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What does a business manager do daily?

what business managers do

What does a business manager do in an organisation daily? Essentially a business managers job description is to oversee the company’s productivity. He or she will manage all the processes and staff to ensure that the organisation runs at optimal capacity. Business manager skills are important because they keep employees actively involved in all aspects of the business. From small businesses to large organisations, all companies require the skills of a professional business manager.

The role of a business manager in various sized organisations

When you think about it, what does a business manager do in various sized organisations? A business managers job description can vary from company to company, especially when you consider the size of the organisation. The role of the individual will also affect a business managers salary range.

What does a business manager do in small businesses?

In small companies a business managers skills will be applied to overall operations. A small company may even subdivide the work, where the business managers job description is to run operations and the office manager will deal with all clerical concerns and oversee the staff compliment.

What does a business manager do in large organisations?

What does a business manager do differently in large organisations as opposed to small businesses? Bigger companies require more targeted business manager skills. Large organisations will make use of a business manager to oversee specific departments such as marketing, sales or even production. This targeted approach makes use of specific business management skills to optimise individual departments in large organisations for maximum productivity.

What does a business manager do, the tasks, duties and responsibilities

Business managers are responsible for overseeing the activities of workers, from hiring, training and even evaluating the performance of new employees. The business managers job description is never set in stone, as the company grows and changes the responsibilities may change dynamically to suit the expanding needs of the organisation. Most importantly, a business managers job description is to ensure that a company or specific department is on track to meet its financial goals and expected growth.

Aside from managing staff and running operations efficiently a business managers job description may also include other activities. These include developing and implementing budgets, preparing reports for senior management and ensuring that each department complies with official company policy. A business managers skills also need to be devoted to the company holistically. This means that they can’t just expect people to work without the necessary resources, it’s part of the business managers role to ensure that the staff have the necessary resources to maintain a high standard of work at all times.

Considering a career in business management?

If you’ve been pondering what does a business manager do in a company daily, then you have more than likely considered a career in business management. As a business manager you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills to direct employees and lead departments.

The majority of employers require a business management qualification

You can opt for a formal business management degree, or if you would like essential skills to start you off consider a business management short course to break into the workplace. MasterStart has a multi faceted Business Management and Leadership online short course that will provide you with practical working skills, which you can implement in the workplace almost immediately.

If you want it, grab it

If you are a natural born problem solver that loves leading teams and accomplishing goals then business management may be the perfect career for you. Keep checking back on our blog page for more insights into business management courses, careers and skills.

Reach success by overcoming your fears

You’re reading this because you want to change your life completely, achieve your dreams and reach success. Life has presented you with another one of its unique opportunities and you’re stuck in the mud. If you want to overcome your fears and reach success there’s one golden thread that runs constant, you have to follow your heart and be brave.

Letting go to overcome fear

Your fear is completely normal but it is not real. Your mind is more powerful than anything that you’ve ever encountered. It’s time you start relying on your own critical thinking and intuition to reach your goals. Starting up and setting yourself up for success requires you to dig deep and step outside of your comfort zone.

People fear the unknown because the material comforts of daily existence define their lives and give them a sense of purpose. If you want to reach success, you need to follow your heart and start envisioning your own purpose for life, through bold actions that disrupt the general status quo. Keep reading to obliterate your fear and for useful steps to reach success in life and in business.

Block negativity out

You need to start treating negativity like a light prism. Refract negative energy and start seeing the positive benefits in what you as a individual have to offer the world. Share your ideas and thoughts with people constantly. Stand up for what you believe in and have the courage of your convictions. Remember that constructive feedback is always useful but never allow anyone to bring your thoughts or ideas down in life.

It’s often all too easy to get caught up in the hype of negative energy. Influences like co-workers, family and friends can have a huge impact on your daily psyche. If you remain in the funnel with the same attitude then nothing changes. Step out of the washing drum, rinse off negativity and embrace yourself to reach success.

Jealousy only makes you nasty

Yes jealousy can be apart of the fear holding you back from reaching your dreams and achieving success in your personal life and business. People fear what others think about them because we are naturally programmed to impress and please. Let go of people that hold you back and bring you down.

