If you think all CEOs are Ivy League educated individuals who set their eyes on the C-suite at a young age, you're mistaken. According to Elena Botelho and Kim Powell, authors of the book "The CEO Next Door," "Even the most impressive CEOs often didn't start out knowing they were destined for greatness."
However, many of us believe the stereotype that an "iconic CEO is powerful and patrician, a bold, charismatic extrovert with a flawless resume," write the researchers. This makes us falsely assume that we are not "CEO material." To the contrary, ordinary people can also become CEOs, note the authors, as long as they have the necessary traits.
Four simple behaviors can turn everyday people into powerful CEOs: decisiveness, engaging for impact, relentless reliability and adapting boldly.
1. Make quick decisions
Successful CEOs are decisive and are 12 times more likely to be high performers.
Steve Gorman, the former CEO of Greyhound, exemplifies why this trait is so crucial. When Gorman took over Greyhound in 2003, the business was losing money, according to the study. In addition, its parent company, which had just come out of bankruptcy, was ready to shut the doors on the company.
For four months, Gorman listened to his top execs create and dismiss plans to save the company but eventually he had enough. Among the many piles of data his team analyzed was a satellite map of the U.S. and Canada, which showed where all the nation's lights were concentrated (a reflection of population density). Unsure if his plan would work, he immediately set out to reshape Greyhound bus routes around these heavily populated regions. His strategy worked.
By the time he left Greyhound in 2007, the company reported $30 million earnings and was eventually sold for twice its 2003 value.
The authors explain that Gorman was able to "push forward" not because he knew his plan would work but because he realized that a potentially bad decision was much better than no decision.
2. Get people to buy into your idea
To be a successful CEO, you must engage those around you and inspire them to deliver results, according to the authors. But it's not as simple as being nice or getting people to like you. In fact, nice CEOs can be a drag on an organization because they focus more on being agreeable than getting workers to deliver quality results, say the researchers.
To effectively persuade people to buy into your ideas, the authors say to do three things:
a. Translate your vision and goals and be clear about your intent.
b. Understand the emotional, financial and physical needs of the people who will help you deliver results.
c. Establish everyday routines and habits to build relationships, which translate into action and eventually business results.
3. Deliver consistent results
CEOs who consistently deliver results and successfully execute plans are seen as reliable, according to the researchers. Once a CEO is known for their reliability, their odds of getting hired double.
"In business, reliable and competent people are cherished," write the authors. "Employers and clients are more apt to take risks on them and more apt to give them opportunities."
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson did just that when he created Virgin Australia, the country's second largest airline. The decision to launch this airline was actually the brainchild of his employee Brett Godfrey, who Branson immediately took a liking to because he was personable, detail-oriented and hardworking.
"[I] saw how he dealt with people in a personable manner and got the best out of them," Branson writes in his latest autobiography, "Finding my Virginity."
The billionaire was so impressed by his employee's work ethic that when Godfrey suggested creating an airline company in his home country of Australia, Branson bit. In 2000, Virgin Australia officially entered the aviation market with Godfrey as CEO ( a position he held until 2010).
4. Adapt to the circumstances
"To get to the top, aspiring leaders have to learn to navigate the uncharted," write the authors. They point to Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders as companies that failed because their leaders didn't adapt.
Their analysis also found that the CEOs who excel at adapting feel comfortable being uncomfortable. These execs understand that discomfort comes with change and learning. Furthermore, adaptable CEOs can let go of the past and focus on the future, much like Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Source: Ruth Umoh, CNBC
Most people have a certain image in their minds when they think of a founder/CEO.
They picture the boss in the corner office, standing behind her desk, gazing out over the city. They imagine someone calling all the shots, and everyone relying on their insight and wisdom — a visionary who is never wrong. They fear being grilled, berated, and guilted into working long hours — inevitable top-down command-and-control.
When startup founders take this approach today, they fail.
The more involved you are with the day-to-day work, the more difficult it will be for you to scale, and the less likely it is that your company will succeed.
As the founder/CEO, you have one job: Look at where you’re spending your time, then fire yourself from that position.
Here’s what I’ve learned that makes this possible:
1. Perform The Role, Then Hire Someone Better
The best founder/CEOs are jacks-of-all-trades.
Their value doesn’t come from doing one single thing exceedingly well. It comes from being able to perform an array of things fairly well, and then having the awareness to find someone better than them to take over those responsibilities — allowing them to move on to the next most-important role and the next most-consequential hire.
2. Hire People to Help you Hire.
If you’re doing this well, you’ll quickly reach the point where the company will outgrow your own ability to “chair hop.”
Instead of filling one role at a time, you’ll be filling three.
3. Bring Top-Down Context, Not Top-Down Decisions
As the founder/CEO, you are in the single position that can see across roles, across skill-sets, across your market, and across your customer base. That is your unfair advantage. You aren’t better than your team, but you certainly have more context than your team. How can you use this to empower them?
I like to picture my org chart upside-down. They don’t report to me. I report to them. What do they need to succeed at their roles? Context to prioritize. Context to make decisions. Context to know when to push for more resources, or when to make-do.
The moment you stay married to any one role, you’ve stopped searching for your next replacement, and the company has begun to stand still.
All in all, so many founders forget that the ultimate goal is to make themselves completely unnecessary to the day-to-day operations of the company.
The irony of course is, as a founder, you’ll never be completely unnecessary to the business. In constantly trying to “fire yourself” from different roles, the company will continue to grow. As it grows, new responsibilities and challenges will arise, and you’ll have to repeat the process of getting people up to speed all over again.
But that’s the point.
Source: Jeff Seibert. Read more by clicking at the image below.
If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.
Accounting software shouldn’t be a chore to use
Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious. Traditionally, it can suck up far too much of your business’ time and effort. This doesn't add value, and takes the fun out of being in business. Cloud software can save your business time and money.
