your company and business offer to be something unique in the geographic, economic and cultural context (territory and competitive environment) you are working in.
Communication skills are those specific skills whose aim is to let external and internal business people feel “warmly” involved in your objectives.
There is a basic difference between Information and Communication.
Information is cold: they are data, and formal ways to transfer data of different kind:
We could say “In-form-action”. Its basic components are the technical ones.
Communication is warm: it means to involve people by sharing ideas, data, aims, ideals.
We could say: “In-common-action”. Its basic components are the human ones.
In order to practice an effective Communication you should be focused on two aspects at least:
- The human Communication components. It must be clear that human communication has three basic components:
- Verbal communication: regarding what we say, the words we pronounce our sentence;
- Paraverbal communication: regarding how we say, the way we pronounce our sentence;
- Non-verbal communication: regarding what we don’t say, the words we don’t pronounce but which can be deduced from or behaviour.
- After several reliable researches, these 3 aspects are composing the final result more or less 1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3.
- Practicing an effective Communication. In order to practice an effective communication you must do your best in order to use your interlocutor’s cultural and practical code. Sometimes maybe this one will be an elegant English, or French, sometimes a jargon, a dialect language. Moreover, you should try to get a feed-back from your interlocutor, in order to understand whether your message has been correctly decoded, then correctly understood.