/Managing People

6 Ways to Lead by Example

792_3723922Running a company — and therefore being in charge of people — is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it’s fulfilling in so many ways. But it can be a challenge because every day, regardless of how you feel, you have people looking to you for guidance. You’ve got to be on your toes and ensure that you’re doing your best to lead by example so that your staff emulates what you do and works their hardest for your company.

Here are 6 tactics I’ve found effective in my leadership strategy.

  1. Do What You Say.

I’m big on keeping my promises. Yes, I’m swamped, but when an employee asks me to do something, such as review their work or provide feedback, I make it a priority. That way, they know that my word is my bond, and that they can trust me.

  1. Say What You Mean.

I don’t believe in pussyfooting around something. I’m always honest. I refuse to lie or even expand on the truth to an employee, because I know from experience that it always backfires. People appreciate the truth, even if it’s ugly. Continue reading “6 Ways to Lead by Example” »

By | February 25th, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments

4 Ways to Show Your Employees You Care During the Holidays

775_4506103Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you couldn’t move forward! And they like to hear from you that you know how important they are to your business.

While I try to let my staff know how much I appreciate them throughout the year, the holidays just provide even more opportunity to do so, and in a fun way.

1. Give Them a Bonus


If your company can afford it, the end of the year is the ideal time to share with your team a little of the wealth your staff has helped generate. Even if you can’t afford much, any monetary gift can be appreciated.

You can give your sales team bonuses based on their sales numbers, or spread the joy around to your entire team. Consider setting up a scale so that the bonuses are in line with how long each employee has been with your company. Continue reading “4 Ways to Show Your Employees You Care During the Holidays” »

By | December 17th, 2014|Managing People|0 Comments

Should You Hire an Intern This Fall?

609_3688247Every season brings something different, and in addition to cooler weather, the fall brings you the opportunity to boost your staff without reducing your budget. Hiring an intern is a great way to take some of those mundane tasks off your list while possibly grooming your next employee.

Why Interns?

As a small business owner, you don’t have a lot of money, but you do have a lot of work. So while hiring a full-time employee isn’t always an option, hiring an intern is. Sure, it’ll take some training and hand-holding, but working with an intern provides many perks:

  • You can focus on running your business while they handle the admin or repetitive tasks
  • You get more done without stressing
  • You teach them the ropes, and if you like them,  you can hire them after the internship is complete
  • You get a free trial run with a potential employee!

Some colleges require you to pay at least a nominal salary to your intern, while others are nonpaid. Figure out which fits your budget. Continue reading “Should You Hire an Intern This Fall?” »

By | August 11th, 2014|Managing People|Comments Off on Should You Hire an Intern This Fall?

Should You Hire Interns, Freelancers, or Employees for Your Small Business?

609_3799441When you get to a point in your business where you need help, you’ll probably come up against the question: what type of help should I hire? Factors like how much help you need, your budget, and the area of specialty you need assistance with will all factor into your decision.

Fortunately, you have a few options that all fit different staffing needs.

The Intern: Affordable, but Needs Hand-Holding

If you’re looking for a highly-affordable option (and sometimes even free), interns are a great possibility. They’re ideal for those easier tasks, like making copies and filing, and if you snag one from your local university’s marketing department, you might even land one who can help you with your social media management.

If you read that Twitter pays its interns nearly $7,000 a month, don’t despair: some internships are unpaid, while others pay minimum wage. Remember, you are giving students valuable training and the ability to list real work experience on their resumes, and that is worth something. See if the local college has requirements of you as an employer in terms of pay. Continue reading “Should You Hire Interns, Freelancers, or Employees for Your Small Business?” »

By | July 9th, 2014|Managing People|Comments Off on Should You Hire Interns, Freelancers, or Employees for Your Small Business?

How to Rebuild a Successful Business Team the Second Time Around

955_4558527For the serial entrepreneur, it’s hard to know whether to bring back the same team or start fresh for your second or third company.

You’ve already done the hard work of building an ecosystem of employees, contractors, and vendors with your first company. Using that same team should give your second venture a head start, right? Yet many business owners find that the success from Company A doesn’t necessarily translate to Company B.

If you’re building a team the second or third time around, here are some questions to ask before you start calling the original team back to action. Continue reading “How to Rebuild a Successful Business Team the Second Time Around” »

By | July 31st, 2013|Managing People|0 Comments

Leadership Coach, Warren Rutherford, Says: Be Passionate About Your Business

Warren Rutherford is the owner of The Executive Suite, President of Rutherford Advisors Inc and Director of Coaching programs at Innermetrix. An impressive CV, I’m sure you’ll agree. With such a wealth of experience I knew that an interview with Warren would uncover a minefield of great information that all companies, bosses, employees and entrepreneurs would find useful. He explains how he manages his time, where he got his experience to become a coach, provides franchise and start-up advice and tells me about his blogging activities too.

