25 Sep 2017

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant / leadership / Management

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What makes a good business owner?

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What are the key attributes to running a successful business? How can business owners inspire a workforce? What leads to increased revenue and productivity in the long term? Is having happy customers fundamental to business success? Is it important to move with the times and keep a measure of change? Is long term planning part of the success story?

These are some of the areas that will be considered in this article.

Here are some examples of what I think makes a successful business owner:-

A strong sense of leadership is important even in very small teams. Business owners need to be able to show they’re capable of making solid decisions on a daily basis. Listening to advise is important, but their agenda must always be set out as a business priority.



It is extremely important for business owners to be dedicated, motivated and to have passion and drive within their business. This will then cascade down the food chain to staff, which will reflect happy customers. Tasks and schedules should be met, while remembering a work-life balance. No one will benefit if a business owner is completely frazzled and it doesn’t set a good example to others.



Within the successful running of a business, it is important to think outside the box. Sound marketing material to celebrate the uniqueness and branding of a business are a vital part to creativity. Brand awareness and understanding who the business is marketing to is key. A sound business owner will be visionary and bold, taking calculated risks are very likely to pay off.

Excitement and passion

If a business owner is not excited about their business, then they shouldn’t expect anyone else to be. Running a business is also a challenging task. Remaining energised, being resilient and staying focussed will all be key to successful operations. A good business owner is passionate about what they do. If a business owner is not passionate themselves, how can they expect others to be inspired?


Honesty and integrity

It is crucial for a successful business owner to be honest with themselves as well as their employees. Goals and deadlines should be realistic and attainable ones. Whatever is being sold to the customer needs to be delivered, no half measures – a good business will be remembered for quality over quantity, every time.


Thinking Ahead and planning

Good business owners will plan and prepare for the future. Short, medium and long term goals should be considered when creating any plans. Strategies should be put into place to ensure goals and targets are being met, financial or otherwise.


Look after employees

Successful business owners take pride in looking after their employees. Employees are the number one commodity within a business. If employee’s are either not happy in their role, or there is a high amount of stress in the workplace, this will impact on a number of areas. This includes poor messages to customers, reduced productivity and low morale. Employee’s wellbeing is key to the successful operational running of a business and also has a big impact on work-life balance. Employees who are burnt out, are more likely to suffer from poor performance, fatigue and will be more likely to take time off through stress related illness. This all has an impact on a business and its results, short and long term.


So these are some examples of what makes a good business owner. Are you a business owner and can identify with some of the traits in this article? Are you an employee and see these traits in those at the top? Or alternatively, do more of these aspects need to be employed, and if so, would it have a successful effect in productive running of the business?


I come into organisations and I teach business owners and their employees all about resilience and how to manage stress. I teach practical tools and techniques to support staff in reducing levels of burn out and to be more resilient. This improves morale and increases productivity, having a positive impact on a number of levels and the overall wellbeing of staff.


If you would like to know more about the work that I do, and would like to learn how I can help you improve these areas of your organisation, then please get in touch today via the contact form below. I would be happy to answer any questions and chat in more detail about the services that I offer.


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11 Sep 2017

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant / Management

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What makes a good manager?

Within organisations, we are all managed by someone (unless you are the CEO of course!)

What is the relationship like with your manager? Are you a manager yourself? Does your manager do any of the following? – Do they get the best out of you? Do you have a positive, open and respectful relationship? Do you feel supported and valued? What could your manager do differently to encourage you to improve your productivity? Are your needs and values being met in your role? Do you feel motivated and inspired?

So what are the key attributes for a good manager?

I would suggest the key to a successful manager is the relationship between his or her staff.

A good manager will ensure their team is achieving their optimum productivity and performance, while feeling valued and listening to their needs. A managers relationship with their team is based on trust, respect, communication and compromise. Their role is essential to the benefits of an organisation so that tasks are completely on time and with enthusiasm and energy.

Here are some key attributes of a good manager –

  • Coaches, inspires and motivate their staff.
  • Open communication, develop positive working relationships.
  • Improve staff morale, support wellbeing.
  • Effectively resolve conflicts and handle negative behaviour effectively.
  • Develop and empower staff, boost team morale.
  • Performance manage staff and provide feedback on performance.
  • Value contribution of team.

These are some key attributes, this list is not exhaustive.

There is a growing recognition of the importance of wellbeing being managed. In order to get the best out of their workforce, this is being seen as imperative and necessary within organisations, rather than as an additional benefit.

Why is this so?

It is no secret that improved wellbeing of staff, promotes improved productively, which leads to increased revenue within an organisation.

A comprehensive study which took place in 2014 (GOV.UK – Review of evidence on employee wellbeing and its potential impact on workplace performance) suggests improvement in wellbeing will result in improved workplace performance: in profitability (financial performance), labour productivity and the quality of outputs or services. Job satisfaction – including aspects such as satisfaction with training, skills development opportunities, how much autonomy employees have in their role, and how much scope they have to use their own initiative and influence decisions, show a strong and positive link with workplace performance.

