Insights Blog

Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

The Measure of a Leader

As the leader in your business, you have probably spent some time defining your team’s key performance indicators. Have you ever considered what your own KPIs should be?

I believe that there are 3 key KPIs that every business leader needs to measure for themselves – and these are very different from a manager’s KPIs.

Leadership is about aligning people to the big picture. Management is about the details of the mechanics and efficiency in the business.

It is only by measuring and tracking your own KPIs for each of these roles that you can truly take your business to the next level.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi! This is Shweta from London Coaching Group, where I want to talk about today is the difference between leadership and management. We’ve seen, very often, leadership and management, they are used very closely and in a very intertwined way. But they have some very distinct features.

Now before we talk about that, a very simple question which I asked my clients, saying that if you are the head of the company, what are your key performance indicators? How would you know that you’re doing a good job as the head of the company, as the business owner? And at this point I really want you to pay attention to three simple key performance indicators that you have as the head of the business and in fact jot them down.

  • The first one is setting the direction of the company. Right, being very clear as to where this company is heading to.
  • The second is actually ensuring that there is network of people. Who are there to deliver on the tasks and products and services?
  • The third one is actually ensuring that people are doing what they have to do.

Let’s recap, the first is setting the direction. The second is ensuring that there is network of people, including your hired people plus the outsourced people, plus the suppliers, the whole network which is required. The third is ensuring people are doing what they have to do now across these three key points, which are the key performance indicators for the head of the business. There are distinctions as far as the leaders concerned and the managers concerned.

Now it’s possible that you’re lucky and you have a co-partner or a co-director who’s actually the complement to your style of working in the business. Or, it’s possible that it’s you who has to wear the hat of both the leader and the manager in the business. Now let’s try to understand as far as setting the direction for the business is concerned.

The leader sets the goal right? Sets the bigger picture, the vision that this is where we are heading to. Where the manager, you as a manager, you’re supposed to be planning and budgeting, you know the small steps. How are we going to go to that end goal?

As far as the creation of the networks of people is concerned, the role of you as a leader is to keep aligning the people to that direction. Wherein, you as a manager you’re supposed to be organizing the talent hiring the talent and managing the performance of that talent which requires a lot of detailing.

Lot of day to day management of the activities of people, and then again ensuring that people are doing what they have to do. The leader is the one. And you as the leader are supposed to be motivating people whether it’s on a monthly basis, quarterly basis, fortnightly, or weekly basis. Wherein you as a manager on a day to day basis, your role is to actually make sure that you’re controlling the problems, you’re preempting the problems, and you are systematizing the solution.

Now if you have been listening to me you will realize that leadership is more about the motivation. It’s about the big picture. It’s about aligning people to that big picture. Wherein the management is more granular, it’s more detailedIt’s controlling the problem, systemizing the solutions. It’s about hiring people and making sure that they are actually getting inducted properly.

About planning, budgeting the details, the orientation of a leader. When you are a leader your orientation should be. Why and what and when you are in your managerial role at that time, your orientation is how you know the details of how we’re going to do that and what I have seen working with different businesses across different sectors.

Generally speaking, business owners are clear as to what they want to achieve. Mostly, yeah, most of the times. But in terms of how to go about achieving that, what is the most efficient manner? I see that you know a lot of mistakes happen and I’m fine with mistakes, but the things which can be avoided should be avoided because at the end of the day if there is a critical success spot, as in the shortest and the most sustainable path from point A to Point B from where you are to where you can be, then I would highly recommend that please get in touch with us so we can sit down and we can identify that what is the best part from where you are to where you can be. Which can help you save time, which can help you save money and, most importantly, which can help you become the best that you can be. Achieved the best that you totally deserve and desire.

Be the best manager and leader you can be.

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionIf your business is ready to ascend to that next level of growth, then you may find that the growth begins with you.

Find out if our strategies could be helping you get more efficiently from where you are now to the place you want to be.


A Poem to Ponder

Art doesn’t have a place in business. Is that true? I don’t think so.

I have come across a lot of art that powerfully expresses important and often essential ideas for good business acumen.

An example is this poem I came across recently, and I’d be really curious as to how it makes you feel.

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

– Portia Nelson

For me, this poem succinctly captures how many of us tackle problems in life and in our business. And the faster we can learn the cycle through these five chapters when we encounter the inevitable potholes in your road to business success, the faster we ascend to that next level.

What does this poem say to you? Did you get a different learning from it? Share it in the comments section below!

Pondering your business’ next move?

It can be challenging taking a leap to move your business to the next level. Have you considered all the options? Is your decision the one that’s going to give you and your business the best results?

If you think having someone watch your plays and help assess your risk could be helpful, why not request a completely free strategic review of your business?


How David Increased His Margins

“I’m the only one in the business who seems to be concerned with increasing our margins,” David complained.

I introduced him to a system that worked for hundreds of other businesses to help simplify the process of managing margins.

