Five skills we need to teach our emerging leaders

Communication, accountability, time management, servitude and mentoring all play important roles

Five skills we need to teach our emerging leadersThe surprise snowfall that spring day stopped just before I dropped my girls off at their high school. But more surprising than the snowfall was the vision I encountered at the school. The principal and the vice-principal were shovelling the sidewalks so the students didn’t have to trek through the wet snow. They were greeting…

5 Financial Risks to Starting a Business

In order to gain the financial rewards of starting a business, you have to be willing to take some risks

5 Financial Risks to Starting a BusinessAs the economic climate cools off from recent budget changes, many individuals are taking control of their own earnings and starting a business. For many entrepreneurs, there are many challenges to starting a successful business. You have to be prepared mentally and financially. Once you have the right plans and mindset, a new venture can…

Painful lessons in effective leadership

The mad and the bad have no place in any organisation

Painful lessons in effective leadershipI had just joined a factory in England’s industrial heartland and my new Managing Director – let’s call him Neil – was five foot two, 240 pounds of explosive malevolence. He was an ex-purchasing director whose winning formula was to squeeze his miserable suppliers into penury and he was honing his approach with his new…

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalists

Learning these five facts - even if you don't want to hear them - will save you time and frustration

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalistsEvery year hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors congregate at the base of the mountains at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Over the course of two days, approximately 50 IT, life science and cleantech companies make their pitch to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. Panels, speakers and networking round out the…

The transition zone: how to hand your business off to new owners

You want to leave behind a functioning, viable business. And you want to ensure your employees are prepared for this stressful change

The transition zone: how to hand your business off to new ownersIt was one of my most embarrassing moments. I climbed out of the water at the triathlon at West Lake and in front of all the spectators, I threw up on James Sexton’s shoes. As his kids cheered me on, I moved to the transition zone where I quickly got on my bike and away…

How to attract the right talent to achieve financial success

Making the right connections and finding the right people will directly impact the level of success you achieve

How to attract the right talent to achieve financial successWhen examining the who, what, where, when and why of any startup, it's the who that will most directly impact the level of success that is achieved. Making the right connections and finding the right people will be entirely reflected in the management team, staff, advisory board, customer list and availability of capital. While that…

Let silence do the heavy lifting

Most business leaders don't share their problems and concerns even when they should. Here's how you can get them talking

Let silence do the heavy liftingBeads of sweat were dripping off his forehead as he looked at me and contemplated his answer. I’d just asked him what was holding him back from the success that seemed to elude him, even though he had been laying out the plans for months. I could see his mind turning, the beads of sweat…

Is selling your business your retirement fund plan?

Canadian small and medium business owners put their companies and their investments at risk by not having a structured succession plan

Is selling your business your retirement fund plan?By Laura Johnston Contributor Canada’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are unprepared for the coming wave of business ownership transfers, which will be driven by the retirement of baby boomer business owners. Within 10 years, Canada’s SME sector will undergo a transfer of wealth, estimated at $1 trillion to $4 trillion. Yet, as of this…

There is a high cost to workplace deception

Build a culture of candor by expecting your people to be honest, to communicate openly and to treat people nicely

There is a high cost to workplace deceptionLies in the workplace are expensive. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, a typical organization loses five per cent of its revenue to fraud – a potential global loss of $3.5 trillion dollars. But the cost of out-and-out fraud pales in comparison to the monumental cost of the erosion of trust that occurs…

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and just…
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