Looking at your LinkedIn profile you have a varied list of services. Which do you prefer?

Our job placement services are regional and our staff fulfills that service. I focus most of my efforts on leadership coaching and training, franchise coaching, and One Page Business Plans as that is where there is the most demand. Human resource and straight-up management consulting usually occurs on an as-needed basis. I prefer leadership coaching, training managers and owners to lead and manage, and helping clients prepare actionable business plans. Franchise coaching is an outgrowth of job placement activity and management consulting.

How do you manage your time to fit everything in?

Good time management. I’m used to running small to large organizations and prioritize well. As the owner I set aside time weekly for administration, marketing, and service delivery. I’ve also learned to shut the lights out at the office when I go home. Most of my writing occurs while I’m relaxing in the evening.

Continue reading “Leadership Coach, Warren Rutherford, Says: Be Passionate About Your Business” »

By | December 4th, 2012|Managing People, Running A Small Business|0 Comments

What it REALLY Takes to Be a CEO


705_3570600These days it’s easy to print up business cards with the title “CEO.”  You’re in charge, and you want to show it.  Your title can be whatever you decide to call yourself, right?

Well, maybe.  Today, if you want to truly lead like a chief executive officer, there’s more to it.  A great CEO knows:


Make sure you don’t gloss over the legalities.  After all, a good CEO has to be aware of many facets of a business including legal requirements.  Let’s take, for example, that title. Continue reading “What it REALLY Takes to Be a CEO” »

By | September 5th, 2012|Managing People, Running A Small Business|1 Comment

The Most Important Pancakes in the World

709_4113804Ten years ago, on the morning that my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer, after the appointment with the doctor, he and my mom and my grandma went to a restaurant for a late breakfast. It was a sad, heavy and somber day. The news was not unexpected, but still hard to bear. My grandfather’s life was coming to an end, and now everyone knew it.

The three of them sat at the restaurant table to share a meal and enjoy each other’s company on what was sure to be one of their last times going out for breakfast together. And the restaurant served up a mediocre plate of pancakes and overcooked eggs. The food was not good, but, as was typical of my grandfather, he didn’t complain. Instead they all sat together and talked and tried to enjoy the day as much as they could, even after getting some really bad news.

The waitress who served those pancakes and the cook who prepared them probably had no idea that they were serving such an important plate of pancakes. Who would have guessed that these pancakes were about to be eaten by someone who had just gotten such terrible news?

The point of this story is that every time you sell to a customer, every time you serve a customer, every time you call (or take a call from) a customer, you never know what hardships or struggles or sadness that customer might be dealing with today.

Your restaurant might be serving a family that just got some terrible news at the hospital. You might be talking to a customer on the phone who is worried about her elderly mother, or worried about bad news from her son at school, or who is going through a divorce or cancer treatment or some other really hard times.

An ordinary day for you might happen to be someone else’s worst day of their life. You never know what people are dealing with on any given day. Continue reading “The Most Important Pancakes in the World” »

Are you trying to be replaced by a machine?

481_4383538The other day at Walmart my wife arrived at the checkout and the cashier didn’t say a single word. There was no greeting, no acknowledgement, nothing – he just silently started bagging her groceries and ringing up the total. He didn’t say a word until she prompted him to do so, after she had paid. This was a really unusual thing – usually when you go to Walmart or a grocery store or any retail location, you can expect to at least have the cashier say “Hi” to you.

Now, I don’t mean to be overly critical of this cashier. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he was a non-native English speaker and didn’t feel confident to make a lot of conversation. Maybe he was tired from being on his feet for a full 8-hour shift. I know that working in retail can be a tough job, and not everyone feels outgoing and energized at every moment of the day.

But when my wife told me this story, my first thought was: “Is this guy trying to get replaced by a machine?” After all, most Walmarts already have “self-checkouts” where shoppers can bag their own groceries. If a checkout person isn’t even going to say “hello,” why not replace them all with machines?

Here’s the point: none of us can afford to rest easy. No job (or business) is totally safe from the forces of automation, digitization, and globalization. If you don’t like your job (and it shows), if you don’t add value to your company’s customer interactions by creating real human connections with customers, chances are you’re going to be replaced by a machine and/or a lower-paid worker overseas – sooner rather than later.

Seth Godin talks in his book Linchpin about how each of us needs to become “indispensable” at our jobs – or, for those of us who are running small businesses, we need to become indispensable to our customers. The way to make sure your business succeeds in a competitive global economy where someone else is constantly trying to undercut your prices is to add so much value that you cannot be replaced. Continue reading “Are you trying to be replaced by a machine?” »