Three crucial skills for leading without authority

The goal of leadership without authority is to get others to willingly co-operate and engage, rather than following directives because you’re the boss

Three crucial skills for leading without authorityWith flatter management structures, increased outsourcing, and the moves toward collaborative cultures and cross-functional teams, the criterion for the job of leader is changing. More and more people are assigned to leadership roles in which they have no positional authority. The goal of leadership without authority is to get others to willingly co-operate and engage,…

Are you stumbling in search of purpose in life and work?

People who find ways to make a difference in the lives of others have a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment

Are you stumbling in search of purpose in life and work?A certain young man spent five years in university, graduating with a professional degree. He then started down his career path, in search of success and fulfilment, with hopes of changing the world for the better. But it wasn’t long before a harsh reality set in: What started out as a passion became a task…

What skin are you putting in the client prospecting game?

Building relationships with prospects is crucial to long-term business growth. And it all comes down to trust and commitment

What skin are you putting in the client prospecting game?“Real clients put skin in the game” is an adage used in the business training I’m a part of. The adage identifies if you’re connecting with a qualified prospect. Are they committed to doing something you’ve asked (e.g. complete key forms prior to the meeting)? While we business owners ask this of our prospects, are…

Why mission matters now more than ever

Encouraging everyone to look at what they’re doing through a mission lens can help your entire organization

Why mission matters now more than everI often find inspiration for my column from something I’ve read or heard. This month’s column was inspired by a podcast with Tobi Lütke, co-founder and CEO of Shopify. Shopify has been on a tear lately, overtaking even RBC to become Canada’s most valuable company. As a very small shareholder, I couldn’t be happier for…

How small business can thrive in a post-pandemic economy

SMEs are resilient, entrepreneurial and resourceful. With the right support, they will rebuild, transition and diversify

How small business can thrive in a post-pandemic economyNobody has been hurt more in this pandemic-inflicted economy than the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector. Closures, reduced hours and layoffs because of COVID-19 have impacted the vast majority of small businesses. Up to 30 per cent report that they will not survive the next 30 days without government assistance. The uncertainty of just…

Creativity in business must be tested

Using practical measures to test the validity of our creative output is even more essential than the creativity itself

Creativity in business must be testedWhen I was a boy, our family of eight lived in a small house. In the corner of the basement was an art room for my father. In the evenings and sometimes on weekends through long winters, he would go down and work on his oil paintings. I remember watching him as he mixed his…

Why you don’t believe me when I say “I’m listening”

If you have to choose between what I’m saying and how I look while saying it, you will intuitively discount my words and believe what you see

Why you don’t believe me when I say “I’m listening”If I am dropping eye contact or checking texts messages or rotating my shoulders while you are speaking, you don’t feel heard – even if I tell you I’m listening and can repeat every word you just said. Here’s why . . . Most explanations of human behaviour assume that people are strongly influenced by…

Applying barnyard lessons to the pandemic aftermath

For many, the current economic climate is very difficult. There are serious challenges ahead

Applying barnyard lessons to the pandemic aftermathIt had rained all day and as I walked that evening with my wife, I noticed the worms on the road, clambering to escape the torrents of water that were flooding their living spaces. Finding a discarded drink cup, I started collecting them for our garden. Counting them as I went, I was taken back…

Talk to your venture capitalist before you crash and burn

Open communication with your VC can help you, your company and your longer-term prospect of later support

Talk to your venture capitalist before you crash and burnEverything is positive when a new venture begins. There is a rush of excitement, people are fully committed, hours are long and creativity is cranked to its peak. The traction, media attention or buzz will soon bring you to the notice of venture capitalists. Cash comes in and everyone is pumped up. The founders are…

Forgive yourself for making tough business decisions

How do business owners deal with the emotional and mental toll of making hard decisions that impact employees?

Forgive yourself for making tough business decisionsMy business coach asked me to forgive myself for some very hard decisions I made for my business. This was the first truly difficult task he gave me. How could I forgive myself for a decision that seemingly hurt others? Yet leaders are always having to make choices that may hurt someone’s livelihood. With no…

Depressed after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown?

Entrepreneurs can feel extraordinary pressure. But there are steps you can take to find an emotional equilibrium

Depressed after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown?I was in a funk this week and couldn’t shake it. I was disillusioned, grumpy, lethargic. I was tired of being stuck with my family, sick of hearing the news repeat itself, worried about one of my investments and fed up with a lack of progress on some projects. At least one whole day was…

Innovation can be intimidating but it’s necessary

A strategic growth and innovation plan is crucial to any business that wants to continue to thrive. And that requires vision

Innovation can be intimidating but it’s necessaryInnovation can be intimidating. After all, the word represents change and change is something many of us don’t like. Our resistance to change can be caused by many things. Humans appreciate predictability and the ability to proceed without added stress, difficulty and conflict. We will do almost anything to avoid conflict, no matter how necessary.…

Entrepreneurs need to know when to call it quits

Don't let your business success or failure define your worth as a person

Entrepreneurs need to know when to call it quitsJody Sherman founded several companies. Some got bought out for modest success and others failed. Ecomom was his last startup. Management and staff tried hard but Ecomom didn't work and it burned. When Sherman saw no hope for Ecomom, he saw no hope for himself so he ended his own life. But there is more…

Getting your Google My Business page up and running

This free service is a key piece in organizing your online content and how customers will search for you

Getting your Google My Business page up and runningWhenever I work with a new client, one of the first things we complete together (if it’s not already done) is their Google My Business page. This free service from Google is a key piece in organizing your online Google content and how your customers are going to search for you. Your Google My Business…