Within a few weeks it has begun working for David – see if it will work for you too:

You see, by creating a simple breakdown like this, where everything is broken down job-by-job – everything becomes clearer. And it becomes so much easier to have your team look at the numbers as well and immediately see what’s going on.

And as superstar team members, they will naturally start making suggestions on how we can move these numbers upwards – a win-win for everyone!

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is actually about your focus. And what is it that you’re really measuring in your business.

Now I have this client who came for a session and he was a little concerned about the gross margin that he was making in his business and he was like, “Shweta, I keep telling my team members, my estimators, my project managers, ‘Guys, we are not making good margins, we need to make more margins. You know we’re losing money here, we’re losing money there’. But it seems as if I’m the only one who is concerned about the margins. You know they just, get on with whatever they have to do.” It was really fascinating to hear him because this was not the first time I was hearing this – he was focusing on things which he didn’t want.

So I asked him a simple question. I said, “So, tell me David what exactly are you focused on measuring in your business?” This is a relatively new client. So he said, “I’m measuring my top line, my revenue, my sales and I get my management accounts at the end of the month or at the end of the quarter, depending on when I ask for it.”

So I say, “That’s interesting. So what are you sitting down and looking at with your team in your weekly meetings.” I mean that’s a different conversation altogether when I said weekly meetings but he replied, “Not much. I mean I’ve got an intuitive sense for them because I’ve been in the business for a long time so I obviously tell them what’s happening what’s not happening and I expect them to act on it.”

Now after a couple of sessions sitting down we got an idea of the overall concept. And by the way, this is a very coachable client, really willing, really keen has been in the business for a long time a very successful business. But remember that doesn’t mean the fundamentals are being followed. That doesn’t mean that the entire growth has been unlocked or there is sustainability in the business and that’s what you need to think about as I give you an example of this particular client of ours.

So I sat down with David and, look, I totally believe in simplicity of things because the complex thing is to simplify things. So we sat down and after a little bit of working we came up with this simple sheet, okay. I don’t want you to get lost in the sheet. I have hidden the name of the company for the sake of confidentiality. But basically, every job here is being tracked, as in how was it priced, what was the labour, the material and the total margin that was expected, and then what was the actual costing – that’s it. Simple monitoring simple measuring of job by job. What is the margin.?What is the gross profit that we are getting? And also what is the variance, job by job.

As you can imagine now when David sits down with his team members and sitting down with his estimators and project managers and shows them exactly what has happened job by job, he doesn’t have to say much because we can start seeing what’s going on here. Is it how was that project conducted? Is it how the estimation was done? What really happened?

But, you know the interesting about this, is that I asked him after a few weeks of actually implementing this, “So David tell me what is your most important learning for yourself from this activity.” And he said, “Shweta, my learnings are twofold. One is, that whatever I focus on, I get more of. And the second thing is that since the time I’ve started measuring this, it has become so much easier for me to manage my gross margins and profitability of the business”.

So, once again I want to ask you is that what is your top learning from what I’ve shared with you today and what exactly are you focusing on in your meetings, in your business and what are you measuring?

Your Margins Can Probably Also Increase

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Happy New Year for 2018!

business-coaching-london-top-articles-new-year-2017

We hope that this year proves to be the best year ever in your business and personal life.

Keep your eyes on this space this year as we have big plans for 2018 to help even more businesses this year with greater growth and success.

Ready to kickstart growth in 2018?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionWe have a number of open slots available for strategy sessions with businesses who we think have potential for serious growth in 2018. Request a free strategic session below and find out if our growth strategies could help you become an even bigger business. Request a Free Strategic Review


Crème de la Crème 2017: Top 10 Articles

london-buiness-coaching-top-articles-2017

As we near the close of 2017, it’s the perfect time to take a beat in your business. Stop and reflect on the year gone by. And hopefully plan for an even bigger, brighter and abundant year to come.

This year was full of some pretty popular blogs that have helped people take those steps towards being even better businesses this year. Below we have listed our top 10.

During whatever break you are taking, it may be worth reading (or listening to!) at least one of these articles to make that incremental step (you know, that slight edge) towards taking your business to the next level of growth.

Our Top 10 Articles of 2017

  1. What is the Opposite of Fear? [Video]
  2. The 4S Framework for Focus [Video]
  3. How to Get Your To-Do List Done [Article]
  4. Stop Adding Value [Video]
  5. Three Flawed Ideas About Business Plans [Article]
  6. The Powerful Opening Gambit in Power Negotiation [Video]
  7. Are You Stretching in Your Office [Framework]
  8. 5 Growth Strategies Successful London Businesses Use [Article]
  9. I Prefer Small Fish [Article]
  10. When Planning, Remember This Step [Video]

Enjoy the holiday season, and I hope we can help you in some capacity next year to make 2018 your most successful year on record!

Need help kicking off in 2018?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionThe beginning of the year is the best time to look back at what you’ve done, and get the external view you need to take your business up to the next level going forward.

Consider requesting a strategy session and find out if our strategies can help you make 2018 your best year ever.

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