‘Companies Grow to the Level of the Leader’, and Other Powerful Advice from a Life and Business Strategist
Helping entrepreneurs to meet their goals has been business and life strategist, Sandras Phiri’s business.
Not only is he the director of the Cape Town chapter of Startup Grind, a global community of entrepreneurs, he is also CEO and founder of Africa Trust Academy, a productivity and high performance consulting company which offers financial education, executive coaching and entrepreneurship development.
The Cape Town-based entrepreneur and businessman is an award-winning entrepreneur, leadership expert and international speaker has been named one of the 15 tech people to follow in 2018.
Phiri has a degree in Computer Science and an MBA from UCT. He has shared stages with Facebook co-founder Dustin Maskovitch, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Basecamp founder Jason Fried, Guy Kawasaki, Steve Blank and Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School.
Serious about growth – Phiri offers 5 business strategies entrepreneurs to follow and two they should ignore.
1. Have a vision and a 1 year plan
The 5-year plan is dead. Things change very quickly so you need to set a 1-year plan with quarterly reviews while knowing the general direction you want to go.
Divide the year into quarters and have not more than three big things you want to achieve in each quarter. Treat each quarter as it was a year.
2. Have a 10X plan
During your planning sessions for the following year, instead of thinking increasing your results by a percentage, think of increasing your results by a factor of at least 10. To 10x your results you need to abandon your traditional way of thinking and explore other ways you can serve your clients.
Companies grow to the level of the leader and the delivery of work depends on the level of the people
3. Be Curious and experiment quickly
Some ideas are great and others are not. Great ideas generate revenue and increase impact and bad ideas cost money and time and yield poor results. It’s important to call ideas experiments and test them quickly with customers to see if they serve the intended purpose.
4. Use technology to support your overall business
Don’t change the business to suit technology instead find and apply technology that suit and support your business. Technology is there to facilitate your business and make your work easier. Now the technology is very cheap and you rent hardware applications that you need.
5. Develop yourself and your people
Businesses are run by people and so it’s very important to take time to take care of your number one asset, your people. Companies grow to the level of the leader and the delivery of work depends on the level of the people.
Even taking a few hours a month or a quarter to learn about yourself and others can yield great results. There are free tools online like the Enneagram and MBTI that gives so much insights into our natural tendencies which ca be critical to developing self-awareness and increasing job satisfaction and reducing conflict.
While many people get excited about buzzwords, it’s important to still focus on solving real problems and providing real value
What to Ignore
1. Don’t look to Silicon Valley
There is generally a big gap between Silicon Valley and South Africa and hence a lot of Silicon Valley models and solutions fail to work in South Africa. Instead, I encourage entrepreneurs to look to India which has similar challenges to South Africa and yet is ahead of South Africa in terms of technology and solutions.
2. Don’t go for buzzwords
While many people get excited about buzzwords, it’s important to still focus on solving real problems and providing real value. While unicorns are appreciated in the US, in Africa companies that create real value now as opposed to hope of creating value in the unknown future are more appreciated and needed.