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Category Archive: KaizenBiz

More On CEO Mindset – The “Right” Habits & Less Ego-Driven Leadership

CEO Mindset, leadership, habits, leaders, Tweak Your Biz, KaizenBizAs some of the regular readers of this blog know, I blog on Tweak Your Biz and KaizenBiz as well. If you have missed my latest posts there, here they are:

Becoming CEO Of Your Small Business Means Finding “Right” Habits

For many successful small to mid-sized business owners, having the CEO Mindset is everything. While I’ve talked about how small business owners (even sole proprietors/ sole traders) are really CEO’s of their companies on Tweak  Your Biz and here, this is just the beginning.

Every day there are things we do or don’t do that influence the direction and pace of business growth. A lot of this is much more internal than it might seem at first glance. One area that is written about quite  a lot is the habits or common behaviors of  famous business leaders.  Reading these posts leads you to believe that if you just did these things, you would be successful. My post isn’t one of those posts. Often what is left out is the work and the business leaders did to find the “right” habits that work for them. So, before you think “if only I did X”, remember they had to do the work of finding what works for them. Becoming CEO of your small business means finding your “right” habits.


Is It Feminine Leadership We Crave Or Less Ego-Driven Leadership?

Once a week, I have the pleasure of leading a chat on Twitter called #KaizenBiz. (Shameless plug here: Every Friday at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9amPT and all are welcome) If you are not familiar with this chat, we take business topics and apply critical thinking, enhance our skills and deepen our self-understanding. This past Friday (August 16, 2013), we looked at The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them Will Rule the Future and the ongoing global conversation about gender, traits and leadership.  There is a perspective that the lack of women in executive roles contributed to the organizational failures that triggered the global recession.

Is there a female style of leadership? A male style?  Are people wrong in their rejection of so many men in decision-making roles as found in recent surveys? Could it be more likely that highly effective leaders of both genders exhibit the same traits? Read this post and add your thoughts.


Thank you

Thank you for taking a look at these posts, commenting, sharing or simply thinking about them. I look forward to sharing more posts next month.



Dilemma of Wanting to Be CEO and Future of Social Entrepreneurship

Some of you might have seen these posts on and but if you haven’t, allow me to share them with you.

When Your Small Business Isn’t Ready For You to Be CEO

You may have seen some of my previous posts here since I’ve been a regular blogger since 2009. It’s not an unusual situation for a small business owner to be ready for the next stage of his/her career but feel they have to put the brakes on their activities because the business needs their direct attention. When Your Small Business Isn’t Ready For You to Be CEO talks about the dilemma small business owners face when they cannot move to the next stage of their own growth. So, when is your small business not ready for you to be CEO? And how do you prepare it so it is ready?

Latest Ideas of the Future of Social Entrepreneurship

On a weekly basis, I host the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz. (If you would like to see what this lively, thought-provoking and international chat is like, please join us every Friday at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT) We talk about all kinds of business ideas using critical thinking so we can enhance our skills and deepen our self-understanding. So this past week, we took a look at Social Entrepreneurship.

If you are not familiar with social entrepreneurship, it is is a subset of entrepreneurship with the emphasis on using business to drive a social change. It is not simply corporate social responsibility. It is a company that is founded with the intent to change the world. The 10th annual Skoll World Forum was held recently and there are some interesting ideas emerging. We decided to take a closer look with this framing post, Latest Ideas of the Future of Social Entrepreneurship. Do you see social entrepreneurship becoming more mainstream? What expectations are being created for social entrepreneurial ventures in terms of sustainability, creating customers and earning profit?

Let me know what you think by commenting here or on the posts themselves…


Does Gender Really Have Anything To Do With Risk-Taking

  For the KaizenBiz community, I wanted to give you an update about our site. It will be back. We’re moving to a new hosting company to resolve the current issue. It has been very educational, to say the least. The good news is the site will be up and running sooner than later.

Does Gender Really Have Anything To Do With Risk-Taking

I was reading a post on the Harvard Business Blog Network when I discovered Do Women Take as Many Risks as Men? The author, Doug Sondheim, noticing a disparity between the men and women he interviewed for his book. There were far more men than women featured in stories about risk-taking. So, he started to wonder why.gender, risk taking

His original question

When he began his research, he asked, “Who, from your personal networks, would you consider smart, successful risk takers?” The referrals numbered more men than women.

What could be involved?

There has been quite a lot of research exploring risk-taking behavior over the years. So here is a quick list of some of the possible variables involved:

  • Testosterone: Research has identified that higher levels of testosterone leads to more risk-taking. According to John Coates, a neuroeconomist, the cycle feeds itself through increasing levels of confidence which leads to higher levels of testosterone.
  • Presentation of the risk: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky discovered different levels of risk aversion due to circumstances and language used to describe the risk.
  • Physically attractive, tall and strong: I could not have made this up if I tried. Researchers found that these qualities led people to be more likely to tolerate higher levels of risk. They also determined that women were more risk-averse.
  • Stress: The findings find men and women take very different paths when feeling stressed. Men are more likely to take risks while women are less likely.

