Are You a Steel Magnolia?

What is a Steel Magnolia anyway? Let’s read what Wikipedia says.

Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross. It is the film adaptation of Robert Harling’s 1987 play of the same name. The play and film are about the bond a group of women share in a small-town Southern community, and how they cope with the death of one of their own.

 

The story is based on Robert Harling‘s real life experience of the death of his sister, Susan Harling Robinson, in 1985 due to complications from Type 1 diabetes. He changed his sister’s name in the story from Susan to Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie.

 

 

The title suggests the main female characters can be both as delicate as the magnolia flower, and as tough as steel.

As a woman in charge of her own destiny, maybe you can relate. Delicate and tough?

Ideal Leadership Traits

Have you thought about your leadership style lately and what traits you possess? How would you describe your ideal leadership traits?  Those traits that you seek and want to possess long-term.  Are you patient and calm, pushy and arrogant, somewhere in-between?  How would you describe yourself as a successful leader?  What does it take to be successful in business, or really at anything you decide to tackle?

Of course, you probably know Fred Smith or know of him. As the CEO and Founder of Federal Express, you can watch his video produced in December 2016 and read the article in Entrepreneur.  His tips for success start with “Believe.”  Believe in what you are doing, with all your might.

Or you might research successful women and how they define success. In Forbes Magazine (July 2016) in the article How Do We Define Success for Women Entrepreneurs, Patti Greene asks the following questions:

  • If a woman organizes her business to focus at least as much on growing a successful family as growing a larger business – is that success?
  • If a woman really enjoys performing the work of the business – delivering the product or service herself and choosing not to become an employer – is that a successful entrepreneurial outcome? Let’s remember that if we didn’t have the non-employer businesses we would need to create approximately 22 million more jobs across the country to take their place.
  • However, if a woman’s aspirations are to grow a much larger company, does she have access to the resources, particularly those of capital and network, to build that type of company successfully? Research findings over the past few years are fairly robust that women have equal access to debt based funding, while still lagging substantially in accessing equity capital.

 

Lead for You

We can google this and research that, all day long, been there, done that, searching for the definition of success. The main thing, imo, is that we do something. We make the best decisions possible at a given point in time and then run with it.  We look at ourselves often, celebrate the wins (even small ones), and percolate the fixes every day, one day at a time.  Yes, success can be like brewing a good pot of coffee – percolating is good!

Leadership Self-Assessment

If you are a business owner or a wannabe business owner, or just want to take some time for yourself to self-reflect, answer the following statements with the answer that best describes you.  We ask you to use one of the five following answers:

a. I disagree.

b. I somewhat disagree.

c. I agree.

d. I somewhat agree.

e. I strongly agree.

There are no right or wrong answers.  This should be a quick run-through – ready, set, go!

  1. I am more of a visionary and less analytical.
  2. I am more detail oriented and less big picture.
  3. My business and personal goals have been updated within the last six months.
  4. I made money last year.
  5. I know my banker.
  6. I owe money to a bank and/or outside investor, family and friends.
  7. My financial records are in good order and bookkeeping is up to date.
  8. I have at least three written goals to attain within the next five years.
  9. I like thinking and planning strategically.
  10. I have a strategic plan in place that has been updated within the last twelve months.
  11. I am open to advice from others.
  12. I have an established customer base.
  13. I have written and current job descriptions for myself and my staff.
  14. Each of my staff participated in a job performance review within the last twelve months.
  15. I offer health and retirement benefits that cover me and my staff.
  16. Each of my staff participated in a job performance review within the last twelve months.
  17. I have identified my target market in dollars and unit volume.
  18. I have a marketing calendar in place for the current year.
  19. I know what job positions will be needed for the current year.
  20. I have facilitated a team meeting with my staff within the last thirty days.
  21. I know how I stack up against other companies within my industry.
  22. I have a tax problem with the IRS.
  23. My technology strategy and IT support are clearly identified and in written form.
  24. I know what capital expenditures are required for my business over the next two years.
  25. I have identified a specific exit strategy and timeline.
  26. I have obtained a valuation of my company from an objective third party professional.
  27. I have a clear and defined process or processes to deliver my products and services.
  28. I have a clear and defined process or processes to keep my customers happy.
  29. I have a problem changing directions, even when something is not working.
  30. I like new things and have a problem consistently finishing a project well.
  31. I totally trust all my employees.
  32. I like projects.
  33. I like continuity.
  34. I like change.
  35. I have a comprehensive communications strategy that is working well with my staff members, my customers, my prospects, and with the public.
  36. I know my competitor’s unique selling proposition and how they are successful in their business.
  37. I have a rock star management team with few gaps in expertise/experience.

If you have now completed the above assessment, total the number for each answer. Total up all the a’s, the b’s, etc.

The point of this type of assessment is to identify your behaviors and clarify what is important to you, your family, your business.  Look for common threads in your answers, where you are now and where you would like to be – in terms of your own behavior.  Identify changes that you want to occur and then sleep on it.  Next, do your research to help you set realistic goals for making these changes – by specific dates that you set for yourself.

If you want feedback, email your self-assessment results to info@NitaBlack.com.

Are you a Steel Magnolia or do you even want to be one?  To identify tools and strategies that can make you more money AND ecstatically happy with what you are doing, contact Nita Black at (901)413-1315 or go to her website at www.NitaBlack.com.  You can also find Nita on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Plan for success!

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