People’s jealousy should be used as a tool to empower your thoughts and make you stronger. The only way to reach success is to ignore jealousy and let it be the fertilizer for your flowers that are about to bloom.

Take a giant leap not just a step

Yes, we have all heard the age old saying; baby steps. Changing your life and starting an amazing journey is all about courage. You might be thinking that you will treat your idea as a sideline project until it grows into something bigger. Perhaps you are perfecting the recipe for success. Nothing is achieved by dawdling.

Your initiative must walk hand in hand with your passion. Leap at the opportunity to change your life,  achieve your goals and reach success. Of course there are steps to follow to reach success, just be more radical about your approach and you could find yourself in the driver’s seat of your own destiny sooner than you think.

Time is valuable, don’t waste it

As mentioned earlier; dawdling won’t accomplish much. There is never that optimal moment to reach success in life. You have to grab it. With a little bit of faith and courage you must make a plan to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace a new you.

Time is the most valued asset on this planet. Don’t waste it. You only get to be on this planet once. Make the most of your time and live life on your own terms, for ultimate success in your personal life and business.

For more life changing lessons that can empower you and help you reach success, accomplishing your dreams, keep checking back on our blog page.

Bad habits you must break now to be more productive

breaking bad habits

They creep up on you slowly like a silent little whisper in the back of your mind, intertwining with your thoughts and, ultimately, dragging you down. Bad habits are soul destroying, oozing out your thoughts and clouding your judgement with self loathing and guilt. This slows you down, decreases your creativity, which in turn will eventually affect your overall productivity at work and in your personal life.

Break bad habits now and start living a successful life. Strive for career growth. Own your destiny and grab life by the horns, taking that promotion you desire or empowering your life through that all too contemplated career change. Follow us as we explore some of the worst bad habits that could be holding you back in life.

  • Wasting time on the Internet

You may be surprised to learn that engaging in a proper work flow can take up to fifteen minutes to achieve. If you allow yourself to be distracted by the endless amount of content on the internet you may spend an entire day at work completely out of sync with the important tasks at hand. The same goes for your personal life.

If you constantly waste time on the internet you may never achieve the things you want to do around the house or in your personal life. Keep yourself engaged and set time aside for meaningless content surfing for a slight distraction, but don’t let distractions rule your day.

  • Perfectionism and general bad habits

You have to start somewhere. This saying applies to everything in life. If you scrutinize every piece of work then you simply won’t get any work done. A lot of people focus on perfecting their idea or plan so much so, that they only ever end up plotting their plan. You need to take action and resolve glitches in the work later. Cross bridges as you come to them and avoid being a complete perfectionist from the word go to start making progress in your life and avoid bad habits.

  • Hitting the “Snooze” button

This is a tough one as we are all guilty of it. Our brains lie to us and tell us that a small amount of time delayed won’t make the world of difference. In reality by allowing your brain to shift back into sleep mode you only make yourself more tired and groggy than you started your day off with. If you want to be more productive jump up at your alarm and embrace the initial endorphins your brain triggers when it first wakes.

  • Taking on more tasks than you can handle

Tackle one task at a time. Research shows that your brain stops functioning optimally when it is bombarded with too many thought processes. By completing a single task at a time you are more focused and your productivity curve remains around the same loop.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can achieve more by taking on more. Stick to one task at a time and you will deliver quality work consistently rather than producing mediocre work quickly.

  • Delaying tough tasks

We are naturally programmed to deal with tasks that are easy, first and foremost. That is human nature. In life, you need to challenge yourself and stimulate your brain, otherwise your brain pattern becomes comfortable and this in turn will make you lazy.

People love to work through the easy stuff at work first and leave the more complicated tasks for later on in the day. Rather begin your day with a more complex problem and devote all your brain power to difficult tasks. You may even find that the easy tasks have just become a walk in the park and not even seem like tasks at all anymore.

