What are the essentials of leadership?

A leader creates an environment where people consistently perform to the best of their ability. Some of us are natural leaders, whereas the rest of us have to learn how to lead.

To be a great leader, you need to be many things. To achieve that, there are a number of essentials required. For instance:

Giving a clear sense of direction. If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know when you get there, or what path to take?
Understanding who the customer is. Who really is the customer? A customer is the recipient of a good, service or product. They could be internal or external.
Communicating clearly. What is it you are trying to tell them. If they get it wrong – perhaps they didn’t understand.
Being flexible. Accept change and implement it.
Taking risks but not to the detriment of your department or business.
Building a strong team around you. Have clear goals and objectives from the start. Delegate and regularly review. Respect advice and suggestions.
Listening with humility (be open to what you are hearing) and acting with courage. Be brave.
Earning reward through building trust. Build a culture of competence, honesty and reliability along with good communication and common vision.
Becoming a leader requires time and patience. If you would like some help, or your business would like a Leadership and Management course delivered to suit your business needs, then email info@peptalk-uk.com for more information.

This course is suited to existing managers, directors, these new to management or senior supervisors.

Seven Tips for Engaging Ambassadors

1         Appoint someone in your organisation to be accountable for the ambassador programme. They need to be organised, a good communicator and an ambassador themselves.

2         Research, research, research – who are the ambassadors? Know who and which of your stakeholders are your ambassadors. It takes dedicated time and effort to understand who the ambassadors are amongst your stakeholders.

3         Start small – grow big. Aim for ten passionate ambassadors rather than 100 that are just ‘OK’. Growth will come organically as they help you identify others just like them.

Tell the ten about the value for of recruiting other ambassadors just like them.

4         Create a communication channel just for ambassadors. It is important to connect with your ambassadors and create ways for them to connect with each other.

5         Acknowledge ambassadors. Tell them they are doing a great job and share with them the results and measurables of their great work.

If appropriate, reward them in some way. For example, give them tickets to a event or invite them to lunch with the board. Ambassadors need to know they are doing a great job in order for them to continue doing it.

6         Create a feedback loop between the ambassadors and the brand. Give them a go-to person who will be responsible for ensuring key messages are communicated. Create a forum for responses or feedback. Let them communicate with those that do the marketing. Ask one of your ambassadors to engage in a marketing focus group.

7         Give ambassadors the tools to create something amazing! Fuel the organic growth, so when ambassadors are communicating with their advocates they can immediately bring the brand to their attention. Tools can include flyers or cards which detail website URL, who to contact for further information and the communication channels your organisation engages with.

Following up after Networking Meetings

I am continually surprised that often it is me instigating the follow up and wonder if some of the people I meet at networking meetings make the time themselves to prepare and reflect on the meetings.

I attend about three Face-to-Face network meetings every week.  Each meeting I schedule time in my diary to prepare and that preparation includes my elevator pitch, (what my business is about) and how many new business people I would like to meet, or business cards I want to exchange with my own.  I also make sure I am up to speed with local news and have a few open questions to hand to ask those I meet, in order to stimulate conversation.

For me networking is about connecting with people – it is not selling them my services.  So when I return to my desk after a networking meeting, I reflect on each person I have met, either new or existing and I send them an email or an invite to connect on Linked In and thank them for their time, or make reference to the conversation we had.  If I said I would follow up with further information, I do just that and sometimes I make a telephone call to them!!

I am continually surprised that often it is me instigating the follow up and wonder if some of the people I meet at networking meetings make the time themselves to prepare and reflect on the meetings.  I bet many don’t.  I also wonder if the same people have clear objectives about what they want to achieve from attending these meetings – better still being part of the networking group?

Planning a questionnaire or survey as part of your market research strategy?

Conducting a survey or questionnaire is one of the most popular methods of undertaking market research.  Sophisticated questionnaires and surveys usually require some professional expertise, but here are some tips to help you compile your questionnaire or survey and keep it simple.

Before you start, be clear about what you are looking for.  Answer the following questions:

  • What does the business need to know?
  • Why does the business need to know this information?
  • What will the business do with this information once they have it?
  • What impact will there be on the business if this particular market research is not conducted?
  • Who will make up your sample?  Whose views will you be seeking?  From the x number you send out, what would be an expected response rate??
  • How will you administer your questionnaire or survey?  This includes circulation (post, email, personal interview, web etc), receiving (post, email, personal interview, web etc), inputting and analysing the information.
  • How will you incentivise in order to boost the response?  What’s in it for them?  Remember this can be used as a ‘soft’ sales tool for your business, therefore an opportunity to let customers experience how great your product or service is.

For more information and advice about compiling your questionnaire or survey, contact Peptalk on 0792 700 8440, or info@peptalk-uk.com.

A New Year and a great time for reviewing the performance of your business!

A New Year brings to us all a fresh start.  I hope over the festive season that business owners had an opportunity to take a few days out to rest up and reflect on the previous calendar years business achievements.

For some Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s),  31st December may have been the end of financial year, so 1st January starts afresh with an updated business plan, some new goals, targets and a fresh action list.

For others, 1st January may be the start of the last quarter for the financial year, so time to review performance over the past three quarters and to understand what needs to change in order to meet the goals set.

How can we be sure we are on track?  Perhaps business owners had great intentions on tracking the performance of their business over the last year but never got the basics underway to do so.   Follow these simple steps to implement some metrics to tracking the performance of your business.

  • Ensure your business data is accurate;
  • Are your goals and targets falling in line with the business plan;
  • Keep the metrics simple, understand what you want implement and the information you expect to receive;
  • Dedicate a resource to track the data and produce a simple, but meaningful report;
  • Decide what you would like to do with the information you receive from the metrics.  Put it on the wall; tell the sales team; tell the stakeholders.  Good, bad or indifferent – something needs to happen.

Remember that tracking the performance of your business aids good business decisions.

If you are a business owner and need help understanding how best to track the performance of your business, then Peptalk can help.

Are you scheduling time to work on your business?

How many of us are scheduling time in our diaries each week to work on our business?

And if we are, what tasks are we committed to achieving and are we aware of the desired outcome for that scheduled time? The tasks, do they include social media, marketing, following up from networking meetings, general admin, reviewing business performance, book work and even reviewing the ‘plan’?

If your desire is to grow your business, scheduling these things in your diary are all important. If you feel overwhelmed by how you can achieve some of these tasks and continue to work in your business, then consider outsourcing some of these tasks. There are some excellent social media, marketing, book keepers, accountants, HR experts about and if they are not what you are looking for then consider delegating some of your tasks to a virtual assistant.

Better still, if you don’t enjoy doing any of these tasks then why are you doing them? You would be much happier if you were able to get on with what you are good at in your business!