How To Tell If You Are A Creative or Reactive Leader

How To Tell If You Are A Creative or Reactive Leader

Experts say that the best leaders are creative rather than reactive. In other words, they anticipate future needs and make new products or tailor the ones they already have to suit that future.

Thanks to technology, A.I. and social media our world is changing rapidly. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be able to understand how those changes will affect your business…and establish ways to take full advantage of those changes.

Are you creative or reactive? Here’s how you can test your potential.

Are You a Creative or a Reactive Leader? Test Yourself

If you want to advance quickly in the business you work for or accelerate the progress of the business you own, you’ve got to become much better at creating initiatives, or making existing ones new and starting them.

In an article in Fast Company magazine (“The Secret Life of the CEO”), Jim Collins (author of “Good to Great”) wrote that the best leaders don’t focus as much on beating the competition as they do on making their own products and services better than they were before. (Here! Hear?)

Creative business leaders are always asking themselves the following questions:

  • What do potential customers really need, now?
  • What worries them?
  • What causes them pain?
  • What would they be eager to buy?”
  • How can I make our current customers happier?
  • How can we make the products we sell them better?
  • More useful?
  • More valuable?”

Do you ask yourself these questions? Regularly? And if you do…do you come up with not just good, rather great answers…answers that can advance your business? Test your creative skills against the following checklist printed in a recent issue of Executive Leadership.

Ask yourself…are you:

  • Internally driven
  • Focused on the work, not politics
  • Goal-oriented around, rather than crisis-centered
  • Good relationship builder

Ask yourself…do you:

  • Make full use of your strongest talents
  • Set aggressive long-term goals

The above are all characteristics of creative leaders. Here are the traits of “reactive” leaders. They generally:

  • Are motivated by external factors like money and power
  • Are focused on corporate politics, not the work
  • Allow their time to be dictated by what’s in their inbox
  • Sometimes ignore their strongest talents in favor of “good management”
  • Plan in one- to five-year increments
  • They believe nothing is sacred and relationships are expendable

How many of those reactive characteristics apply to you?

How would you grade yourself?

The best leaders are indeed long-term oriented, people-friendly, loyal, eager to provide better products & services, and unconcerned about where they stand in just about any pecking order…either in their industry or within their business.

And that’s something to think about…

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Sell Your Brand With The Right Brand Statement

Sell Your Brand With The Right Brand Statement

What do all great brands have in common?

Great brands tell an amazing story in a unifying statement. As a result customers get everything they need to know in order to commit to the brand. When a customer hears your brand statement, they should know exactly what your brand will do for them.

A well crafted brand statement makes a major impact on the minds of your target customer.  You need one statement which says it all.  This is something Apple are masters of.  When Steve Jobs announced the ipod the message the message was unmistakably clear, the iPod was  “a hundred songs in your pocket”. The rest is history.

Your brand statement is a headline for your business; it will attract the attention of everybody that reads it, arouse their curiosity, and ultimately compel them to try out your brand to see for themselves.

To be effective your brand statement should:

  • Have an emotional impact while sharing the valuable service your brand will bring to the consumer.
  • Consist of a snappy sentence designed for maximum impact.
  • Be brief to ensure clarity.
  • Highlight the unique service you aim to provide to the target market.

One sentence that reflects an interesting brand story will win the interest of potential customers. With the right execution and follow up, you can become the most important brand in the market to these people. Remember, lifelong loyalty begins with a single sentence. What story is your brand statement telling your customers?

 

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Save Time With A Default Diary

Save Time With A Default Diary

In our experience of working with hundreds of business owners every year we have observed that one of the reasons people are not able to implement their plans is that they try to climb a mountain in one leap. Not only is this impossible to accomplish but it leaves a trail of abandoned plans,  being overwhelmed as well as bringing people to the brink of burn out.

Successful planning is no different to mountain climbing. You set your goal and achieve it one step at a time.  The key to achieving your goals consistently is to break each step down to smaller, actionable tasks.