The above bad habits can destroy your progress at work and your personal goals. Cultivate new habits that help you break old traditions and move forward in life. For new and exciting insights into empowering yourself check back on our blog page.

5 ways to improve business efficiency

improve business effeciency

The lifeblood of any efficient company depends on the way the business is run, not just from a top level management perspective, but filtering through, all the way down to the baseline employees. The following suggestions to improve company operations will provide you with top tips to improve business efficiency in the workplace.

Your business deserves to run at 100% all day. It is up to upper level management to ensure it does so. If you are in quest of methods on how to improve business performance, you’re in luck, follow us as we tackle the best work efficiency tips.

1. Automate tasks to save time and improve business efficiency

There are numerous tedious tasks that can be fully automated, in any organisation. Something as simple as sending a receipt can be automated. The automation process adds to an overall efficient company in the long run, by providing employees with more time for critical thinking, therefore increasing productivity.

2. Encourage employees to chat face-to-face, rather than over communication tools

Challenge and disrupt the status quo. Nearly all large organisations rely too heavily on technology to stay up to date with their peers in the workplace. A face-to-face, hands on approach goes a long way to improving efficiency in the workplace.

Encouraging a face-to-face approach allows for employees to communicate more regularly, ultimately leading to better trust and therefore better communication. This hands on approach also allows for no mixed signals or crossed wires, adding to an efficient company policy.

3. Hold a daily 10 minute meeting

Daily meetings are a necessity and vital to efficient company dynamics, however, they can also drag on and on, leaving staff with less time in their day. Daily company meetings can be extremely useful, however, learn to keep them short, concise and effective.

Encourage efficient business practices for an overall efficient company, so that employees are constantly aware of what they need to do, and how exactly to do it. By holding daily meetings of around ten minutes long you can get everyone up to speed and going quickly. This process goes a long way to improving efficiency in the workplace.

4. Use task management software to keep track of productivity

Task management tools are helpful resources that help your organisation’s employees stay on top of critical projects and their objectives. Even though you may feel an email is sufficient, it is not always the best way to encourage staff to keep following the flow of a project. Task management software like Asana helps by improving efficiency in the workplace via its useful and friendly user interface, which allows everyone to collaborate on tasks in a single location.

5. Promote a company culture that allows for open communication

These work efficiency tips may seem repetitive, but learning how to improve business efficiency at work is interlinked to constant and stable communication within your organisation. You need to be promoting and endorsing a culture that not only allows for open communication amongst peers, but also amongst top level management.

It’s simple; everyone wants to be valued. A valued employee will be far more effective and play an invaluable role in your efficient company. Open the lines of communication and propel your company’s mission forward constantly. Do some team building, involve your employees in your company’s vision constantly. If you ready to take your career to the next level, download our Business Management course brochure.

The common reasons why most startup businesses fail to grow

why start ups fail

You probably don’t want to be reminded – especially at this stage of your entrepreneurial endeavour, about the possibility of failure or early stagnation. As grim as the subject is; hearing the reasons why most small/startup businesses fail to grow, gives you, the aspiration for the best head start.

According to statistics published in 2017, the Small Business Administration (SBA), discovered that around one-fifth of startups fail within the first year. Interestingly enough, after investigating further, they found that there were a few common denominators/areas within the business’s which were being managed poorly, or neglected by the new business owners. These were likely the cause of the business’ deterioration.

Here are just some of the common ‘mistakes’ they uncovered which are the possible reason why so many startups fail to grow and in some cases, collapse.

1. Building a strong team is not prioritised

Many new business owners and amateur entrepreneurs fail to see the importance of building a strong team, especially during the start-up phase. They often think they can do it all on their own – and perhaps are incentivised by the cost-effectiveness.
Building a strong, competent team is crucial to the success of a business and, in fact, is most important during a business’s infancy years. This is because new ventures face many challenges; for example, limited capital and resources, as well as the challenge of breaking into the market. Without a strong team who have the skills and experience in building businesses from the ground up, the venture may be at risk of early stagnation.

