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Oct 10

Celebrating Student Enterprise at Lancaster University – Awards 2012

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Student Placement of the Year

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5 Most Inportant Qualities of a Leader

Nov 15

VisionLast week someone asked me what the five most important qualities of a leader are. So here is what I think:

  1. Vision, an idea of where he/ she is going. If they don’t know where they are going how do they expect anyone to follow them?
  2. Communication, the leader  needs to communicate the vision, to explain why. A leader doesn’t just tell you where to go, he/she has to paint the passionate picture of the vision and then take you there (could be called people skills).
  3. Awareness. Self awareness, being aware of their impact on others around you as people judge behaviour not intent; and awareness of the skills and abilities of those around you. Linked with communication skills as if you don’t communicate your vision then people can only judge you on actions which may be misconstrued.
  4. Decisiveness, people want a clear decision. They want you to listen to their points of view but ultimately that want to have confidence that you make the ‘right’ decision in a timely fashion. They want good judgement.

Innovation, people want you to be creative and to come up with ways of pushing the organisation forward. That doesn’t mean the leader always has to be the idea man, but they have to be able to spot the potential in ideas and create a culture to nourish and support them.

Of course I could have also included other traits like:
- caring
- credit giving
- integrity

Jon Powell

Another Way To Be Entrepreneurial (like attracts like)

Oct 20

Theres an old saying. If you want to be a millionaire then hang around with millionaires.Its the same for those wanting to be entrepreneurs. In my job I work with a lot of people I would describe as entrepreneurs., both highly successful ones and ones still finding their way. I seriously believe that I have become more entrepreneurial as a result of spending time with these people as well as developing my “busines nouse.” They ask questions that the non entrepreneurial don’t and they tend to get excited by ideas and possibilities and hhave high energy levels.

Its because of this observation that rather than run the usual workshops I have traditionally done this term I am running simple “Coffee With Entrepreneur” sessions. Basically you come along grab a coffee and talk to an entrepreneur. I really think this is a great way to make contacts and learn.  For more information on these sesssions go here.  On the 1st of November I also have Waqas Khan, a management School alumnus coming onto campus to guve a talk. A highly successful entrepreneur he is on the look out for students with good business ideas to invest it. For more information and to book a place for his talk go here.

If you really want to be more entrepreneurial then start hanging out with entrepreneurs!

Need An Idea? Ive Got An Answer!

Oct 06

 Got the ambition?

Want to set up your own business?

Desperate to be an entrepreneur?

But theres just one problem!

You don’t have an idea!

You’ve sat there and thought. Thought so hard that you’ve almost given yourself a hernia and still not come up with anything remotely viable.

Stop thinking! I have the answer.

I’m going to argue that good business ideas come from four main sources.

Those sources are:

  • Passions
  • Hobbies
  • Things that frustrate or anger you
  • Necessity

Start focusing on these things when you’re thinking about business ideas.

If you want to turn your mind into an ideas factory then book a place on my Business Ideas Generation Workshop.

Ask a Question and be Entrepreneurial!

Oct 06

In my last post I told you my definition of the word “entrepreneur”.

I put forward the idea that being an entrepreneur is about adding value usually but not always in a business context.

For some people (those usually recognised as entrepreneurs by the rest of society) adding value is their normal mindset. For the rest of us it is something that we do sporadically when we need to or when we can be motivated to do it. We can however increase our “adding value” ability quickly and easily by doing one very simple thing.

Asking questions and then acting on the answers we receive.

Not enough of us ask intelligent questions and its really not that hard to do!

Ive spent a lot of time around successful entrepreneurs (mostly in a business context) and the one thing they all have in common is that they ask questions and don’t stop asking those questions until they get an answer that makes sense to them.

They ask questions such as

  • Why do we do it like that?
  • What would happen if we did it like this?
  • Why isn’t there one of those?
  • Why isn’t everyone doing that?
  • Whats wrong about this?
  • Whats missing here?

If you want to be more entrepreneurial start asking questions.  And if you have any really good ones then email them to me at


    Investing in England's Northwest

    How a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week and is organised by the Northwest Enterprise Champion project.