My Biggest Leadership Mistake

my biggest mistake as a leader

My biggest strengths as a leader have been the ability to connect with my team and help them find simple solutions for problems both at work and in life. A fellow manager once said that I “effortlessly bring a method to the madness”. However, I am like most on a journey to improve myself every day. As I would rate people management as one of my key leadership qualities, this post is about my biggest leadership mistake.

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How NOT to Fire Someone?

managers discussing how not to fire someone

Firing someone is dreadful. As a manager, it has always been the most difficult task for me. I am certain it is for most. But let’s admit it. It is a job that needs to be done. It needs to be done right. There are several excuses we have to justify firing an employee. However there is one question we must ask ourselves every time – “Is it absolutely necessary to fire this person?” More often than not, a well thought, evaluated and honest answer is “No”. Let us reason with ourselves how not to fire someone.

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What is your ROI of human capital?

photo of three people smiling while having a meeting

The assessment of the returns on investment (ROI) of human capital can get you into a tricky territory. Unlike other resources, you cannot have an absolute objective assessment of human resources. I would not suggest you to do so either. People should not be judged solely based on some metrics on a dashboard. Contribution of employees go beyond numbers reflected in performance reports. However, as a business owner, it is important you measure the ROI of human capital.

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Are you chasing the right goals?

chasing the right goals and monitoring reports

What gets measured gets managed. You would have heard this several times. There is so much focus on measuring and reporting all data that is easily available. This leads to information overload. Colorful charts on the projector screen scream for attention. Quite often, teams waste energy and time on meaningless reports. What are you monitoring? What are your goals? Are you chasing the right goals?

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How do you measure business growth?

how do you measure business growth

Increase in sales revenue and profitability are the two most common objectives for every business. Businesses measure month on month, quarter on quarter, year on year growth in sales. However, it is important to segment the growth data for actionable insights. How do you measure business growth? Do you look at the overall trend? Do you segment customers into groups and monitor trend for each group?

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What are your actionable metrics?

person reviewing actionable metrics report

“For a report to be actionable, it must demonstrate clear cause and effect”. Eric Ries made this argument in his bestselling book “The Lean Startup”. He is right to stress on the importance of monitoring actionable metrics. Quite often we get into the trap of vanity metrics. Either these vanity metrics look good or the data is easily available. However, as the name suggests, these do not lead to any action as cause and effect are not established. Have you identified actionable metrics for your business? What metrics do you monitor?

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Great Customer Service is a Zero Cost Strategy

delighted black female barista serving coffee in cup in cafe. Delivering great customer service to the guest

Profitability and sustainability for most businesses depend upon customer loyalty. Repeat transactions from customers is what every business aims for. You may have heard about the concept of measuring customer life time value (LTV). There are several strategies and tactics businesses use to lure customers into repeat and more frequent transactions. Delivering a great customer service is one of these and is a zero cost strategy.

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