Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_05_29_2012

What’s Your Influencing Style?

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/01/whats_your_influencing_style.html (Article from Harvard Business Review

My comment: I have posted various previous blogs around the theme of leadership.  In part, leadership is about effective communication of your ideas and objectives. To be a great leader, one must have followers who believe in you.  A necessary prerequisite to gaining that belief is effective communication of your ideas and ambitions. One can have all the passion and vision but if those attributes are not expressed in a way that resonates with those you need to convince, they will, effectively, fall on ‘deaf ears’.

Part of being an effective communicator lies in understanding how you express yourself. This article talks about various influencing styles and how you can assess your own.

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups

I also run a mentor program for the Seattle chapter of the global non profit TiE

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Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_05_17_2012

12) 5 Dysfunctions That Make Your Startup Unfundable (Article from Startup Musings)

http://blog.startupprofessionals.com/2012/03/5-dysfunctions-that-make-your-startup.html

My comment: As I have mentioned in a previous blog, while bright ideas are necessary, over time, in my opinion, it is execution that wins the day. It is the conventional wisdom, particularly here in the U.S., that superior execution depends on stellar performance by individuals. I do not subscribe to this wisdom, feeling that a ‘well oiled’ team will ,except in rare occasions, outperform individuals, no matter what their calibre if given the right environment. This article looks at some reasons why achieving ‘well oiled’ status is not easy  -even when the mix of people would seem to augur for success.

 

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups

I also run a mentor program for the Seattle chapter of the global non profit TiE

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Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_04_29_2012

The difference between Managing and Leading (article from Fast Money)

http://www.fastcompany.com/1834302/learning-to-flex-your-leadership-muscles

My comment: I am regularly approached by talented individuals with great technical skills and an abundance of experience in large companies who want to start their own company. Aside from the standard advise about validation of idea, financial resources etc., I try to get these aspiring entrepreneurs to understand that the skill sets they worked so hard at acquiring in their big company lives may not translate well into the start up/small company  world. In particular, an appreciation as to what it means to be a leader as distinct from being a manager needs to be really understood.

This article, I think, makes the above points well. It is written by someone who has experienced first hand  how significant these differences are.

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups

I also run a mentor program for the Seattle chapter of the global non profit TiE.

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Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_04_01_2012

Manage like you mean it: 6 ways to be more decisive (Article from CBS Money Watch)

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57381781/manage-like-you-mean-it-6-ways-to-be-more-decisive/

My comment: As I have mentioned before, it is my belief that the long term success of a firm depends in large part on the talent and commitment of the employees and, in particular, on the quality of leadership. Part of being a good leader lies in making firm, timely   decisions in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty. This article offers some useful, practical   suggestions and guidelines that should help put a framework around your decision making process.

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups

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Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_03_25_2012

) 4 Big Ideas to Boost Productivity (Article from Inc. Magazine –March 22 2012)

http://www.inc.com/donna-wells/four-big-ideas-to-boost-american-productivity.html

My comment: I hear on a regular basis that, in today’s fast changing world, in order to build a successful company, the critical element is best of breed technology. Well, I beg to differ. No question that the quality of the idea is a necessary condition for success. However, it is not sufficient.

To build an enduring company, in my opinion, it is ‘all about the people’ and managements’ ability to maximize their return on investment in their employees . I find it a relatively rare event, for companies that I have been involved with, both large and small, to really understand how to bring the best out in their staff on an ongoing basis –to create that internal desire to succeed , for the company and for themselves.

For those leaders who really want to drive their staff to continuing excellence, this article offers four critical elements  that should be part of your management tool kit.

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups.

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Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_03_18_2012

4-Step Entrepreneur Screening Test((Article from Inc,. Magazine –March 2012)

http://www.inc.com/matthew-swyers/4-step-entrepreneur-screening-test.html

My comment: I meet on a regular basis, folks who have a dream to be their own boss, get away from the corporate rat race, create something off their own. All of which is something that  I can really understand. However, then there are the harsh realities that come with the entrepreneurial world, many  of which are unforeseeable and/or uncontrollable . There is one risk, however, that can be controlled – the risk of entering a life style that you are not suited for emotionally, or perhaps intellectually. I have worked with many folks who are exceptionally intelligent,  are full of drive and with great people skills –but who simply think about things in a way that is not conducive to success in an entrepreneurial world or are perhaps too  risk averse to handle the financiual stress that, at some point, will surely appear.

It is critical, before one makes the ‘leap’ that one has a long look in the mirror and asks for some honest answers. This article helps in that critical  ‘pre jump’ self assessment.

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups.

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Robin’s blog for Entrepreneurs_03_11_2012

) Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk (Article form Forbes Magazine)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2012/03/05/five-leadership-lessons-from-james-t-kirk/

My comment: I have participated in numerous forums put on by wise folks on what it takes to be a strong leader and the difference between leadership and management. The latter distinction is a critical one to understand in any company but in particular in a young one. The entrepreneur who can make the transition between being the visionary leader and the organizational manager is a rare one.

This article, one of the best I have seen on the subject, sums up in a very clear and down to earth way, what it takes to be a leader. While it does not address overtly the difference between leadership on management, points ‘4’ and ‘5’ make the telling difference in my mind.

In any event, for those of you who are looking to hone their leadership skills, this article is worth the few minutes it takes to read –and probably is worth keeping on the wall to refer to.

About the author – Robin Beukers MBA CPA CMA CIA

I act as interim c.f.o., controller or special projects lead (for example, development and review of financial statements and internal controls, financial modeling, acquisition/funding risk assessment). Clients range from Fortune 100 level to startups.

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