3 Tips on Being an Efficient Leader

What makes someone an excellent business manager and leader? Talent, money, and intelligence are always helpful, but if you want to have a profitable business, you’ll need to be able to successfully lead all of your employees. Leadership skills may come natural to some people, and be more difficult for others. Every successful business owner from Steve Jobs to Alexander F. Bouri took years to refine their business practices and properly manage their employees. It will take every business owner some time to understand how to be both a good business owner and an excellent manager. Nobody can become a fearless and effective leader overnight, but there are a few things you should know right off the bat if you want to be someone who people want to follow.

Learn how to take criticism

“I’m the boss and what I say goes!” It sounds like a typical line from a movie or motivational book, but this line of thinking won’t help you be a good leader. Leaders need to be able to listen to their employees, and need other people’s input. In order to properly lead people, you need to know what they want and what they’re thinking.   If you don’t have new ideas and new goals, you’ll eventually run out of business strategies. Always be open to listening to people, and never hesitate to get someone else’s opinion.

Greed isn’t good

We’ve all seen the movie “Wall Street,” and we all know some people who think that money is the end all and be all of business. Profit is very important for your business, but if your endless drive for an extra dollar can make you into a terrible leader. The easiest way to ruin a young business is to get greedy, and start to lose forget about people who helped you out. Cruel businessmen who go back on their word and swindle people out of money may look tough on screen or in books, but they’d be awful failures in the real world. Don’t think that you have to become cold or calloused to become a leader, remembering to be kind and fair can make people want to follow you.

Take responsibility

Sometimes your plans will go far better than you had originally hoped, and other times things may not work at as well as you had originally hoped. Either way, a good leader takes responsibility for their work and for the people they manage, regardless of their mistakes and problems. Embrace all of the successes you have, but don’t forget to acknowledge any failures or when things don’t go as well as you had hoped.

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Stop Employee Problems Immediately in Three Easy Steps

If you’re in charge of a business, there are a few unpleasant and unavoidable things that are bound to happen. One of the most stressful things the average business owner will have to deal with is problems with their employees. In a perfect world, everybody you hire will be able to show up and do their jobs efficiently, but employee problems are just another part of owning a business. Successful business owners like Alexander F. Bouri didn’t get to where they are today by continuing to employ people that cut corners, frequently called out of work, and were rude. Dealing with tough employees can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. When you’re dealing with reigning in your first unpleasant employee, make sure you remember to keep these things in mind.

Address the problem as soon as it comes up

When an employee makes a mistake, it’s pretty tempting to let it slide. After all, you don’t want to be a mean boss, and sometimes problems can fix themselves. Nobody really likes to confront people, and that includes managers dealing with their employees. The longer you wait to confront the problem, the worse their behavior will be. Their bad behavior will also affect your other employees. When they notice that someone isn’t doing their job, and they also aren’t seeing any consequences for it, they may start to resent that employee and resent your inaction.

Don’t be vague when you address problems

If you want to effectively change an employee’s behavior, you should not be vague about what they’ve been doing wrong. A difficult employee will quickly dismiss any vague statements you make about their behavior, so make sure that you give them actual examples of their bad behavior. For example, instead of saying that they seem to be coming in late a lot, give the actual dates and times they’ve come in late to work. Addressing exactly what behavior you don’t like will let them know what they’re doing wrong, and should make it simple for them to make an improvement.

Don’t make change an option, make it a requirement

So many bosses call out their employee’s bad behavior over and over again, and wonder why they haven’t seen changes. Just nagging someone to change won’t help, your employees need to know that you expect to see serious changes fast. A simple verbal warning or talking things out won’t make them change, but taking concrete steps to fix their problems will. See if any kinds of training would be helpful, or if a schedule or shift change could help them perform their job better.

