What leadership lessons does Pope Francis offer small business owners?

Pope Francis at the Varginha shantytown, part of a slum area of northern Rio so violent it's known as the Gaza Strip. He has been dubbed the "slum pope" for his work with the poor.
Pope Francis at the Varginha shantytown, part of a slum area of northern Rio so violent it’s known as the Gaza Strip. He has been dubbed the “slum pope” for his work with the poor.

One evening at a coastal town I went to a fast-food pizza shop to buy my daughter a pizza. I was surprised at that time of the night – around 10 o’clock – to find a manager in the store working on the store’s human resources systems. I was impressed by this leadership and curious to find out more.

The manager at the store was one of five managers who look after different parts of the business of a chain consisting of six franchise pizza outlets in Cape Town. The owner is himself a top human resources practitioner and it was interesting to see how even without him present how much emphasis is placed on the human resources side of the business. Continue reading “What leadership lessons does Pope Francis offer small business owners?”

Leadership and innovation in your start-up

English: Weather Report performing in 1980
Weather Report performing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s okay if you are a solopreneur and only need to lead one person – yourself. Whether you like it or not, when you take on even one employee you will need to be deliberate about your leadership style or approach because it will affect the climate in your start-up as well as its performance.

What exactly is leadership? Management is about managing people and resources – maintaining the status quo. Leadership is different because a leader brings about change. Almost by definition the start-up needs to be innovative so it’s not going to succeed on management alone.

Continue reading “Leadership and innovation in your start-up”