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1
Managing People? Learn about 3 skills
2
Do you have the skills to be a Board Director?
3
How non-financially trained people can prepare a budget in 5 easy steps
4
Four Steps To Simplify Your Message
5
Stop Micro-managing!

Managing People? Learn about 3 skills

Yes, we have read about “Leadership” and how that is different from “Management”. Yes, we are well aware that moving a large group of people towards common goals require vision and the ability to translate that vision to the employees. Yes, we are clear about how productive a vibrant and self-motivated workforce can be.

But wait, what if we are talking about managing rather than leading (some of us remain “managers” of people after all). What if we are talking about managing the work of individuals? After all you can’t “lead” 50 individuals individually.

What do you have to do?

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Do you have the skills to be a Board Director?

Having spent a lifetime advising Boards of small and larger enterprises, I now spend a considerable amount of my time sitting in Board myself as a Non-Executive Director. It is interesting to me when I look over the meeting tables at my fellow Directors and see what they bring to that table.

I believe many Non-Executive Directors bring technical skills to the Board, and others bring their management experience having run their own businesses. This is all well and good, but I believe that being a Non-Executive Director, you need to bring a different set of more helicopter-level skill-sets. Funnily enough, I believe these skills are very similar, if not the same as those of a good leader in a business, or those necessary to run your own good small business, even though the extent of the practice of those skills is different.

Here is what I think you need to do if you become a Non-Executive Director.
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How non-financially trained people can prepare a budget in 5 easy steps

Preparing a budget is “easy” for an accountant and small business people who have some finance training. However for many it is the stuff of voodoo.

But when you break it down, there is no real mystery around the preparation of a budget, it is based on your plans and intentions, costs that you can obtain from suppliers, and some judicious making of assumptions and estimates. In truth, any non-finance executive or business owner can do it if they approach the task logically.

Here are 5 basic steps to take to compile your budget.

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Four Steps To Simplify Your Message

Do you want to explain difficult facts to clients? Do you want to get a sales message across?

The first few seconds of any interaction is critical, whether you know the other person or not.

This is particularly important in any business interaction today where people’s time seem so limited, people seem so aware of “that sales pitch” coming and are ready to tune off. Today’s SMS and social media world seem to do nothing but ready for us to listen to tweets.

If you want to put your business message across, whether it is advice, technical information or a sales pitch you need to tune yourself and your communication to that frequency which is most clear.

I have found that the best way to do this is to use four simple steps in any business communication.
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Stop Micro-managing!

I had a meeting with a client yesterday. Amongst other issues we discussed the fact that even as her company grew, she had to continually look over people’s shoulders, tell them not only what to do, but also how to do it in a satisfactory way.

When I asked her what was a “satisfactory way” she explained that it was the way she would have done it, the way her customers had come to expect how her company would do it. She gave me an example where her version of “satisfactory” included a hand-written note to the customer the next day to see if the product met his needs and if she needed to explain any aspect of it to him. In other words quality was not a fixed value but a set of behaviours that had come to represent what the customer wanted. Only, she seemed to be the only one in the growing company who seemed to understand that, despite her experienced (and expensive) new hires.

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