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Leadership Archives - Wish Group
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Leadership

Ask Frank

By | Wish Group, Comments & Opinion, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Leadership | No Comments

Ask Frank

Today highlight some of the comments and questions you submitted and getting Frank’s response on all topics.

As discussed previously funding is hard to obtain especially when asking from friends/family. It’s important if you go that route to understand at all times this is a business transaction. It’s not your money, and there is risk associated with borrowing money from people close to you. Notify them of the risks involved, possible obstacles and a realistic time frame to see an ROI, in addition, how you will handle these obstacles. Treating it like it’s an official pitch to a bank or investor helps take the emotion out of the situation and keeps everything professional.

Making a move to hiring a finance person is always tricky because it depends on what stage your bootstrap startup is currently at. Most time you may be able to sustain with an in-house bookkeeper a few times and transition them into a full-time position. The risk in going to a senior accountant before necessary is the cost associated can be expensive and sometimes unnecessary. Instead, consider having a person who can perform the daily accounting procedures until you reach the point where a CFO is needed.

Developing Your People

By | Success & Inspiration, Self Education, Leadership | No Comments

One of the most important roles as a leader is to develop your people into the best that they can be. Development actually starts the day you first meet them and should never stop. Every day is a chance to learn not just about yourself, but those you work collectively with to achieve your goals.

People are your best resource. They can grow your company for the better or for the worse. Because most managers normally progress up through the ranks, they believe they really know and understand people. Successful managers, just like successful people have the ability to adapt their management style to each person who reports to them.

It’s important to understand and analyze your team by taking a look at their development levels. (Self Reliant, Independent, Intermediate, Dependent). As you know, people tend to grow so its your job to lead and be the guide to your people’s success. One leadership/management style that’s assisted in my company’s growth is empowering my employees to do better. Allowing a person to identify, define, manage and plan their activities is very effective – especially to those who are self reliant.

Coach your team all the time regardless of their development level. Focus on improving techniques by reinforcing the principles that you instilled when they were first hired. Remove any interference to keep your team focused and productive.

Here are my top 5 elements to Developing your team:

1) Goal Clarity – Members must understand the team goals and commit their best efforts to achieving them.

2) Recognition/Cooperation – There must be an awareness of each member’s personal strength to the team. Members must be willing to cooperate with one another and make their contributions accordingly.

3) Role Clarity – Responsibilities and expectations for members are clearly spelled out, communicated and acknowledges. Responsibilities are openly discussed and questions clarified.

4) Trust – Members respect the competence of one another, trust and support each other and will come to the aid of a member when problems arise.

5) What’s Important Now! – The leaders keep members focused on what’s important to be successful now. Unnecessary activities are eliminated and the team is sheltered from outside distractions as much as possible.

Hope this helps. Always remember that ‘Knowledge without action is useless!’

Frank.

You don’t need a title to be a leader.

By | Leadership | No Comments

This week has been an eventful one! One of our companies, The PEOPLEsource received some great news this week. Our president Teri Scott, was awarded one of the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs. Can’t stress enough how really proud for Teri all of us are here at The Wish Group. Her bold determination to provide unsurpassed quality of service to every client and each associate we employ has been inspiring.  Teri’s attention to developing people whether our external or internal staff has been a great example for all of us.  This achievement reflects the passion and dedication that her entire team has for people and the business in general.

Personally, I believe none of this would be possible without understanding what it means to be a great leader. Great leadership involves many things. Although I’ve been successful in my career, I strive on working everyday to take the time to inspire others to do what they aspire to do. It’s all about having a great idea and doing what you can to motivate and assemble a team to bring that concept to life. That’s what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs.

Here are some key qualities that every good leader should possess, and learn to emphasize:

Ability to Delegate
First and foremost, these are one of the most important tasks of a leader. Understanding your brand and its vision is essential to creating and organizing your business. You have to learn to trust your team or else you might never progress to the next step. Delegating tasks to the appropriate departments is one of the most important skills you can develop as you grow. I find that the key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Allow your team to find our what they enjoy doing, and empower them to do what they love all while working collectively to reach the end goal.

Communication
As the saying goes: “miscommunication leads to complication” – I can’t stress that enough. Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear to you but you must ensure that you explain your vision to your team. It’s extremely important. If you can’t do this then you all won’t be working towards the same goal. Try your best to be accessible. Whether that stems from an open door policy in the office, or making it a point to talk to your staff on a daily basis, making yourself available to discuss ideas and/or issues is essential. Your team will learn to trust and depend on you, and you’ll be more successful as a team.

