Leadership Lessons from the CEO of Uber

Companies are opting for Less Drama and More Delivery

What is leadership? Such a simple question, and yet it continues to baffle the minds of some.  If you look up the term, you’ll see something along the lines of: “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”

 

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s pushy and combative leadership style has been the focus of much news lately.  While both qualities can be credited for part of what’s driven Uber’s success, more recently they have emerged as the very attributes that are tarnishing the company’s reputation. Uber’s culture has been described has a “toe-stepping, and cut-throat meritocracy”, causing some employees to leave.

 

Entrepreneurship requires strong-headed, passionate leadership to push through the obstacles bureaucracy often stand in the way of success.  Many great leaders exude a sort of confidence bordering on arrogance — Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and others have often been cast in such a manner – but more and more in today’s era companies are opting for less drama and more delivery.  This is typically best achieved through joint efforts, inclusion and diversified thinking.  Leaders who opt for the “my way or the highway” approach often find themselves abandoned eventually.

 

In the case of Uber, the company’s response to its current crisis provides numerous leadership lessons. While it may have been forced on him, Kalanick’s decision was indicative of recognition that the current mode of operation was no longer viable.  Kalanick’s decision was one of the most mature things he has done in recent months and demonstrates he is smart enough to know when to put his ego aside and do what is best for the company.

 

All leaders need a certain amount of guile and toughness, but the recent changes at Uber offer an insightful illustration of the advantages and pitfalls of having a maverick at the helm.  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

2016 Events That Impacted Small Business

2016 Events – How They Impacted Small Business 

As 2016 is ending, it’s time to look back on the news stories that affected business and prepare for what’s to come in the new year. From Pokémon Go putting small businesses on the map, to the “beast” of a wildfire that charred Fort McMurray, to the stunning U.S. election and everything in between 2016 was a year of incredible news headlines.  But how did these headlines impact small businesses?

 

Even though in the first half of 2016, Uber’s losses totaled at least $1.27 billion, the company still has between 84%-87% of the market in North America. Uber enabled common citizens to suddenly have access to a sizeable supplementary or full-time income as they instantly became self-employed cab drivers!  In an economy where it has become increasingly difficult to find work Uber was a small business opportunity that went viral.

 

The Pokémon Go App was putting small businesses everywhere on the map – literally!  After the official Canadian release of Nintendo’s wildly popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go in the summer, small businesses across North America started purchasing in-game items for a fraction of the cost of developing their own apps – resulting in higher foot traffic and sales.  By spending roughly $10 CAD on in-game items, such as a PokéStop, a lure outside a pizzeria or citing that their small business was close to a Gym, this was one app that small businesses capitalized on in the summer of 2016.

 

Named Canada’s biggest weather story of the year by the country’s top meteorologists, the “beast” of a wildfire that charred Fort McMurray, Alberta, caused over 90,000 people to be evacuated.  As well, an estimated 4,000 small businesses were affected by the wildfire in May.  This made business insurance one of the most talked about topics of 2016.  Since the tragic event, the Province of Alberta has allocated $15 million for its share of a program that is aimed to help small businesses affected by the wildfire. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, could receive up to $20,000 to cover costs, including property damage, cleanup and purchasing new equipment.

 

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Donald Trump shocked the world when he was elected as the country’s 45th president. With challenges like reducing the trade deficit and the trade gap dropping to $36.4 billion in September 2016, these issues were negatively impacting small businesses across North America. How Trump will help small business remains to be seen after he takes office, but if he follows through with his plans to lower the business tax rate from 35% to 15% conditions for small business should become more favorable.

 

Indeed 2016 was a year of highs and lows, both emotional and political.  Even though there were unsteady and hesitant moments for small businesses throughout the year with 2017 just around the corner it’s time to welcome new events, new stories and new opportunities for your small business. Here’s to your success in 2017 and beyond!

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, sales and risk mitigation.