Receive Leadership Tips

<

Follow me on Twitter

John Maxwell Team

John Maxwell Team Certified Member

Priscilla Archangel is a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker.

Recent Comments

    Archives

    motivation

    Four Underlying Motivations to Good Decisions

    Pat arrived at the office early. She hadn’t slept well the night before because she was wrestling with an important decision that needed to be made in her Executive Committee meeting that morning. They had been evaluating the development and launch of a new product for the past six months. Today they needed to make a final decision on whether they were going to move forward. The discussions had been thorough yet difficult with wide ranging opinions on what they should do. There was significant risk associated with the launch, but the potential reward could be a greatly improved market share. As CEO, she needed everyone to make a full commitment to the decision, and while the objective analysis appeared to lead the team to adopt it, a number of other issues had arisen, and there was a LOT of debate. Continue reading

    Good Leaders Follow the RIGHT Instinct

    Kelley is stressed. He and his team are on a tight deadline to bring a project to market that could significantly boost his company’s revenues for the fiscal year. The hand off from the development team to them was delayed due to technical issues, and the whole project is now backed up. The pressure is intense as the executive committee is now asking for weekly progress reports to ensure their promises to prospective clients and the shareholders will be met.

    At the same time Kelley is exasperated with his team for several errors they’ve made, along with their pushback on part of the strategy that was previously agreed upon. It reached the point that this morning he blew up and let them have it. His words in the brief team meeting were partly uncontrolled anger and partly controlled manipulation. He wanted to make a point and motivate them to stay sharp and move quicker, and to understand the pressure he is experiencing. Continue reading

    Leadership Stamina: The Priority of Self-Management

    men-1245982_640 (1)How often do you find yourself working long hours on a major organizational project, leading your team, managing diverse stakeholder opinions, or facing a looming deadline with nowhere near enough resources (time, people, money, technology) to meet your goals. Then somehow, it all comes together, and you’re a hero! A superhero! Or so you think. In reality, you realize that you’ve thrown all your energy into this one facet of your life and work, and other facets (family, relationships, other projects, personal finances, exercise, life goals, etc.) are now suffering from lack of attention. Continue reading

    The Accidental Entrepreneur

     

    Most of what we accomplish in building a business involves balancing the right combination of the person, product and profit. The person must possess the right business and leadership skills.  The product has to be in demand for the market.  The profit comes from sufficient funding and management of resources.  But is it possible to accidentally be successful as an entrepreneur?

    Auntie Anne’s pretzels is a phenomenal success and today has 1200 stores across 26 countries, with 2012 sales of $410 million. The business wasn’t a likely candidate for such success though when it was started by Anne Beiler. Anne was raised in the Amish community and when she married at 19, her only goal was to become a mother. Unfortunately, a tragic accident killed one of her daughters and her marriage went into a crisis for six years. Thankfully she and her husband were able to restore their relationship. In an effort to support other families going through similar marriage and family issues, they opened a free marriage and family counseling center in their community. To fund this initiative, they purchased an Amish-owned store that sold pretzels, pizza and ice cream for Anne to run.

    Business owner holding an "open" signAnne lacked the education, financial backing, and business plan for this entrepreneurial adventure, but credits her success to her discipline, teamwork and perseverance instilled through her upbringing. Over time she improved on her recipes, narrowed the product to just pretzels, learned how to market, built a franchise operation, and found an angel investor. She credits her overall business success with using three small Ps, purpose, product and people, to yield one big P, profit. After about 17 years of ownership, she recognized that the company’s growth was outpacing her capability and capacity, and she made the difficult decision to sell it. The company still bears her name, but she has no financial interest in it.


     

    The Entrepreneurial Knack

    Contrast Anne’s skillsets as an entrepreneur with typical traits and characteristics of entrepreneurs as suggested by Kara Page of Demand Media. These traits include:

    • The ability to motivate yourself and others.
    • Integrity of your product or service, and yourself
    • Creativity to continually identify new ideas and opportunities,
    • Inquisitiveness to ask questions and engage in continuous learning about the competition and your own business
    • Willingness to fail and ability to evaluate what went wrong to keep trying
    • Sociability to meet potential clients, suppliers and develop networks.

    This challenges my paradigm of the skills that are really most important to be a successful entrepreneur, because what I expected to see, but is missing from this list are the standard items like education; experience in financial management, marketing, sales, or operations; strong leadership skills, etc.  As the business grows, the entrepreneur can hire people with these skills, but in the early years, the founder/entrepreneur frequently has to be a jack-of-all-trades. While Beiler didn’t appear to have a plan for a franchise business when she first opened her stores, she seemed to possess the majority of these skillsets.

    Accidental or On-Purpose

    Thus Anne looks like the accidental entrepreneur. In spite of her business deficiencies, she developed a good product and created a demand for it. The opportunity propelled her forward to success, and part of the motivation was being able to use the profits to help her community.

    So if you really feel a calling to entrepreneurship, but aren’t sure whether you have what it takes, are you focusing on the right skillsets? Are you shortchanging your abilities and experience? Have you creatively explored different approaches to accomplish your goal? Maybe you have a non-profit organization and entrepreneurship will provide the funding to support it.

    Admittedly, there’s really no such thing as an accidental entrepreneur. People simply approach business ventures differently based on their background and perspective. The true key to success is combining the right skills with your entrepreneurial passion and calling…in essence, being on-purpose…in line with what you’re called to do. Who knows? Maybe your entrepreneurial success will be a gift to those around you.

     

    Read more about Anne Beiler and Kara Page’s characteristics of entrepreneurs.

    Photo courtesy of IStockphoto

    Leadership Development Lesson

    Motivation Moment – Pulling Your Weeds