So what is this thing called the cloud?
Think about when you use internet banking. Every time you access this data, you’re using the cloud. The cloud is a platform to make data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device. Your hard drive is no longer the central hub.
Problems with traditional accounting software
The data in the system isn’t up-to-date and neither is the software
It only works on one computer and data bounces from place to place. For example, on a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable.
Only one person has user access. Key people can't access financial and customer details.
It's costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).
It's expensive, difficult and time-consuming to upgrade the software. Customer support is expensive and slow.
Why the cloud and accounting software are the perfect match
You can use cloud-based software from any device with an internet connection. Online accounting means small business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons. It’s scalable, cost-effective and easy to use.
In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer.
In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription.
Cloud security is world class
As a small business owner, you might be concerned about a cloud service provider storing your data. But the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. For example, using cloud software, if your laptop is stolen, no one can access your data unless they have a login to the online account. With cloud software, this is where the data lives – as opposed to on your hard drive.
In the event of a natural disaster or fire, being in the cloud means business productivity doesn’t need to be affected because there’s no downtime. All of your information is safely and securely stored off site. As long as you have access to any computer or mobile device connected to the internet, you’re back up and running.
In addition to this, if you invite users to view your data, you can control the level of access. This is much more secure than the old-fashioned way of emailing your files or sending out a USB stick with your data on it.
Cloud-based software companies ensure that the security and privacy of data about you and your organization is always airtight. If you use online banking, then you’re already primed to use cloud accounting.
Five ways cloud software benefits your business
1. You have a clear overview of your current financial position, in real-time.
2. Multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your team and advisors.
3. Worry-free maintenance means you can spend more time doing what you love.
4. Everything is run online, so there’s nothing to install and everything is backed up automatically. Updates are free and instantly available.
5. Upfront business costs are reduced – version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Instead, they are managed by the cloud service provider.
Work smarter with accessible data in the cloud
The beauty of this software is the flexibility it gives you to run your business from work, home, or on the go. You can be confident that you have an up-to-date picture of how your business is doing, no matter where you are.
Software updates can be developed and delivered faster and more easily in the cloud. This means you don’t need to worry about installing the latest version and you’ll get access to new features instantly. With cloud accounting software, you have the option to run your business remotely, from anywhere in the world. When data is fluid and accessible, the possibilities are endless.
Reproduced from: Xero Small Business Guides
China’s biggest e-commerce company is going public. With a valuation that could reach USD200 billion, Alibaba could be the second-largest Internet company in the world, behind only Google. The man behind Alibaba is Jack Ma, a former English teacher.
There are many management and entrepreneurial lessons to be learned from Jack Ma. Check out this interesting article: Billionaire Jack Ma teaches you how to be successful in life and business.
The journey of Jack Ma in Alibaba can be viewed in this movie (full movie coming soon): Crocodile in the Yangtze.
Here is Jack Ma, who delivered the closing keynote address "China 2.0: Transforming Media and Commerce", hosted by the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, on 30 September 2011.
How much should I pay my accounting staffs? Am I paying too much for my accounting staffs? I pay them such a high salary and yet I still do not get what I want, why?
These are some of the common questions that I get as Accountant and Corporate Advisor. To most owners of SMEs, accounting functions are considered their black box - it seems to be working but not sure exactly how or why. Worst, the black box may no longer functioning but there are no tell-tale signs until too late (e.g. running short of cash, selling below costs etc).
This article will not deal into the details of accounting functions and its core responsibilities. It will focus on providing a summary of the salary range of accounting staffs vis-a-vis their skills, minimum qualification and ideal candidate for the position. The exact amount will be dependent on industry and location.
This salary range is for staffs based in Kuala Lumpur, work in SMEs and based on current situation of 2013.
Remember, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. You certainly do not want monkeys to manage your money.
Accounts Clerk (RM1,500 - RM2,500 per month)
Qualification: Minimum SPM / O Level (STPM / A Level will be added advantage)
Skills required: Basic data entry and filing skills
Ideal candidate: Meticulous, follow rules strictly and happy with relatively routine tasks
Accounts Executive (RM3,000 - RM6,000 per month)
Qualification: Minimum diploma in accounting (defined as at least one year equivalent full time study)
Skills required: Must be able to prepare full sets of accounts on monthly basis (producing accounts on yearly basis is NOT acceptable)
Ideal candidate: Good knowledge of accounting entries, able to do administrative tasks such as banking, simple tax computation etc and have good Excel skills.
Accounts Manager / Finance Manager / Accountant (RM6,000 - RM12,000 per month)
Qualification: Must be member of Malaysian Institute of Accountants
Skills required: Analytical skills, able to prepare management reports such costing, budgeting etc
Ideal candidate: Able to supervise accounting staffs, thinker instead of doer, able to provide advice on improvement instead of merely following rules and legacy, excellent Excel skills (defined as know how to use Excel pivot table).
Note 1: For most SMEs, this is the most senior position in accounting.
Note 2: The CFO position will be suitable for those beyond SME size. CFO is usually a strategic thinker and not involved in the day-to-day operations of the accounts department. It is usually the next in line (after the CEO). Salary ranged from RM15,000 to RM25,000 per month plus perks.
If you are a startup, you need to behave like one. Forget about vision and mission. Don't waste time on pages of business plan (which in most cases, are conceptual at best), detailed cash flow projection (which will never materialise) etc etc. You only need all these at later part of the business life cycle.
As startup, all you need is a good idea, a real purpose (profit is not a purpose), one-page biz plan and work your butt out. You don't even need to have funding to start your business. Just do it. Impossible is nothing.
Business, economy, education and current issues. Providing tips, tricks and tools in managing business.