FIRMS can shell out tens of thousands of pounds employing a business director to take their operation to the next level, but in an era of penny pinching and strict budgets, the cost of leadership can often seem unpalatable for the men and women holding the purse strings.
Whether in the private or public realm, or the third sector where charity and social enterprises are playing an ever-greater role in driving both the economy and society forward, organisations are always walking a fine line between profit and progress. One wrong step can lead to a perilous fall.
Business expert and author Ian Munro, who heads up a team of 11 professionals as part of the ‘100+ Top Tips’ project, believes he can assist business leaders in traversing this tightrope, and does so by drawing on a wealth of experience from his own ventures, as well as those of his peers.
Ian – who is an accredited coach of the International Coach Federation and member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Directors – and his colleagues have already painstakingly crafted seven titles covering crucial points of interest for enterprising individuals who see the value in polishing their own processes as well as their business practises, with handy guides covering everything from sales management to finding work and self marketing.
The latest addition to the stable focuses on leadership, a quality worth its weight in gold, whether it be utilised to steer a firm away from treacherous waters or ensure smooth sailing into a new field.
“I’ve simply asked people what they wanted to know,” explains Ian, who has fielded just about every challenge that could be thrown his way during his time as a career coach and business adviser.
“How to get another job, how to run something online, understanding social media… I’ve spent a lot of time with people going through job change, but leadership is something that can apply to everyone.
“Over the years I’ve pulled together tools that help provide focus for clients, whether it be university leavers looking to make the right first impression at their first role, or senior professionals looking for a new direction in a major firm. Now those resources are available in one place.”
But rather than just being another “shelf help” offering in a crowded market of business guides, Ian is resolute in the stance that he and his cohorts have put together something more than a collection of pages to squirrel away in an office drawer.
“100+ Top Tips For Effective Leadership is not to be treated like some sort of gospel on how to manage a team because the landscape is always changing and people need to add their own ideas to the core principles we’ve outlined,” he says.
“This is more of a living manual that can be scribbled in, used as a notepad, and referred to when required long after the first read through finishes.”
Interestingly, after launching his first book, 100+ Top Tips For Job Seekers, initially as an online only product, Ian was convinced to give customers something tangible.
“Readers tend to find it a lot easier to digest when the information is given to them in a paperback. It seems to make it more relevant than an e-book, it becomes something they can have with them at all times, like when they are travelling.
“The idea is that leaders will enhance and maximise the book’s value by contributing their own expertise and knowledge, and that can happen at any time when it is easily thrown into a backpack.”
The seven titles are split between personal development (blue covers) and business-orientated guidance (red covers).
But given the ever-shifting priorities of the business world, plans are afoot to widen the library of publications to cover employee health and wellbeing, and academia.
For now, Ian and co are doing what they have always done and listening to the demands of the clients they confer with on a regular basis.
“For most people, the challenges and issues they face revolve around leadership, and that’s how our latest book came to be.
“Whether it be leading a scout group, running a mountaineering club, working for the NHS or in the private sector, leadership affects people in all walks of life, inside and outside of business.
“We estimate that around 40%-50% of people in the UK work for small businesses, while about 98% of the City of London is made up of SMEs. That can often mean little to no in-house training or expertise, and a crippling lack of resources to call upon when managers and directors need guidance.
“We are confident that 100+ Top Tips For Effective Leadership will help stimulate change in both the reader and their colleagues.”
100+ Top Tips For Effective Leadership is available from 100toptips.com for £9.99.