Friday, 23 October 2009

Do you fit the bill?

Sometimes I wonder what will become of a business if it is being run by friends. I saw many businesses failed because it was set up between/among friends who got together to make some money. But how far the business will grow and become successful depends entirely on the individual who has the sharpest business acumen. And not how clever the person is. Not how rich the person is. Not how good a person is at multi-tasking. Not how much work experience (maybe irrelevant experience) a person has prior to his own business. It depends on the person's judgement, on how to run the business, on how to grow the business, on which partners he ropes in. I saw many fail for one reason - the partners fall out with each other eventually over the slightest tiny reason.

No matter how many partners there are in a business, the person in charge must be far sighted in terms of business, in terms of strategy, in terms of having a heart to feel for others as well. It is good to dream how big your business will be. But it's the getting there that is the most
difficult. How to choose the "leader" of the pack, so that the rest would be willing to work hard together, for him?

For me, to earn my respect, this person who would lead the pack .... must have some pre-requisites.

- The person must have undergone some business training in management somehow or another. Eg. how do you expect a techie IT guy to run a business when all he knows is computer lingo?

- The person must be willing to take risks. It is easy for anyone to say they are risk-taking, but it shows in your character how you handle certain situation. Eg. making sure not to waste money by travelling by train to get to your destination. How to make money when 80% of the time was spent travelling instead of finding business or closing that crucial deal?

- The person must convince his fellow workmates or subordinates he can do the stuff he is dictating them to do. An employee once told me that his boss did not know a single code of the technical project he was supposed to be in charge of and his boss was relying on him to finish all the crucial tasks.

- The person must be able to present his ideas in even simple reports and business plan to convince clients or to the bigger boss or to his fellow team mates. Although it is good to have the PR, but business does not succeed purely by calling people "brother" all the time.

- The person may have a wealth of working experience in different trades but as a CEO, would you choose this person to manage your "corporate" business? Being a Jack of all trades does not mean that person can be a Master of the One & Only trade. Can a restaurant owner or pub owner manage a huge MNC if he does not have prior experience working in a MNC before?

- The person who can succeed in managing a business will not allow himself to be led by the nose by others who told him to do even the lowest inefficient task, and wasting sleepless nights to resolve a simple technical problem, when help is just a phone call away.

Everyday I do observe people's behaviour, people's talk, people's action, people's passion, people's dreams, but how many of these people can convince me enough that they can perform up to the standard of a leader? I saw many businesses fail because there is no long term plan, or the plan keep changing or the people do not have the calibre to lead. I hope through observing others, I will learn and be well prepared to run my own business one day, learning from others' weaknesses and strengths. I hope I won't be cold turkey by then.

Quote of the Day
The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. Woodrow Wilson

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