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Leadership Pays Big Dividends For Smaller Firms

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The importance of leadership is critical for Fortune 500 companies, but a financial leader asserted leadership is crucial for the “Less Fortunate 5,000” small- and medium-sized companies.
In fact, many owners of SMEs, stated financial guru Zhivargo Laing, “rely more on their leadership skills because they do not have the luxury of hiring professional leaders and managers to head their businesses.”
Laing, a former finance minister of The Bahamas, noted CEOs of Fortune 500 companies “have the benefit of armies of MBAs, analysts, in-house financial experts and outside vendors to aid them in the planning, execution and strategizing of their giant corporations.”
For smaller companies, however, “the vision, direction, recruitment and deployment of resources – human and physical, coaching and motivating of staff, strategizing, raising of capital and troubleshooting, among many other things, must be done by these SME leaders.”
The quality of the person at the top of the company, Laing declared, directly affects the bottom line and fortunes of smaller firms: “Sound leadership of SMEs plays a significant role in their transformation to larger companies, perhaps even to future multinational corporations.”
“In today’s challenging economic environment, leadership of SMEs is even more crucial.  Owners must do their best to ensure they possess, or develop or acquire, the skills needed to steer their companies through the many obstacles to success,” he said.
Furthermore, in difficult economic times, Laing insists, good leaders have to manage up as well as down: “Motivated staff who share the company’s commitment to customer service excellence and ethical conduct is invaluable but it is also critically important to have the ability to communicate vision and strategy effectively to skittish investors and financiers hungry for profits.”
Leadership is a career long commitment, stressed Laing: “Leaders of SMEs should incorporate in their ongoing corporate growth strategy, the development of their own leadership skills as well as that of their team. This investment will pay dividends for them.  Whether they take some online course, attend seminars and workshops, do certificate courses, enroll in college or university or enter a mentoring relationship with a business leader, it is important that they pursue leadership development as a matter of continuing personal and professional growth.”
And what is the return on investment from continuing leadership training? “Higher profits, increased revenue, reduction in costs, employee retention, research and development results, increased customer loyalty, prudent capital investment and so many other critical business pursuits that depend greatly on sound leadership. SMEs in pursuit of these outcomes for the benefit of their owners, employees, customers and communities need such leadership.”
Perhaps most important for Laing was the expansion of horizons: “Leadership lifts the ceiling on corporate limitations.”
Zhivargo Laing will lead the following effective leadership seminars in The Bahamas.

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