2. Poor management and leadership

Poor management and leadership are one of the main reasons why startup businesses fail to grow. Most new business owners take on the role of a manager as they perform the management function in the beginning, however, they often struggle with the leadership aspect. With that being said, it is possible to get by on a good management approach even if the leadership aspect is not refined; however, if both areas are weak it is a major cause for concern. Some entrepreneurs are great visionaries and have exceptional business smarts, but are not strong managers or leaders. For the sake of the business, it’s important that they refine their skills in these areas. Luckily one can be taught how to be a great manager and an inspirational leader!

3. Budget allocations are managed insensibly

Startups often have limited capital and monetary resources which is why it’s imperative that money is handled sensibly. Certain important functions which will propel the business forward should be prioritised in the budget. These include areas such as marketing and staff for example – but this depends on the nature of the business. Many unsuccessful startups have allocated capital to the wrong areas and spent money on less important business functions. It’s critical that you identify your businesses fundamental needs and allocate money to these first.

4. Lack of business knowledge

This is an all too common ‘mistake’ in the startup sphere. While anyone can be an entrepreneur – it takes some business smarts to be a successful one. It’s, of course, impossible to know everything well – but that’s why hiring people who have strengths in certain areas where you may have weaknesses is incredibly important. However, if this is not possible, it’s imperative that you learn fundamental business skills so that you are able to carry the business forward. For example; marketing is one of the most important functions, but if you’re not aware of this, and are unable to execute successful marketing techniques due to your limited marketing knowledge, the business will surely suffer. Invest in yourself – in your skills and your business knowledge, so that you are able to give your business the best shot at success.

5. Poor customer relations

Your customer is your bread and butter. If you or your team fail to identify the importance of treating your customer well; communicating with them effectively, and listening to their needs and wants, you will have a hard time building customer loyalty and your sales will likely decline drastically. As a startup breaking into the market, you need to find ways to get the customer on your side. You need to give them a reason to leave what they know, and instead use your services or buy your product. Too many startups are caught up in the operations and keeping the business afloat, that they often forget the reason for what they are doing. The reason is: solving a problem – for who? The customer.

Managing operations in small businesses: 5 essential techniques to learn today

managing operations

Big businesses don’t struggle in the same way when it comes to certain operations, as sometimes small businesses do. This is because you’ll often find big businesses have various departments with many skilled individuals who have extensive experience in managing specific business functions.

The role of operations management within a big business, for example; is a streamlined process headed up by one, or perhaps a few, experienced and highly knowledgeable operations managers. Most times there’s a team of people supporting the managers’ operational objectives by constantly seeking out ways to improve business operations. With a core team, it becomes a lot easier to find solutions and fully optimise operations.

The role of operations management in small businesses on the other hand often lacks a clear-cut process, usually developed through trial and error, and often managed by the business owner themselves, or a manager who is less knowledgeable on how to effectively manage operations. Unfortunately, this is usually because small businesses lack funds, especially during the startup phase.

With the role of operations management being a critical function within a business, what are small businesses to do if they’re unable to hire an experienced operations manager, but want to improve business operations and achieve a streamlined process? Well, the trick is, in fact, going back to basics, and finding a logical step by step method of managing the operational processes.

Take a look at these 5 essential techniques you can learn and implement today, to better manage operations within your small business:

1. Assess each task

The best way to assess a task is by breaking it up by asking vital questions. Firstly, find the source of the work – where does the work come from? Is it from a client, is it from the supervisor, the vendor? This will give you an idea of the nature of the task and how it should be handled.
Secondly, evaluate the process of that specific task. If it’s a work order for example; break down the process of how this task is managed by detailing each step: add up the charges of the work order, enter the values into the computer and hold it for payment from the customer etc. Creating a process is an incredibly important step.

Then, decide on how the work is stored. Is it filed in a personal client folder? Should it be stored away? Through assessing tasks it’s easier to create a process and identify the kind of person suitable for the job; as well as to better create job descriptions and worker manuals.

