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Posts from the ‘Self Development’ Category


Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck

Photo courtesy:

Photo courtesy:

Larry Gennari, of Gennari and Aronson, is holding another thought-provoking event for entrepreneurs and startups this week. Join author Tony Tjan as he speaks about his book “Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck,” the New York Times Best-Seller and #1 Non-Fiction with Publisher’s Weekly.

Anthony K. Tjan (Tony) is Managing Partner of Cue Ball, a Boston-based venture capital firm. Most recently, Tony was Senior Partner at The Parthenon Group, a leading strategic advisory firm where he continues as Vice Chairman. Tony holds his AB and MBA degrees from Harvard University. He was also a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Tony sits on several boards, is a contributor to Harvard Business Review, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of MIT Tech Review.

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The Art of Being a Good Business Leader (Part II)

Penny Webb

Penny Webb, Familias and Company

What makes a good business leader? What skills, qualities and attributes help business leaders succeed? Penny Webb, Founder and Managing Director of Familias and Company, shares her insight into what qualities are needed to succeed as a  business leader (Penny has consulted and coached 65% of the FTSE 100 CEOs, as well as executives across Europe, Middle East, Asia and the US).

  1. Create Alignment: Good leaders are able to ensure, on a continual basis, that every level of the organisation understands the strategy and their role in its execution. Penny says, “Often we ask employees, management, and board members to articulate the firm’s strategy and the lack of alignment in their responses is telling.”
  2. Appreciate Cultural Differences: Good leaders need to recognise that what works in the West doesn’t necessarily work in the East. They also understand the need to not impose their views on others. They tailor their messages and moreover, seek ways to learn from those who are different. “Think about the number of firms who have sought to invest or develop outside their home country? It doesn’t always work well,” Penny suggests. A leader must ensure that sufficient due diligence is done to assess a firm’s readiness to work and succeed in a different culture. Read more »

The Art of Being a Good Business Leader

What makes a good business leader? What skills, qualities and attributes help business leaders succeed? Penny Webb, Founder and Managing Director of Familias and Company, shares her insight into what qualities are needed to succeed as a  business leader. Penny has consulted and coached 65% of the FTSE 100 CEOs, as well as executives and family offices, across Europe, Middle East, Asia and the US.

Reflect Continuously – The ability to take time to reflect on your own strengths so that you can build on them. Reflection helps to build self-awareness and enable business leaders to grow based on what they are good at. As Penny says, “Find out what you aren’t good at and stop doing it.” In fact, leaders spend a total of 2-3 weeks per year for self-development. Working with a private coach can help enormously in this regard.

Have a Clear Vision of Success – Good leaders have a good idea what they want to do and set out on a journey to achieve these goals. They are also able to establish what personal and professional success looks like and work towards these goals. If leaders are not clear and consistent in their own goals, how can others follow? A good exercise for any leader is to consider themselves at 80 years of age, looking back on what they have done and whether or not that would provide them with the contentment they are looking for to ensure they have lived according to what is truly important to her or him.

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Executive Coaching

I will be covering the topic of “self development” across a number of posts given its importance in shaping our personal and professional lives.

Think about it…if professional athletes and teams have coaches, shouldn’t executives have them, too? We are after all, technically speaking, also considered “professional,” aren’t we?

Broadly speaking, executive coaches work with their clients in areas that are critical to growing an executive’s career. While executive coaches cover a variety of areas, almost always they will help hone their client’s career path, communication skills, executive presence, strategic thinking and conflict resolution skills, while also helping an executive during career transitions.

I have and continue to benefit from coaching. It has made a significant influence on both my professional and personal lives, and I have noticed the greatest influence in self-awareness, work/life balance, career planning, influencing others and in identifying strengths and weaknesses.

It is for this reason that I have often wondered why more companies don’t leverage executive coaching to further advance its leaders.

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Global Mindset

A global mindset is a set of capabilities that can dramatically accelerate a business leader’s ability to develop and foster successful relationships across multiple cultures.

Here is the challenge: In most societies, most citizens are raised and socialized to deal and work with people who are like them, so they develop uni-cultured lens to help them understand and interpret their surroundings. This has worked well in the past, but today, employees and executives are required to work with people who are different from them and have different cultural backgrounds.

Moreover, global trade has dramatically increased over the last decade, while the US, Europe and Asia have increased their economical interdependency. Moving forward, emerging markets will account for the majority of the global growth over the next 20-30 years, so the need for companies to become more global has never been more important than today.  

But, it’s important to note, more global doesn’t necessarily mean only having customers and subsidiaries in international markets.  It also refers to a company’s culture and ability to deal with multiple cultures, languages and socio-economical dynamics. In a recent survey of senior executives in 100 global corporations conducted by Worldwide ERC, 95% of the respondents reported that national cultures of the places they do business in play an important or very important role in the success of their business mission.

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