In this episode we sit down with leadership expert Scott McCarthy, to discuss leadership skills related to small business and independent entrepreneurs.

Segment 1 - Introduce Yourself

Segment 2 - Starting Out

  • Do you think that leadership is more of a school-learned skill (note-taking, reading, etc.) or more of one that you learn by putting it into practice?
  • How closely would you relate self-discipline with leadership skills? Should you work on self-discipline before trying to lead others?
  • When entrepreneurs are first starting out, they’re generally alone, or with a small group of other company founders. This leaves them partially or completely isolated from leading other people, a skill they would need to develop should their company grow and hire employees down the road. What advice would you give to someone looking to up their leadership game, before they hire employees?
  • A common mentality for new entrepreneurs is to just dive in and figure things out when you get there, which could lead your business into disaster. What’s your opinion on this mentality? Should people prepare more before they dive in?
  • How tied up should leaders get in the details? Should staff worry about details and leaders focus more on the big picture? (ie setting a sales goal without having the intricate details of how to reach it)
  • Many people that are thinking of starting a business are looking to stash some money away from their day jobs so that they can slowly lower their hours to work on their business idea. Given that their day job is a different experience from their would-be business, how would these entrepreneurs transfer any leadership skills they’re learning on the daily, to their new business?

Segment 3 - Types of Leader

  • One of the things that I struggle with a lot, is trying to determine what kind of leader I want to be. I want to maximize my team’s output, but that the same time, I don’t want to be a “force to be reckoned with” when entering the office. I often flip between being a ruthless money-only kind of leader, a laid back “tech culture” leader, or something in between. Does this kind of decision naturally work itself out as you gain more management experience, or is it more dictated by the stage of the company? (ie only the richer companies can afford to be laid back)
  • How much, if at all, does the job dictate the type of leader needed?
  • Should leaders have “modes” that they snap into in certain situations?  (ie Be really monetarily aggressive during an economic downturn, and lighten up when the business improves)

Web News - Difficult Situations

  • When faced with a difficult situation, having a strong leader is critical to guide the team through the storm.
  • This is easier said than done, however, because there are so many aspects of a business that a leader has to keep in mind
  • Things like: employees, asset management, capital, revenue, expenses, etc.
  • In an example scenario, let’s say that there is a struggling app development business that has 1 boss and 5 employees. The business is struggling to find customers and therefore can’t afford to pay their staff’s wages for any more than a couple of months.The company does have some valuable assets in the form of useful apps that could be put up for sale to raise capital. In this situation...
    • How critical is employee loyalty? Should layoffs be step 1?
    • Should assets be sold off before layoffs are considered?
    • If layoffs are inevitable, how do leaders soften the blow? Or do they just move on?
    • What is the main goal the leader should push for? (ie keeping the people employed, maximizing profit, liquidating to gain capital for themselves, retaining assets, etc.)

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