2. Prioritise tasks

Prioritising tasks is not just about creating a deadline – that comes later on. This covers the sequence of the task; which is also concerned with the creation of the process. Thereafter, tasks can be prioritised according to importance as well as the deadline – which can be managed by the employee themselves. When people have a clear indication of timelines and are aware of priorities they are able to streamline the process for themselves; resulting in a more efficient operation – even without much help from the operations manager.

3. Delegate accordingly

After you, as the manager, have assessed the task and have prioritised the sequence of workflow, you’ll have a good understanding of the perfect type of employee who will be able to carry out the task effectively and efficiently. You’ll know the skills and strengths that the task demands, and you’ll need to align this with those of the employee. Assigning the task to a person within the team who you think will best fit the requirements is called delegating.

4. Evaluate outcomes

Once the task is complete, it’s important that you evaluate the outcomes – especially in the beginning. Be careful not to look like you are micromanaging – it could come across that way if you continue evaluating results every single time after a task is complete, for months on end. Spot evaluations work more effectively as it does not threaten the employee.

5. Find solutions to areas of concern

After evaluating the outcomes, you will have a good idea of where the weak areas in the processes are. It could be a weakness in the work sequence, or even in the employees’ ability to carry out the job. Whatever the concerns are, you will need to find alternative solutions for them; which will hopefully better the operations. Remember that you should be committed to constant improvement – even a solution could prove to be ineffective.

5 skills you need to fast-track your career in business management

fast-track your career in business management

Are you looking to manage a business? Or are you already settled in the business sector, but wanting to fast-track your career? Either way, you want to be the best you can be so that you reach your professional goals and fulfill your dreams. Allow us to share a few secrets that’ll help you on your way.

Firstly; to be the best, you need to offer the best. Whether you’re set on working in a corporate firm or looking to venture into the entrepreneurial sphere, you’ll need to have acquired specific skills to propel you, your team and your business forward.

We’re not talking about the entry-level skills required by most firms seeking out competent business management executives. We’re talking about refined, up-to-date, industry-specific skills that employees struggle to find but desperately want.

To stand out from the crowd you need to go the extra mile and acquire the skills that are in high-demand. Ready to see what it takes to become the best in your field?

Technical Skills / Hard Skills

1. Highly-effective management and leadership skills

As a business manager, and as an entrepreneur, you’ll likely be leading a team. Understanding the difference between management and leadership is the first important step. It’s imperative that you learn updated techniques to manage your team in the most optimised, effective and efficient way. Of equal importance, is an understanding of what motivates and inspires the people who are building your business. If you are able to achieve results through your skill of managing and motivating people, you’ll be a highly sought-after individual – and if you’re a business owner, there is no doubt your venture will go from strength to strength.

2. Financial skills

Most firms are happy for their business managers to have basic financial skills, however, if you want to be the best in your field you’ll make acquiring in-depth financial skills a priority. Without strong financial knowledge, you’ll quickly find yourself falling behind. Furthermore, for employees and entrepreneurs to maintain a competitive edge in today’s times, they need to ensure that they’re moving with technology. In relation to business management, you may want to consider supplementing your traditional financial skills with digital technical ability.

3. Operations management

Yet another important skill is that of operations management. In whichever role you find yourself in, you’ll undoubtedly be called to streamline business processes in line with business objectives. While you can rely, to a degree, on your strong management and leadership skills, it’s imperative that you broaden your operational skill set by refining your risk management abilities too. As a well-rounded business manager or entrepreneur, you should quickly be able to identify risk and find solutions to keep it to a minimum.

4. Marketing skills

Marketing skills are essential if you’re serious about establishing a competitive advantage. As an individual with the responsibility of building and positioning a brand; it’s critical that one understands the fundamentals of marketing. This includes the product lifecycle, the marketing mix, consumer decision making and the customer experience, to name a few.
Without strong marketing know-how, your venture will likely struggle to compete; which may, in the long run, set you up for failure.

5. Up to date industry-specific skills

In general, no matter what field you find yourself in, or which role, it’s in your best interest to continuously look for opportunities to acquire new skills which can be used within the operations of your role. Lifelong learning has become a standard in the professional world as it keeps one up to date with industry advances as well as technological advances pertaining to the specific industry. If you’re an individual who’s eager to learn; eager to improve and seeks to drive positive change within their role, you’ll certainly stand out from the crowd and excel in your professional career.