Honesty
Try to make a list of values and core beliefs that both you and your brand represent, and post this in your office. Here at the WishGroup we have our core values placed right at the front desk. It’s a reminder of how we should act individually and as a team. By emphasizing these standards, and displaying them yourself, you will hopefully influence the office to follow suit.

Ability to Inspire
Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. When you are all mired deep in work, morale is low, and energy levels are fading, recognize that everyone needs a break now and then. Acknowledge the work that everyone has dedicated and commend the team on each of their efforts. It is your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work. As CEO of the Wish Group, I try my best to commend those who are doing well at their job every day. It’s important, especially for growth!

Positive Attitude
Positive energy attracts positive outcomes. I’m sure we’ve all dealt with negative situations in the workplace. As a leader you want to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the company, and keep the energy levels up. Everyone on your team is a person. Don’t forget that.

You don’t need a title to be a leader. Take ownership and responsibility for what you do and you’ll be successful. Leadership is defined by results not attributes. Nothing more, nothing less. In closing – “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu”

Frank.

The Art of Doing

By | Entrepreneurial, Business Growth, Business Health, Leadership | No Comments

Leading a company takes a lot of guts and hard work. It starts with having a vision, and an idea that you’re passionate about but it doesn’t stop there. You must assemble a team, and bring that concept to life. The ability to successfully execute your vision or idea is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs.

Here are some key qualities that every good leader should possess, and learn practicing every day:

Honesty

Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit. Honesty and Integrity is everything. Be as transparent as you can with your team to ensure success.

Delegating:

As a leader you must learn to delegate tasks accordingly and in the right way. Your brand’s vision is everything and it is essential to creating a trust with your team to help progress to the next level.

As things continue to grow for your company, more and more work will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce great results. In addition, you want to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the company, and keep the energy levels up. Keep the office mood a fine balance between productivity and playfulness.

Confidence

Confidence is key to leading the success of any business. It’s very important to keep your confidence at a high level especially when things are going in a downward spiral. Your team will look to you for support and leadership to help pick things up. There’s nothing worse than a leader who’s lost all confidence in his/her abilities.

Communication

“Miscommunication leads to complication.” I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear in your head, but not always to everyone else. Being able to clearly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.

Ability to Inspire

This is very important. Creating a business often involves a bit of forecasting and speaking things into existence. Do we all know what the future holds? Probably not. But it’s important to write your goals down and work towards them. Especially in the beginning stages of a startup, inspiring your team to see the vision of the successes to come is essential to success. Make your team feel invested in the accomplishments of the company. Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. It is your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work.

I wish you a great and productive week.

Frank.

What DRIVES You to Succeed?

By | Success & Inspiration, Business Health, Leadership | No Comments

As we embark another week, I couldn’t help but look outside and see another SNOW day in Toronto. The shovelling, the treks in the 2 feet snow all seems a lot of fun right? Well, I think so. One thing I noticed while travelling for another day’s work was that many people either looked very happy to see the snow, or really angry that there was another day of bad weather and slushy sidewalks while commuting to work.

I couldn’t help but think to myself,does everyone’s place of business care about how or whether or not they will come in to work? For me, it’s always about Safety first. Communicating, and establishing an amazing rapport with my employees. I’ve heard many stories about companies forcing their employees to come in to work regardless of their location, personal issues or weather conditions and I think that’s terrible. As a company, it’s important to understand that your employees are your driving force! They are the front line in our daily battles. If they are not happy and successful, then most likely your company will not be either. So if you’re a business owner or manager, I have one word of advice: LISTEN.

At the end of the day we all have goals. I do, you do, and your fellow employees do too! So as you embark on another work day I have shared this image below as a daily reminder and I hope you can agree.

WorkForACompanyThatCares

Sharing is caring,

Frank.

Find Out What’s Important in 2015

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Growth, Business Health, Planning for the future, Leadership | No Comments

1325784419new-years-resolutionLet’s be serious – there is no doubt going to be an overabundance in blog posts detailing the importance of setting resolutions for the new year. Be it lose weight, get a promotion, go traveling or anything in between, resolutions are something that most of us set at this time of year.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know that last year I had mentioned that New Year’s resolutions are something that I’m not a big fan of. Personally, I find that this time of year has people motivated to make this year all their own, but then usually give up by February (gyms are the perfect example of this). I believe that you shouldn’t have to wait for a new year to motivate you to get what you want. You should always be striving to be the best person that you can be, and taking the proper steps in order to reach that goal.