The Default Diary

A “Default Diary” is a plan of specific times in your week that are dedicated to important activities. It’s a plan of what you will do by default. You can look upon it as a plan for what you would ideally do when your week goes according to plan.

Here’s how to set up an effective Default Diary:

  1.  Make A List Of Your Priorities.
  2.  Schedule Your Next Week Every Friday.
  3.  Break Your Week Into 1 Hr Segments.
  4.  Leave enough unplanned time to allow a healthy level of flexibility.
  5.  Use a general description and try to do something new under that heading each week eg: Update Business Plan.

Click here to download default diary template

Default Diary Template

By breaking your week into one hour segments and developing a ‘Default Diary’, this forces you to spend your entire week proactively rather than reacting blindly to whatever comes along first. It automatically makes sure that the important stuff gets done, not just the urgent stuff.

Remember the only way you can conquer a mountain is one step at a time. Make sure you create your Default Diary before your next week kicks off. 

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Stay Ahead Of The Game This Summer With Quarterly Business Planning

Stay Ahead Of The Game This Summer With Quarterly Business Planning

Don’t Lose Sight Of The Goal Posts This Summer

Stay on Target With Regular Quarterly Business Planning…

So we have reached the halfway mark of 2018 – where did that time go? And more importantly, how has business been for you so far this year?

Are your numbers where they should be? Are they where you expected them to be? With 6 months gone, are you on track to hit your sales and revenue targets for 2018?

Now that we are officially into the summer season, it can be easy to lose focus of your goals or targets with managing staff holidays and depending on the industry that you are in, perhaps dealing with the increased footfall.

However it’s important not to lose sight of your over-arching business objectives. Without regular quarterly planning (summer included), another 3 months could easily slip by and you could be slipping further away from achieving your year-end personal and business goals.

Half way through the year is the perfect time to take stock of how business is performing against what you had set out at the start of the year. There is still plenty of time to course-correct.

Here are 10 Top Tips To Keep You On Target With Your Quarterly Business Plan Goals This Summer:

  1. Review Your Numbers – compare total Income, Gross Profit, Net Profit for the quarter just passed, against the previous quarter, and against the same period last year.  What’s the change year over year? Get even more specific – break it down by product / service….
  2. Financial Targets – Based on the figures and what you wanted to achieve this year, what’s your financial targets for the quarter ahead?
  3. Stop, Start, Continue – What should you stop doing? What should you start doing? What should you do more of?
  4. Key Goals – Write down 3-5 goals that you need to accomplish in the next 13 weeks.
  5. Get specific – rewrite each of these goals into the SMART format – Specific. Measureable. Achievable. Results focused. Time based.
  6. Break it down – Write out each task that needs to be completed to accomplish each goal. Tasks should be low level, reasonable, and should be able to be achieved in a week or less.
  7. Engage Your Team – Share your plan with your team, or even better – get them involved!
  8. Deadlines – Assign a completion date to each task.
  9. Responsibility – Assign a team member to take ownership and accountability of the completion of each task.
  10. Review – Schedule regular team meetings to review progress of your goals over the next 13 weeks. With continued focus – they run a much higher  chance of being achieved!

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It can be if you take the time out of the day-to-day to do it, and are disciplined enough to see it through.

If you need a day out of your business to work on developing your plan with one of our expert Business Coaches, join us on Friday 13th July at our full day Quarterly Business Planning Workshop.

Just click here for more details, or give us a call on 01 891 6220.

 

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TC Matthews Carpets – Building A Retail Chain

TC Matthews Carpets – Building A Retail Chain

TC Matthews Feature in Irish Independent by Seán Gallagher.

Congratulations to Brendan Cumiskey owner of TC Matthews Carpets on being featured by Sean Gallagher in the Irish Independent.  This article by Seán Gallagher shares many valuable insights into what it takes to build a retail chain.

It is nice to have been mentioned too.

You can click here to read the online article published by Independent Business or read the print version below.

 

 

 

 

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