Soft Skills

Don’t forget that possessing soft skills is just as important as showing competency in the hard skills relevant to the business sector. Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits and attitudes. A well developed social and emotional intelligence shows companies your ability to navigate their environment, your likelihood to work well with others and achieve goals.

If you’re ready to accelerate your career with a business management certification, register for a Business Management online short course today.

Are you new to business management?

business management

It’s always a good time to make smart career moves. Earning yourself a business management certificate or degree is a smart career move, and we’ll tell you why. Not only will it set you up for a great career in business management, but it will also open many doors for you in a variety of industries. Those in industries as diverse as construction, retail, health, tech and sales; all require a critical understanding of business processes and systems to successfully execute operations and improve efficiency. This naturally has an effect on the business’s bottom line. An understanding of business management also supports a move into the entrepreneurial sphere. With a degree or certificate in business management, your options span industries!

Responsibilities associated with business management

As a business manager working within a department or as a business owner, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the various departmental operations; ensuring that each component is running optimally. You’ll be required to devise plans and assign tasks accordingly within the team; manage workflow, adjust operational structures and find solutions for areas of concern. You’ll be expected to make sound financial decisions that are in the best interest of the business, including the drawing up and management of budgets and various financial operations.

Average annual earnings within the business management field

Yet another great reason to pursue a career in business management: earning an above average annual income. According to PayScale, South Africans working within the field, in a:

Occupational level Average annual income
Entry level (0-5yrs) R298.000
Mid-career professional (5-10yrs) R510,000
Top-end professional (10-20yrs) R536,000

Skills required to pursue a successful career in business management

It’s incredibly difficult to secure a well-paying business management role with growth potential, without a solid academic background, and at least some working experience either in the field or in a role which exposes you to some or all of the elements involved in business management. You should consider either obtaining a degree in the field or enrolling in a course which will set you up for a promising career in business management. You will need to have acquired the following skills in order to secure a job in the field:

  • – Strategic and operational planning, as well as drawing up competitive strategies
  • – Strong management and leadership skills
  • – The ability to build high-performance teams and create a positive organisational culture
  • – Financial management skills
  • – Strong marketing skills
  • – The ability to successfully manage operations

The Business Management online short course is the ideal course for aspiring business managers, as well as current managers or entrepreneurs who require the skills necessary to excel in their careers. On completion, you will learn the critical skills needed to enter into the field, including the ability to:

  1. – Demonstrate the ability to analyse and improve overall business effectiveness
  2. – Discuss the role of marketing and its role in achieving organisational goals
  3. – Demonstrate an understanding of modern management and leadership approaches
  4. – Discuss the role of financial management and budgeting in relation to business effectiveness
  5. – Earn a Business Management short course certificate

Ready to begin your prosperous career in Business Management? Enrol in a Business Management online short course facilitated by MasterStart, to take your first step in career development.

Erika Botha, the brains behind business success

Meet, Erika Botha (M.B.A), the brains behind our brand new Business Management online short course. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our course content.

Erika is a highly-experienced manager and has facilitated NQF qualifications in banking, financial markets and business administration, as well as leadership, management and team development training programmes for top-level clients, including: Standard Bank, FNB, Sibanye Gold, Sasol, SAB Miller, Auditor General S.A., Business Connexion, Rennies Travel and Volvo.

What is the highlight of your career?

There are so many, but the one that stands out for me is the graduation ceremony of 250+ students that successfully completed a Business Management qualification through the Learning Academy that I managed. These students worked full time, studied a year-long qualification in their spare time, whilst juggling family time and in many instances, overcame traumatic events in their lives…. and here they were in front of me – all successful graduates! I was so proud of them I thought my heart would burst out of my chest.

