HCI Blog

Archive from July 2014

Five steps to becoming a strong leader

Leadership is a value of great importance to the world, independent of the setting. Every organization requires leaders to direct and lead.

But leaders aren’t created with the snap of a finger; leaders must be developed over time and cultivated within the organization.

Here are five steps that must be taken to become a strong leader:



1. Requires effort and dedication

Leading is not as simple as it seems. Proclaiming out loud that you are a leader doesn’t simply make you one.

Leadership requires focus and practice. It is a habit which must be developed and refined over time. With time, you will learn to see the bigger picture and know exactly how to behave in the environment you live in..

Characteristics you will need to develop include good communication, commitment and specially self-awareness! And remember, you will never stop learning how to become a good leader, the process is eternal and ongoing for the remainder of your professional life.

2. Multitasking functions

The job position or job title of “Leader” does not exist. If you are leading within your company, you most likely have a handful of other functions to perform.

You will have to handle people from within and from outside of your organization, including peers, team members and even customers. Therefore, you must be capable of managing all of these people and all of the functions involved with your position.

3. Don’t overload yourself: delegate

Through delegating, you as a leader are empowering your team. You can’t simply do every single function on any given project. Delegation is central to the success of any organization.

Delegation must be focused and directed. You must know well your team and their capabilities. Through this, you must correctly place the best person possible for a specific task.

Some leaders think that once they delegate, they no longer need to attend to that specific demand of a project or task. Wrong! Leaders need to make themselves available to assist after delegating!

4. Communication is everything!

Leaders must know how to communicate! To some, this comes as a natural talent. To others, it may require practice and development. But the most important part of being a master communicator is being open to feedback!

Rather than being able to express yourself, it is just as important to be able to listen to others!

5. Embody your vision of leadership

Leaders must embody the values they want employees to adopt.

They must be role models to those who they lead!

No great leader ever got anything done without inspiring and empowering others. Leadership can’t happen in a vacuum.



Eight resources entrepreneurs should never waste

Owning and managing your own business is always a handful. At the end of the day, you are responsible for the decision made within your venture as well as reaping what you sow in your business.

Entrepreneurs must therefore avoid wasting resources in general and what is meant by resources is literally anything that the entrepreneur requires to get his business going, be it money or even time.


Below are listed eight wastes which an entrepreneur must be careful with:

1. Having too many products or services available: This causes the company’s focus to become extremely broad, which results in a very steep learning curve and little specialization. Think of a restaurant with a huge menu; do you think customers will order everything on the menu daily or does all the food necessary to prepare every single plate available go to waste?

2. Inventory restocked too soon: Having too much inventory sitting around or letting it perish is as good as burning your money. Make sure that you time correctly and calculate the inventory you need appropriately.

3. No delegation and time management: Don’t centralize every single decision on yourself. Eventually, you will have to focus on other business aspects rather than micromanage every single decision. Hire a team and delegate!

4. Inefficient communication: Share information! Make it clear to all those involved what are your goals and how you want to get there.

5. Excessive red tape: Some people just love bureaucratic procedures. In a business, this will be reflected as too many processes and checks being used. Entrepreneurs need to be creative and minimal with the processes they deem necessary.

6. Too many actions and little results: Work can be distracting at times. It can be so distracting that entrepreneurs forget that it’s supposed to yield results. Sometimes, working too much doesn’t mean you will get the results you want. Work smart, not necessarily hard.

7. Defective products and services: Poor quality products and poor customer service are doubly deadly wastes. You lose the customer you paid to acquire, and the unhappy customer spreads the word to potential customers that you are spending marketing resources on, but will never win. Recovery efforts are wasted resource which rarely succeeds.

8. Underestimating the skills of others: If you know well your team (and you should), you will know their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t underestimate the abilities your team might have. Let them show what they got and put it to good use!



Leading through serving others

Upon receiving a promotion, employees that become managers typically expect to have their functions modified. This means that besides having to do tasks which are expected from them individually, they must oversee the execution of tasks performed by those who they supervise.

Surprisingly, many senior executives might laugh at this idea.

Despite what they may think, managers are of central importance to the work process. In the end, the assume responsibility for how those under them perform and are held accountable for results.

Author Ken Blanchard introduced the concept of Servant Leadership. According to it, leaders must serve the needs of his people rather than his own. This relates to the idea that managers need to be mentors rather than kings that need to be served by others so that his needs are met.

servant leader

Some traits of servant leadership include:

  1. Listening – This is the most important of all. Without listening, which is the first step towards good communication, servant leadership becomes a one way street.
  2. Empathy – Understanding is very important to a leader. The problems and needs of other need to be comprehended.
  3. Healing – Empower others to remedy their problems and mistakes.
  4. Awareness – Being honest regarding what you see around you.
  5. Commitment to the Growth of People – Instead of helping those around him only grow professionally, servant leaders should help others grow as a person.

Why sales are lower than what you expect

Sales are a central part to many companies, which means that sales teams must be invested in and well trained.

But many times, be it due to poor training or lack of commitment, the return from a sales team is lower than expect.

A research done by the National Sales Executive Association shows data on the persistence involved in sales.


statistics on sales

Three career mistakes you should make

Mistakes are part of the professional learning process for everyone, no exceptions. From them, we must extract a valuable lesson to better learn and refine our conduct and practices. Therefore, mistakes should be seen as normal and should, at times, be welcomed!

See here three mistakes which you should have made at least once during your career:



Mistake #1: Selling more than you are

This is common among individuals who are new to their line of work and the market.

Those who are new to their work tend to overpromise what they can deliver. Why? To show that they are capable and impress others, be it their colleagues or bosses.

Overall, it is important to be absolutely honest on what are your capabilities. If in the end you can exceed that what you promised, you will most likely impress rather than disappoint!


Mistake #2: Going Into an Interview Unprepared

This is something quite difficult to do naturally. You may try to research about the company’s history and read its yearly investors report, but you still don’t know what to expect from the interviewer.

But, being unprepared for an interview once will be enough to make you truly understand in practice how to do so in the best way.


Mistake #3: Rejecting an opportunity because you are scared

Suppose you already have a job in which you have to execute daily/monthly functions and that you are offered to pioneer a larger project simultaneously within your company.

You may at first shiver at the thought of taking on an important new project and reject it because you already have a large workload from your current position.

But it is important to take this extra step to deepen your skills and hone your abilities. Consider it an opportunity for personal and professional growth!

BASED ON: Forbes