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Boss or leader?

Posted on February 23, 2016 by admin

Entrepreneurs like to be in charge. You start your business so you can call the shots – not someone else. But if you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to learn to give responsibility to others. The question is – how do you become a leader, not just a manager, of others?

The reality is that it takes time and attention to learn how to be a good boss. We may be good at what we do, but being a boss isn’t a natural skill. While it is hard enough to get used to the idea of having others make decisions in your business, the problem is exacerbated because many entrepreneurs never had positive role models of how to be a good manager.

Moreover, the old-fashioned concept of being a boss meant issuing orders and having others follow. Sort of a militaristic hierarchy. For some, this idea of “My way or the highway” management is still appealing. Many entrepreneurs hire their first employees with the idea that they’ll do a lot of the dirty work the entrepreneur no longer has time for. They’ll be extra sets of hands – not extra brains.

But if you want your business to grow, you need extra brains, no matter how smart you are. Those who are on the front lines of carrying out a task – whether it be making a product, making a sale, or shipping the boxes – are usually in the best position to suggest improvements. So we need employees who can think. This requires leadership, not just management.

While this may seem self-evident, hire well. Just as it is easier to be a good parent if you have good kids, it’s much easier to be a good boss if you have good employees. You can’t choose your kids, but you can choose your employees.

When we need help, we’re often tempted to hire anyone we can get. But if you want to be confident giving someone authority, you need to hire someone you consider capable and trustworthy. Of course, this means paying a competitive salary with competitive benefits. You can’t hire good employees on the cheap.

Never give someone responsibility without also giving them authority. If you’re going to give someone a job, allow them to do it; don’t make them come back to you for every decision. This means you have to learn to be comfortable with people making some decisions that are different from those you’d make. Some decisions are just different – not wrong.

Sometimes, however, employees will indeed make what turns out to be a wrong decision. How do good bosses handle that? They spend time with the employee learning why a decision was wrong and how to avoid it the next time rather than rehashing the history and looking for blame.

You also have to share information. Many bosses dole out information as infrequently as bonuses. As a result, employees often don’t have enough data to do their jobs well. You can’t just hand off tasks to others, you’ve got to sit down and spend enough time so they know all the relevant details: the project’s purpose, customer pressures, deadlines, budgets. Let them know their limits: how much can they spend without coming back to you? Be clear on the importance and priority of each task.

Most importantly, let people know they’re being given responsibility because you know they can handle it, not just because they’re a warm body. Most people try to live up to the trust they’re shown.

Finally, recognise that while you want to be a good boss, you’re still the boss. You’re the one who sets the overall vision, direction, and standards of your company. Organisations need leaders, and employees respect fair and thoughtful leaders, especially those who also respect them.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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