Our top student’s story will always stay with me (and inspire me): Just when the course began, her house was burnt to the ground (she managed to get herself, her child and her husband safely out before it burnt to the ground). She then found that the insurance was not enough to cover damages, and a kind neighbour offered a room to her and her family. With all this going on she still managed to ‘Ace’ the qualification and came in top of her class with an above 80% average. Stories such as these are the highlights of my career. I know so many stories of people who overcame many adversities in their successful pursuit of education. Their stories continue to inspire me every day.

How is business management different in start-ups vs well- established companies?

Of course it depends on what kind of start-up we are talking about. Is it a small start-up that will grow organically, or is it a scalable start-up which is intended to go big from the outset?

In general though, a start-up requires much more of the three P’s: Planning, Patience and Pocket (finance!) – it is like planting the seeds and creating a new garden whereas business management in an established company is like ensuring that the garden is maintained and growing; new plants are planted and of course the weeds are regularly removed! In a start-up we have the opportunity to create a new vision of what we believe in and plan towards that future and in an established business we tend to reinforce our vision and mission and revisit, refresh and evaluate our plans.

Within start-ups there generally tends to be more uncertainty (will the seeds take root and grow?) – this can be a very positive aspect if it forces us to be agile and adaptable, something that is often lacking in established companies. Established companies can do well to ensure that flexibility and adaptability stays part of its DNA if it is to deal with fast-paced change, industry disruptors and being able staying ahead of the pack.

Perseverance is needed both in established businesses and start-ups. There is a saying ‘every overnight success took 10 years in the making’. Remember this if you want to embark on a new business venture. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, patience, great planning and perseverance.

Any tips or advice for those starting their careers in business management?

Yes, slow down to speed up! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but there is a very good reason why I am saying this. All too often, managers in new positions tend to go in ‘guns-a-blazing’ wanting to change everything and make their mark. My advice is this: Take time to listen, observe, see what is already working, understand the organisational culture, and ask: who is our customer?

Once you have a good idea of how things work, involve people in order to come up with a plan on how to proceed. Just trust me on this one. Too many managers change things for change’s sake so that they can look good…. and this often ends up back-firing. Involve ALL the key stakeholders, ask more questions than giving instructions in the beginning, take time to plan and chart your course right from the beginning – you will not regret it.

Another thing to consider in business management is a very key question: Do I care? Do you really care about the business you are in and do you really care about the people? If you really care, you won’t make it all about yourself (or just about the money) and your chances of success will be that much greater.

What are the most important skills to hone, in order to be a successful business manager?

The ability to be organised and systematically approach a problem objectively – in other words, stay calm and follow a systematic approach, is a very important skill to learn. Knowing how to frame information and knowledge using the right models, tools and techniques helps with this. We know that ‘the map is not the territory’, but, having the right map will always help you get to your destination faster. I believe this course is packed with some great models, tools and techniques that can provide you with a map to chart your course towards success in business.

Learning to really listen effectively is another one of the most useful skills in a Business Manager’s toolbox. The ability to really listen to those around you but also to ‘listen’ to what is going on in the business environment is key on the pathway towards success.

Learning to see the ‘bigger picture’ is an important skill to master. To have the ability to zoom out, gain perspective and then zoom back in to ensure the detail gets done, really is a mind-set that requires practice and also wisdom. Truly great managers have mastered the skill of seeing the big picture as well as what is required in the detail at the same time. This is something that does not come without focus and practice.

What book are you currently reading? Or what is your favourite thing to do to take a break from the everyday hustle?

I have just finished Dan Brown’s latest book: ‘Origin’. Really a good read, I enjoy his writing style.

Other than reading, my favourite thing to do to take a break from everyday hustle and bustle is to go canoeing on the dam (although it does get tough to continue this during the cold winter spells!). I love being on the water and find that I can paddle just about all my stress away after 5 kilometers on the water!

And finally, what is the one thing you can tell us about yourself that we won’t find on your resume?

I suppose my resume does not communicate just how much I care about education, training and the development of first-class leaders in Africa. It is a true heart-felt passion of mine. I believe everyone can learn to lead companies, departments and people better. As we become better leaders we also become better people, and the knock-on effect on society is almost always positive. Better leaders spell a better future for all of us.