I think it’s much better to use this time of year to set some guidelines for the bigger picture. I feel that the whole point of resolutions is to start thinking about areas of your life that you want to improve. Once you’ve figured out what exactly needs changing, it’s dramatically easier to make a list of objectives that you need to accomplish to reach your final destination. The main difference between setting a goal and a resolution is essentially the thought that you put into them.

This of course doesn’t mean that I’m completely against New Year’s resolutions though. I’ve known many people who don’t even state a resolution unless they’re completely adamant about accomplishing it. The difference between these people and those who I’ve known to not accomplish them is the fact that they turn these into long-term goals – much like I stated above.

And while the goals I’ve discussed are all personal, there’s no reason that they can’t be adapted for growing your business. Be it with a specific sales target, company revenue or anything else, don’t simply make a bold statement to your employees without backing it up. Rather, make them into a long term goal, and discuss with your team what it will take to reach these goals.

No matter how you do it, make sure that you do everything you can to grow personally, and professionally in 2015.

Grow From Your Difficulties in 2015

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Leadership | One Comment

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black backgroundWhen you’re going through difficult times in your life, it’s easy to think that you’re the only one who is suffering, while everyone else has a perfect life. But in all honesty, if you think that difficulties just happen to you, think again – it happens to all of us.

The difference between those who live their dreams and those who just dream is how you respond to life throwing a curve ball.  At a certain point, instead of expecting that things should go your way and getting stressed out when they don’t, the key is to mature and understand that sometimes the greatest gifts are setbacks, and the times where we feel most challenged. Life is about growth, not comfort. And growth means that we must hold steady amid massive uncertainty.

Surprising no one, this is extremely difficult. However, here is what I do when difficult times fall on me:

Take Life One Day At A Time – Goals are extremely important for personal growth, both whether you achieve them or not. That doesn’t mean that you need to trip yourself up by constantly worrying about the future though. As long as you are doing the best you can to reach your goals, the future will sort itself out.

Don’t Get Caught In Fear – Many of my past blog posts touch upon fear because I truly believe that fear holds back many people. So many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are missed because people are afraid of failure, afraid of the risks involved, afraid of leaving their comfort zone… But really, if you’re going to be afraid of anything it should be of missing opportunities. Try not to ever let fear prevent you from at least trying. No matter what the outcome, you’ll grow from it.

Open Up And Ask For Help – It’s incredible what people can accomplish when they set their minds to it, but people can accomplish much more when they put their ego aside and simply ask people to help them. Be it a co-worker, a mentor or a friend, when you need some help don’t think that being “tough” and going it alone will do you any good. In many cases, that’s the opposite.

Finding the opportunity to grow will allow us to find meaning in the seeming chaos and to emerge stronger, wiser and with more gratitude for the journey. No matter what kind of journey you had in 2014, do your best to make 2015 even better. After all – the best is yet to come.

Escaping Negativity

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Self Education, Business Insights, Leadership, Personal Accountability | No Comments

escape-negativityYou know those days? Those days where everything seems to go wrong, be it on a technical level or something else entirely? Those days are extremely difficult to cope with, but that’s all they are – just single days. The trap to be weary of is letting these days turn to weeks, then weeks to months until you’re consumed by this negativity.

Doing your job becomes incredibly difficult when you constantly create barriers that stop you from performing well. As cheesy or clichéd as it sounds, your state of mind has a tremendous effect on your surroundings. I won’t turn this into a debate on whether you believe me or not, but I do want to offer some points on how to evaluate your negativity to see if something productive can come from it.

Talk It Out With Someone – This of course works with most difficulties in life, but its important to talk this out. Discussing your issues with different people in your life will give you a different view of your situation. You’d be surprised by how many coworkers might be going through the same situation you are. Don’t limit it to coworkers either. Friends, family, significant others… There are rarely any problems you experience that haven’t been dealt with by someone else. Perhaps you won’t like what you hear, but at the very least you’ll have a different opinion.

Pinpoint Your EXACT Cause – After you’ve discussed why you’re feeling so negative with other people, I imagine that you’d have a general idea of what type of negativity is consuming you. What’s important though is that you figure out EXACTLY why you’re being negative. Was it something that has been building over time, a bad experience that you can’t shake or do you feel unfulfilled with what you do? Pinpointing the exact reasons for of your bad vibes can have a better understanding of how to resolve these underlying problems.

