Business lessons learned from the real world are far more valuable than those learned in school. As a result of the pandemic, we have learned more in the past year than at any other time. Faced with the pandemic, lockdowns, pivots, furloughs, paradigm shifts in employee and consumer behaviour, and the work environment, entrepreneurs learned more about running a business than ever before.
We asked 8 TAB members to share their big lessons and defining moments from the past month when asked the question: What business lesson have you learned this past month, and how has this impacted you?
#1. Persuasion in business
I learned this week the importance of Aristotle’s discourse on Rhetoric, the formula for persuasion (Ethos, Logos, Pathos, Metaphor, and Brevity), is as necessary throughout the business today than ever before. No amount of AI or machine learning can replace those who can persuade. Think about it. It is a fundamental skill required.
#2. Hiring in the current times and the importance of organisational culture.
For many business owners, it is a challenge to find employees right now. Most focus on promoting the job description, while, in reality, they can increase their success rate by promoting the culture the prospective employee will work within.
A purposeful shift towards defining and establishing company culture is a primary element in building an exceptional organisation because it helps attract and retain quality employees. That’s a significant advantage in today’s marketplace.
#3. Experience breeds trust.
I have learned that business owners are curious people, but most are much more focused on practical problem solving and will listen to those with the experience they can trust. It’s the person sitting across their desk that they are identifying with the most. People that bring fluff are not wanted.
#4. We need more diversity.
I searched for women business owners employing between 10 and 200 staff on LinkedIn last week to add to one of our excellent boards. We need the diversity of thinking and backgrounds for our boards. I had to go through 5 pages before viewing a female business owner, and I learned we have a real diversity problem among employers if so few women lead these SME businesses.
#5. Be open to new processes and learning.
I learned that we need to better streamline business processes and take the steps necessary to embrace online programs. It was a great reminder that “You do not know what you don’t know” and that it’s essential to be open to learning.
#6. Collaborate with your team.
I came across this quote from Jacob Morgan, which profoundly impacted me. “Successful organisations don’t create things for employees; they create things with employees.
#7. It’s never too late to start planning.
My big business lesson: It’s never too early to start planning: rise and shine.
#8. You don’t have to do it all alone. Ask for assistance if you need it.
The disease of ‘busy-ness’ wastes more time in the ‘doing’ than it saves in ‘getting done. Stopping, taking a step back, and asking for assistance should not be seen as a sign of weakness or lack of effort but as a sign of intelligence and foresight.