Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business

Listen, Learn and Grow

It's said that we should listen more and talk less, “God gave us two ears and one mouth.”

I'm a poster child of this faux pas as an employer and a leader. I have been accused of talking too much and not listening enough. Today's professional must embrace effective communication skills by listening more, asking the right questions and then taking the necessary steps in a timely manner.

I am reminded of another philosopher who said, “Silence is a virtue.” This does not mean that we say nothing but instead listen very intently, thoroughly process the information taken in, before offering a response that has not been well thought through. Mastering the art of good listening is a critical step if we are to learn, grow and become more productive. Thankfully I have learned the wisdom of this concept and continue to put it to good use.

In previous issues, I have shown that small business is the backbone of this country's economic growth. They have carefully followed all of the proposals, hung in there after severe workforce cuts, ineligibility to boost flagging business with bank loans, and personally leveraged their assets to keep their operations afloat. They are in the business of staying in business and have listened carefully to the entire proposed stimulus to jumpstart the economy. That being said I believe our leaders and politicians should actively listen and do more to empower small business and encourage entrepreneurs. How can this be done?

Use the existing small business channels to create more funding and investment in small business in this country. We cannot create more jobs if we do not channel our resources to this sector. Why haven't we devoted more effort in teaching entrepreneurship to our youth earlier in their education? Why haven't we boosted interest in trade schools as an alternative to traditional college? These skills are just as needed in today's workforce and can be achieved in a shorter period of time. Why are we not expanding our global trade with other countries especially the new markets in Africa? We should start by having a meaningful discussion, which should lead to serious collaborations of many small business groups to jumpstart our ability to create jobs and tap into these new markets.

Taking care of business is necessary for today's professional but just as important, we need to hold our leaders feet to the fire to deliver on their promises. Elections are once again here and we should send the message loud and clear, “We're tired of your empty promises. It is now time to stand and deliver!”

You will need to listen to the needs of small business. Produce ways to do more to fund and invest in our economy to achieve the level of success that we deserve. We can do more if we all work together. And my question is,” Are our leaders listening and can we commit more resources to our entrepreneurial spirit and get our people back to work?”

By Peter Wairegi

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