When the demands of a job are high, this can induce work related stress, which can impact on reduced levels of wellbeing. This is then likely to lead to a whole host of problems and can impact on the organisation in a very negative way. Productivity can reduce dramatically, staff morale is affected severely, and staff absenteeism rises. This leads to reduced staff days, and impacts on the rest of the team, whereby either work is shared amongst others, or additional temporary staff are brought in, at extra costs. This happens time and time again within public sector organisations such as the Police, the Probation Service and Government Health Services. Staff cuts are not helping and morale is severely affected as are long terms sickness absence rates, which are currently through the roof.

Looking at the picture above, this is not the way a successful organisation should operate. How is productivity or staff feeling values going to be impacted? Not in a good way, I would suggest.

Take note if you are working as a manager within an organisation. This is not the way to go! A good manger needs to understand that in order to get the best out of staff, is to work closely to understand how they can support their needs and to promote and effective working environment.

A good manager is likely to achieve the following – happy and effective teams = increased productivity; improved staff morale; reduced staff absenteeism; organisation targets and goals, smashed.

Janine delivers resilience and stress management training to manger, workforces, and organisations in supporting and improving wellbeing. If you would like to know how Janine can help your organisation to improve resilience and increase morale which will in turn boost productivity and turnover.

Contact Janine for more information!

04 Sep 2017

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant / leadership / Management

Comments: No Comments

What makes a good leader?

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles, but today it means getting along with people.—Gandhi

There is a lot of literature out there defining the term ‘what makes a good leader’. What can we learn from the wealth of research and articles?

Here are some qualities we should be looking for in a good leader –

  • Listen to others Rather than simply directing or delegating, it is extremely important to listen to the voice of others. This is crucial in order to allow a team to be nurtured and to enable them to grow. Fundamental needs must be met to allow team members to be effective while being led. Being listened to is fundamental to this process.
  • Effective communication. Being constant, clear and concise in messages is important. This is required in order to impart advise and guidance. It is crucial that communication is maintained within a two way relationship between leaders and team members. This will also allow for improved productivity and will eliminate confusion.
  • Integrity. Influential and effective leaders treat others how they would like to be treated. Simple. This is based on a foundations of trust and respect. If this does not co-exist within the leader/ team member relationship, this is likely to lead to poor team performance and low morale.
  • Humility. Any accomplishments that are made within a team should be commended. Being proud and supporting achievements is a an awesome leadership style and is often overlooked or underrated. Others should be informed in a positive way that reflects the success of the achievement.
  • Empathy. A leader who has the ability to understand and share the feelings of another is one who will shine above others. In addition, having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes will help establish and build lasting relationships and will help resolve any potential conflicts within a team.
  • Inspire Others. Passion and confidence are crucial mindsets for effective leaders to work with. To inspire others to progress and to develop and to motivate are all essential to being a good leader. Being mindful of developing positive traits and passions within team members is also important for a leader to be effective and to inspire those around them.
  • Lead By Example. A true leader doesn’t just tell you how to do something and expect you to do it. They “walks the walk” and actually show you how to do it. They put as a high expectation in themselves as they do their team. This types of leaders are much more likely to get the best out of their team. They will be respected by their team and would be more willing to take direction.

All these traits of good leaders have something in common – getting the best out of their team members.

Leader and organisations are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of their employees. A happy team is one whose wellbeing is looked after. This is also more productive. There is increasing sound scientific evidence which shows that managers and leaders of teams play an important role in ensuring and promoting the wellbeing of their team. This then leads to dramatic improvements in performance amongst other key attributes.

To harness this further, good leaders should seek to do the following –

  • Encourage team members to think outside the box
  • Stimulate their teams
  • Be a role model by modelling desired traits
  • Incorporate an understanding of teams differences and a mix of learning styles
  • Show care and consideration to those in their team
  • Ensure a positive surrounding environment
More leaders are understanding the importance of wellbeing amongst their teams.

Many would acknowledge within organisations that employee wellbeing is important in keeping employees engaged and motivated. However research from Right Management (Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Service) also suggests that it is still misunderstood, with 41% of organisations regarding employee wellness as a perk rather than a necessary investment.

Organisations cannot afford unfit, unwell and unproductive people. While HR departments are responsible for playing a major role, leaders play the primary role in motivating, driving and keeping employees engaged.

The spirit of an organisation starts at the top.

A good leader can make a world of difference to an organisation by engaging, inspiring and developing employees. Conversely, bad leaders can disengage, derail and demotivate staff, which can have a negative impact on business productivity, which in turn affects turnover.

Research has shown that emotionally engaged employees tend to perform their tasks to a higher standard and are less likely to indulge in behaviours that might damage the organisation.

An important meta analysis literature review was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Jaana Kuoppala, Lamminpää, Liira, and Vaino, 2008). This is still just as relevant today. One of the findings of this study when taking into account a number of positive leadership styles was that the impact of a ‘good’ leadership style on employee wellbeing (traits that were taken into account included supportive and considerate leaders). Positive relationships were found, demonstrating the importance of impactful leadership styles on wellbeing.

So, what can we glean from this article? – Effective leaders take the time to support their team in a number of ways. This will not only lead to happier and more effective team members, but will make for a more productive and manageable work environment. An all round no-brainer.

Janine delivers resilience and stress management training to manger, workforces, and organisations in supporting and improving wellbeing. If you would like any further information, please contact Janine.