How to Become Part of the Team: Tips for New Hires

Starting a job at a new company has challenges. As a business leader, Alex F. Bouri has seen hundreds of new staff members join the team. Some took to their roles quickly and made an immediate positive impression, while others never quite seemed to fit in. So how do you become one of the success stories? Here are Alex’s tips for becoming part of the team.

  • Observe and understand the office culture – Every company is different and has its own internal culture. This can include everything from how much joking and laughing there is at meetings to whether staff can take a long lunch or not. It can also reflect factors that are more difficult to notice and track, like how employees are evaluated or how much information management gives to staff. An office culture isn’t usually “good” or “bad,” so much as it fits some people better than it does others. But the first step to trying to fit in is to understand the office culture. Pay attention to how other people do things and try to do them the same way. Keep quiet at your first few meetings while you listen and get a feel for the rhythm of how people work there.
  • Seek out the training and guidance you need – It can be hard for managers or supervisors to know how much training, information or help you need or what resources to provide you with. In other cases, supervisors are simply so overworked that they may not think of reaching out to you. That doesn’t mean you need to fumble around blindly. If you need a resource or help understanding something, come forward and be proactive in asking for help. If a supervisor is overworked, ask a fellow employee.
  • Set up one-on-ones with more experienced employees – During your first month on the job, it should be your goal to have at least one coffee or lunch session one-on-one with everyone in your department. During your second month, expand this to include people outside of your department with whom you cross paths. Don’t just focus on leaders: they’re already busy and it can create the impression of being a suck up. Instead, try to get to know each of your colleagues and learn from their experience with the company, their roles, and their recent projects.
  • Lead with results – No matter what your role, experience level or title, nothing speaks louder than results. Make it your goal to achieve at least one outstanding success in your first three months on the job. This could involve greatly exceeding a metric, finishing a major project ahead of schedule, landing a new client or proposing an effective solution to a major problem. Spend extra time in the office if you need to—it will speak volumes about your value as an employee.

What else do you do to fit in at a new job?

 

4 Things Entrepreneurs Should Focus on in 2015

It’s a new year and that means new business challenges. Some things are constants in the business world, but as Alexander F. Bouri knows, entrepreneurs also need to adapt with the times in order to stay relevant and successful. Here are Alexander’s top four tips for what every entrepreneur should focus on this year:

1.  Mobile, mobile, mobile – Something pivotal happened in 2014—mobile overtook traditional computers as the primary platform by which consumers access the Internet. If that turnaround moment happened in 2014, then you can already guess what needs to happen in 2015: a new commitment to mobile marketing. Mobile marketing starts long before designing an ad or an app. It begins with making your core website highly mobile-friendly. That doesn’t just mean the site can be viewed elegantly on a mobile device, it means it has full functionality on that device as well. No features from the traditional website should be missing from the mobile version. And your social media, search ad, and online display ad strategies should all consider the mobile browser as the default platform that your potential customers are using.

2.  Producing information, not just products – Here’s a dirty little secret that many businesses don’t want to admit: you’re no longer just working in your core industry, you’re also working in the digital publishing industry. No matter what your product, niche or customer base, you are expected to produce helpful, worthy information about that niche in addition to actually offering products and services within in. The companies who figure this out will be the schooners of the new digital sea, while the rest will be stuck on rafts. Start producing high-quality blog content along with videos, infographics, podcasts, and anything else you can create to answer your audience’s questions and solve their problems.

3.  Offering more for free – This goes hand in hand with the previous item because all of that information you’re producing can be part of what you give away. Our economy today is founded on the idea that the Internet has made costs negligible and that every business can provide at least a basic service for free. So create your free eBook, your free guide, or your free DIY kit; offer a free consultation or a free first session; give out free gifts and free extras.

4.  Adjusting and evaluating goals – Long-term planning is a business essential, but it can also be misleading – especially in an age of instant metrics and performance analysis. Your five-year plan should be viewed as a guide at best. Look at the real results on a regular basis and adjust not just strategy, but even goals as needed to keep your business plan realistic.

What else should entrepreneurs focus on in 2015?