Becoming a Small Business Leader

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Small business owners spend countless hours working on their businesses. They experience a constant source of tension between responding to the next crisis and making sure the company is headed in the right direction. It takes special skills to differentiate between tasks that are important and those that are urgent, a dilemma known as the “Tyranny of the Urgent”. In my role as director of the UMW-SBDC, I have a responsibility to provide business owners with tools and resources needed to run a successful business. However, building a successful organization and taking it to the next level, requires additional skills. These are skills that can be learned and involve basic leadership. One of the most significant contributions of psychology to the field of business has been in determining key qualities of acknowledged leaders. The increasing rate of change in the business environment creates the need for increased emphasis on leadership. Instead of maintaining status quo, new … [Read more...]

Team Building Exercises Take the “ME” out of Team

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Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." Pondering Henry Ford’s quote above, I asked myself which task is most challenging for a leader: building a team, keeping the team together or getting the team to work together. I believe all three have levels of difficulty; however, I find that getting a team to work together is the most difficult and at the same time the MOST rewarding. Individuals all join a team for their own reasons and with their own agendas. Leaders have the responsibility to share the vision and goals with their team and then get each individual with their expertise, skills, and agendas to all work together to fulfill that vision and meet the goal. Just thinking about this can feel daunting. Never fear. Team building activities can be extremely helpful in moving people from thinking about “what I can do” to performing together as a team. Team building exercises are fun, quick and engaging … [Read more...]

Q&A Meta Braymer on Leadership

Meta Braymer

Meta Braymer has always believed that more women need to be in leadership positions. And that conviction was exemplified throughout her career as she made decisions to help women succeed. One of her lasting legacies is the Leadership Colloquium @ UMW, which she founded in 1994. In the following interview, Braymer discusses leadership with me and how women can be inspired to have a more active role in leadership positions. 1. What attributes should a female leader have? Interesting that you should ask that; I was just working with the Girl Scouts on the idea of a Girl Scout Leadership Institute, and I think of their mission of building courage, commitment, and character. That sums up so much about leadership. 2. What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received? We’ve had some fantastic speakers at the Colloquium. Early on, Mary Sue Terry in 1996 was talking about the need to be at the table – and the fact that women can always make room at the table for another person. A … [Read more...]