Look At The Big Picture – After you’ve talked it out and narrowed down the exact reasons of your negativity, it’s time to act. This will depend entirely on you. Consider the options though, and don’t act on instinct. Perhaps you are long overdue for a vacation, or there’s been something brewing between you and your manager for a long time coming. As drastic as it sounds, you also have to consider that you are simply not happy with the organization you’re with, and its time to move on. As difficult as that might be, in the long run staying somewhere that makes you feel negative isn’t beneficial for either party.

Escaping negativity isn’t easy, but you’ll be thankful once all is said and done.

Mastering Efficiency For Better Business

By | Success & Inspiration, Entrepreneurial, Business Growth, Foundations of Success, Leadership, Personal Accountability | No Comments

2594377_origThis past week I had the pleasure of taking part of an internal strategy summit with all of the Presidents of the different Wish Group companies, as well as attending our quarterly meeting with all of the companies. Admittedly, one of the challenges that we face with having so many different companies under one umbrella is a unified focus. While I’m perfectly happy with the success of each company all they have achieved, I adamantly believe that if all of the companies combine our synergies, we can become a much more efficient unit.

In fact, the heavy focus of this quarterly meeting was on efficiency. As with all of our meetings, we pick one theme and message to drive home to the team and our leaders felt that efficiency was certainly something that any company can always improve on. As such, from both our strategy summit and our quarterly meeting, here is what we are doing to increase our efficiency that can be applied to any company.

Re-examine How Things Currently Work – The first step towards making anything more efficient is taking an honest look at how things are currently working. I say honest because if you keep telling yourself that everything is perfect, nothing will ever improve. Examine some of your shortcomings and try to assess what mechanics you can put in place to streamline processes that will make you work smarter.

Assembly Line Principle – One of the analogies that we used to drive home efficiency is one of the most successful business efficiency success stories of all time – the assembly line. Henry Ford was famous for taking a long, complex process and turning it into something that made it significantly easier to produce more cars in less time. The main idea behind this was to have staff focus on using their strengths, instead of spreading them thin by trying to do everything. This is incredibly difficult at a start up company as everyone is always wearing multiple hats, but try and discover what tasks your team members excel at and whenever possible give them those tasks.

Trust Your Team – Tying into the previous point, once you’ve discovered what areas your team members are adept at, trust them to complete their task. If you’re constantly worrying about the kind of work your team is doing, it’ll leave less time for you to focus on running your business. Have faith that your team will always produce the best work possible.

I’m certain that efficiency is always top of mind for your company, so I’m curious to know what tasks you think you could be doing more efficiently, and what you want to improve on in your company.

“Thanks For All Your Hard Work”

By | Business Insights, Business Growth, Foundations of Success, Leadership | No Comments

86539528When you’re sucked into the day to day of running your business, it becomes far too easy to let some things slip through the crack. Administrative tasks, maybe a deadline on a project…but these things you can recover from. What you should NEVER let fall through the cracks is how much you appreciate your employees.

Your employees are the backbone of your company. Whether they’re in sales or operations, you wouldn’t have a business without them. You might be shaking your head in agreement, but I challenge you to remember the last time that you truly appreciated a stand out employee of yours. Taking the time out of your day to praise your employees can make the world of difference to them. Here’s why I think that appreciating your employees will work wonders for your company:

They’ll Work Harder – This should be an obvious point. If you never appreciate how hard your staff member’s work, they’ll eventually stop working hard for you. Everyone works hard for different reasons. Some work hard because they want to shine better than everyone else, while others truly believe in the growth of the company. It’s critical that you get to know your employees and what motivates them. Everyone takes appreciation in a different way, so you can’t assume that just telling one person “good work” will suffice. Take the time to examine how exactly their work has helped the business, and explain the positive impact to them. Doing this will make your appreciation towards them seem much more sincere.

They’ll Feel Needed – Have you ever worked at a company where you felt expendable? Those are the worst possible conditions to stay motivated in because you’ll feel that no matter how hard you work, it won’t make a bit of difference since you don’t think that your employer needs you. This is easily the most important reason to take the time to praise your employees, because they will understand exactly how all of those long hours are helping the company and having a positive impact. This is also the time where you can work in some mentorship with your staff, as they’ll not only be looking at your for guidance when they do things right, but also for some advice on how to always do things right.

If your staff feels needed at your company, they’ll want to stay at your company AND work hard to ensure successful business growth. It may look like these points can stand on their own, but it’s when you do a combination of all this appreciation towards your employees that you’ll really see your business grow and prosper.