A Failure of Leadership: What Business Owners Can Learn

Hillary ClintonEDIT

Once again the government is there to teach us a valuable leadership lesson. And this has nothing to do with politics or party affiliation. It’s not about Democrat or Republican, nor about whether you like or dislike the current administration. It’s about setting and following through with clear expectations and consequences.

The Story:

Hillary Clinton sets up her own server in her home and uses it for all of her email communications, both personal and business, while she is Secretary of State. At the same time, government employees are told to conduct all government business through .gov email addresses.

“Leaders” in government, including Mrs. Clinton tell their employees to only use their .gov emails for government business. All government employees sign form OF-109 confirming that they have returned all unclassified documents to a responsible official upon their resignation or retirement from government service.

However, whether she signed the document or not, it is unclear if Mrs. Clinton ensured her documents made it to a responsible government official when she left the Secretary of State’s office. And she isn’t saying whether she did. Dan Metcalfe explains this situation in a Politico article. While it’s a little too snarky for my taste it does lay out the case from the viewpoint of someone who would know.

Where was the oversight? Where was the commitment to policy? To expectations? And what were the consequences of following or not following policy?

The Business Case:

This type of situation is played out on a daily basis in businesses around the world. There are employees making their own decisions about how they are going to conduct themselves and which rules they are going to follow. And there isn’t anyone holding them accountable. This doesn’t only impact that employee. It impacts the entire company and its ability to succeed.

1. The leadership is in less control and in many cases is unaware of the impact the actions of these employees is having on their bottom line.

2. Other employees are watching and making their own decisions based on what they see. They are also developing a perception of the company leadership — one that usually isn’t very good.

3. Good employees leave because they see the negative effect of these situations and don’t want to be collateral damage.

4. In many cases, the company’s finances are negatively impacted as well.

The Solution:

In order for an organization to run smoothly and properly address the challenges it encounters, the leadership has to be in control. That means they have to not only create expectations with consequences, but they have to communicate them consistently, and most importantly, follow through with them.

People need to know that there really are consequences to their actions — both good and bad. It’s up to the leadership to follow through with those consequences so everyone knows they are real.

This is how they build respect and how they ensure people will follow them. It’s how they move forward effectively. The cleanup that happens when someone doesn’t follow the policies and guidelines in an organization takes everyone’s energy away from the goal. Isn’t the point of leadership to get people to follow you to the goals you seek? Employees need to know you mean it — all the time. Otherwise you are telling them you don’t mean it at all. And that is a failure of leadership.

Hillary Clinton photo via Shutterstock

This article, “A Failure of Leadership: What Business Owners Can Learn” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger http://evangelinagius.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-failure-of-leadership-what-business.html

The Birth Of An Amazonian Cult: Cocaine And Faith In The Amazon (Part 1)

Watch Part 2: http://bit.ly/1BuAlzG Watch Part 3: http://bit.ly/1Ed0Hwd Peru is now the world’s main supplier of coca, the raw plant material used to manufacture cocaine. In the last five years, coca production has grown the most in the tri-border region, an area deep in the Amazon where Colombia, Brazil and Peru meet. The tri-border region is home to a messianic sect with apocalyptic beliefs whose members dress in biblical robes. Known as “Israelites,” the religious group migrated to the Peruvian Amazon in 1995 in search of a promised land that’s now infested with coca plantations. In part one, VICE News travels to Alto Monte de Israel to meet the messianic sect known as the Israelites, and learn about their prophet, Ezequiel Ataucusi, who led them to settle in the Amazon jungle. Watch “Peru: The New King of Coke” – http://bit.ly/1zchU6u Read “Meet the Man Helping Peru’s Foreign Drug Mules Get Home” – http://bit.ly/1qT9i1j Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideos

From: VICE News

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from Blogger http://evangelinagius.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-birth-of-amazonian-cult-cocaine-and_29.html

Are Women Entrepreneurs Putting Their Personal Credit at Risk?

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As small business owners, we all want our businesses to survive and thrive. Sometimes, that means making personal sacrifices. But a new study by Experian reveals that women business owners may be making too many sacrifices when it comes to their personal finances — and it’s putting their personal credit ratings at risk.

The study of both male and female business owners examined both business and personal credit data, then analyzed the differences between the credit profiles of the men and women entrepreneurs. Here’s what they found:

  • Women business owners have lower incomes than male entrepreneurs. Just 17.4 percent have a personal income of $125,000 or more, compared to 21.2 percent of men.
  • Women business owners have an average business credit score of 34 (out of 100, with 100 being the least risk); men business owners average 35.
  • Women business owners’ consumer credit scores average 689; male business owners’ consumer credit scores average 699.

What’s behind the discrepancy? Women entrepreneurs in this study were most likely to own and operate businesses in these six industries:

  • Business Services
  • Beauty Shops
  • Retail Stores
  • Personal Services
  • Building Maintenance
  • Restaurants

Men were most likely to own and operate businesses in these six industries:

  • General Contracting
  • Business Services
  • Real Estate
  • Restaurants
  • Motion Picture Distribution
  • Retail Stores

Although there is a lot of overlap here, general contracting and real estate businesses may be more likely to generate larger sales than the typical businesses run by women. Women-owned businesses typically generate lower revenues: Only 14.5 percent have sales of more than $500,000, while 24 percent of men-owned businesses do.

In addition, women-owned businesses pay their bills 8.4 days past due, while male-owned businesses pay theirs an average of 8.1 days past due.

Women’s more limited access to commercial credit is reflected in the study. Just 18.5 percent of women-owned businesses have one or more open commercial trade accounts, while 22 percent of men-owned businesses do.

As a result, women are more likely to turn to their personal credit to finance business operation and growth. Over 25 percent of women entrepreneurs have 10 to 19 tradelines open on their personal credit files; just 17.5 percent of male business owners do.

Women are also more likely than men to have delinquent personal credit accounts. In the last 24 months, women entrepreneurs had an average of 1.3 personal credit accounts become 90 or more days past due, compared to an average of 0.9 for male entrepreneurs.

What gives? When women business owners can’t get access to capital and credit they need through commercial channels, they’re forced to turn to their personal credit to keep their businesses running. This can be risky, affecting your ability to pay off personal obligations and ultimately hurting your personal and business credit rating.

What can you do if you find yourself in this bind?

  • Do everything you can to cut costs so you don’t need as much capital.
  • Look into alternative sources of financing that rely less on your business credit rating. Invoice-based financing or equipment financing, for example, allow you to turn receivables or planned equipment purchases into “collateral” for loans that can help you grow.
  • Seek loans or investments from friends and family to avoid hurting your personal credit rating. Be sure to treat them as you would any type of loan or investment, including issuing stock and drawing up loan documents.
  • If you’re launching a new product or service, consider crowdfunding your growth via peer-to-peer sites such as Kickstarter.

Businesswoman Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Are Women Entrepreneurs Putting Their Personal Credit at Risk?” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger http://evangelinagius.blogspot.com/2015/03/are-women-entrepreneurs-putting-their.html