 So, what?

There seem to be some problems with the research. Most of the studies seem to focus mainly on men and  how they handle risk-taking. There also may be some mountains that were made out of molehills. According to Julie Nelson who reviewed literatures in statistics and cognitive sciences and reports that the differences may not be so stark as previously understood.

Please join us on Friday, March 1, 2o13 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz and add your thoughts about gender and risk-taking. Do we really admire the kinds of risks men take more than ones women take?


How do you define smart risk-taking?

What kinds of personality traits have you noticed in men and women who are smart risk-takers?

What role does culture have in supporting risk taking for men or women?

How do women demonstrate their risk-taking behavior?

How could redefining risk change how we evaluate and engaging in decision-making?



Have You Seen These KaizenBiz Posts?

Some of you may know that I lead a chat on Twitter called #KaizenBiz (It used to be called #KaizenBlog). But if you didn’t know, let me introduce you…

What is KaizenBiz?

In brief, we discuss (yes, in only 140 characters) various business topics every Friday at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT. This worldwide chat uses the concept of Kaizen while exploring business ideas. The mission of chat is to apply critical thinking to various business topics, enhance our skills and deepen our self-understanding. We do this within a community that enjoys connecting with one another through conversation online and off.

Come over and visit

These are our most recent posts so please read and share your perspective:

Please read, comment and join us on Fridays at 12pm ET on Twitter. If you would like an idea of what the conversation is like, here is the transcript from this past Friday’s discussion, “Why Doesn’t Everyone Have Effective Teamwork?” I hope you’ll join us soon!



Who Gets To Manage Change in SME’s?

Imagine this scenario:managing organizational change

As owner/CEO of a small company, you and your team have been coping with difficult economic pressures but it’s clear that keeping the business afloat isn’t enough. There is enough revenue from existing customers to pay overhead and salaries. However, developing new products has been slow and it’s clear to you that the current business model is unsustainable, particularly if the economy goes into another recession.

Earlier in the year, you and your team hashed out what the ideal customer looks like. It’s clear to you, as the leader, that the organization is going to have to change if you work with this ideal customer. When you try to have this conversation with your staff, Jane expresses concern that the easygoing collegial feeling will go away and it will feel “just like any other business.” Bob wants to know what your vision is and why it has to change now. He asks, “It’s all well and good that we’ve identified that we want to work with Big Firm in Nearby City but what’s wrong with our current customers?” Other staff members say nothing. Fred has made it clear that he thinks you are nice but too unrealistic to take the company to a more sophisticated stage.

Making this transition isn’t easy for anyone.

As anyone who has led a business will tell you, there has to be a process to managing change or the organization will become (more) dysfunctional. In larger organizations, it is easier to assign roles and tasks to the C-level team. However, in smaller organizations, the process is much more intimate.

Basic model of managing organizational change

1. What needs to change? Without identifying what is outdated, wrong or broken, there is no compelling pain or impetus to do something new.

2. Why now? Making changes without a reason is basically shooting an arrow into the wind and hoping it hits the target.  There are so many other questions to ask but it can be summed up as “why is it important now?”

3. What is getting in the way? These barriers can be internal and external. People’s attitudes, market conditions and a host of other things can be obstacles.

4. How can we overcome these barriers? Identifying the strengths of the organization and the individuals involved can provide solutions to removing any obstacles. Couple this with identifying weaknesses and figuring out ways to manage or eliminate these and you will find people are more likely to cooperate.

5. Measuring the change process. Like everything else about your SME, how do you know if it is working? Taking the time as a team to set up milestones gives you two benefits. First, change is big and you’re not going to make it all happen overnight. One step at a time is a good perspective. Second, you can adapt the plan as needed to make the change process successful for everyone.

But…we’re back to our original question. Who gets to manage change in SME’s?

In the opening paragraph, I gave you a scenario. It’s actually a composite of the change projects I’ve done with my coaching clients. Time and time again,  identifying which person will inhabit specific roles, who facilitates the process, who has ultimate responsibility and availability of unanimous support for the change project are essential.

What did you notice about this organization in the scenario?

If you were the leader, what kind of conversation would you have with your team? Why?

When would the business owner/CEO of an SME not be ultimately responsible for a change project?

What level of responsibility would you assign to the team members and/or employees?

When is it most beneficial to bring in a consultant/coach to assist with the change project?


This was a topic on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz (formerly #KaizenBlog) on Friday, September 2nd. Please consider yourself invited to join our discussion. If you can’t make the chat, add your comments, thoughts and opinions here.

 *I wanted to cite who created the drawing used as a graphic for this post. However, I wasn’t able to find the origin of the drawing. I found it on the site for the Christ Church Northern Beaches. My apologies to the artist.

About the author:  I’m Elli St.George Godfrey, executive coach and trainer who guides established small to mid-sized business owners and executives to be comfortable in their own skin. Change can be growing your business, expanding in the US or adapting to a new leadership roles. Visit my Services page to see how we can work together or schedule your complimentary coaching session here.