Not everyone has what it takes to be a leader or a boss. There are a staggering number of ‘how to be a leader’ books out there that it’s a wonder how come there still are so many inefficient leaders in the country today. This is not at all surprising since only a handful Nigerians take the time to read any material they assume does not relate to them.
Common practice at the work place is for employees to ‘bad-mouth’ their bosses. Most of the time, this is totally deserved on the part of the employers. Of course none of these employees will come right up and say “you’re being a bad boss” for fear of getting on your bad side (being on your good side is bad enough) or losing their jobs.
If you’re an employer or a leader in any field and you want to know whether you’re being a bad boss; here are 5 signs that indicate you are indeed being a bad leader.
You’re always busy and it’s not with work
Its working hours and you’ve been on the phone for over 45 minutes having a really loud conversation that is not work related, how do you think your employees will feel about that? In another instance, you’re entertaining a personal guest at work when your team has a deadline you’re 30 minutes shy of. These do not reflect well on you. It simply looks like you’re leaving the slaving to them while you cross your legs over your very huge (empty) table, relaxing.
You’re ‘not-so-secretly’ sexist
At work you’re known for favoring a particular sex, this is bad. You think you’re being discreet but everyone knows about it. Sometimes it might not even be out of sexism. It might just be that you are hugely attracted to the opposite sex and love flirting. This could be misinterpreted so keep all your ‘flirting outside of work. If you really are being sexist, while at work swallow that ‘sexist pill’ and build working relations based on qualifications not sex.
You never ask for the opinion of your workers
This is always a problem for egoistical leaders who believe that others are beneath them. They don’t expect the ‘lower class’ to be opinionated and as such never ask for a second opinion. You need to lose that know-it-all attitude and start getting others involved in what’s going on. That’s what team spirit is all about. You’re still a team regardless of who the leader is so engage all members.
You take the ‘no sentiments’ rule a little too seriously
This is simply interpreted as being too strict and makes for a bad leader. Before you became a leader, you were once a follower and as such there are things you should understand better and turn a blind eye to. Like when someone is asking for some time off and you know they are lying about being sick. You don’t have to always be a ‘meanie’ and bluntly refuse. Admittedly, always turning a blind eye can be detrimental as so many people might start taking undue advantage of your kindness, but it is also nice to concede from time to time. Like my mum would say “always leave room for excuse”. People want a compassionate leader who is able to relate with their hardships.
You don’t follow your own rules
Everyone particular hates that boss that says one thing and does another. “From tomorrow, everyone should be seated by 6am” he says and on the said ‘tomorrow’, he nonchalantly works in at 10am. While some will see as the bonus of being a leader, leadership by example still remains the best form of leadership.
now if you went through this list and you’re shocked over what makes a bad leader, that means you probably fall into one, some or all of these categories. It’s time for a change. Let’s turn the tide.
How MSMEs can get easy access to finance
MSMEs must take the following steps for loan readiness.
MSMEs are considered the backbone of the Nigerian economy. In 2019, they made up 90% of all registered businesses, contributed more than 50% of the country’s nominal GDP, and employ 84% of its labour force. Despite this, MSMEs were the recipients of less than 5% of all credit granted by the banking industry.
One reason for this is self-selection by MSME owners. Many MSMEs refuse to apply for loans from banks due to a fear of rejection and a belief that banks charge exorbitant fees and request hefty collateral before giving loans to MSMEs. Now more than ever, in this era of cashflow-based lending and low-interest rates, this harmful myth is costing businesses access to finance that they need to scale.
Another reason is the MSMEs’ lack of loan readiness. Unlike large companies, small business owners do not prepare themselves before applying for loans. This causes them to make many mistakes that discourage banks from lending to them due to a fear of non-repayment.
In order to overcome this hurdle and join large businesses in taking advantage of the low-interest climate, MSMEs must take the following steps for loan readiness:
1. Maintain financial records – Research shows that 69% of MSMEs in Nigeria do not keep detailed financial records. As a business owner, you must ensure that funds pass through your business account. Your business’s financial records as reflected in your bank statement will help your bank determine your repayment capacity. This is important, whether you want a collateral-free or collateral-based loan.
2. Use narrations for transfer into personal accounts – Again, always use your business account for business funds. However, if funds must be paid into your personal account for any reason, then ensure that those payments have a narration that reflects the purpose of the payment. For example, Two shirts purchased. This helps isolate business funds from personal when computing your turnover in order to determine your loan amount and repayment capacity.
3. Know what you want – Always know exactly how much you want and what you want it for. If your account officer asks you how much you want and you say “any amount you can give me”, they automatically assume you have no plan for the money or a plan for repayment. Before approaching your bank, determine how much you need and how much you can repay per month, using your monthly income.
4. Have a repayment plan – Always have a plan for repayment. Know how much you can afford to part with per month. Note however that your repayment plan might not align with that of the bank. Banks prefer not to take more than 33% of your monthly income in loan repayments, so your loan repayment period will probably be dependent on how much you can pay per month. Regardless, a well-thought-out repayment plan will build confidence in your repayment ability.
5. Engage your account officer– It is important to have an engagement with your account officer before applying for the loan. Instead of just writing a loan application letter to the bank and waiting for a response. Armed with your financial statement and your knowledge of how much you need and for how long, visit your account officer and have them work with you in getting your loan.
Ese Atakpu is a writer and banker.
AFEX raises $50 million to Finance Agri-SMEs in Nigeria
The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the agric sector.
AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX), a private commodities exchange company, has announced the first Warehouse Receipt Backed Commercial Paper in Africa. The paper has tech-enabled operations and a 24-hour fast cash turnaround for borrowers.
This was disclosed by AFEX in a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday.
The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the Nigerian agricultural sector with a commodity-backed instrument – for the first time.
Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX, stated, “The AFEX financing deal will help eradicate the high cost of procurement incurred by processors by deploying a discounted value of a warehouse receipt distributed among five leading players in the Food and Beverage, Trading Poultry and Animal Feed segments in Nigeria.
“The receiving companies are top 10 players in their respective segments. They have now been enabled access to a tool for managing price volatility, enabling up to 30% direct savings on prices.
“With our vision to reach a cumulative total of over $5 Billion in investment to the agriculture sector over the next five years, this financing deal is right on track to achieve this goal.’’
He added that as AFEX move towards building a derivatives market in Africa, “we want to be able to reduce exposure to price risk for stakeholders, by enabling them to hedge their positions and trade in commodity derivatives.”
Why it matters
- The warehouse receipts, which can then be transferred from commodities to a financial asset and listed under the borrower’s portfolio on the AFEX trading platform, will create a sustainable funding structure and address underfunding in the Nigerian agricultural sector.
- With the warehouse receipt system linked to financiers, the system allows financiers value and marks the commodities’ price to market on a real-time basis.
What you should know
- AFEX’s mission is to provide low-risk working capital facility for stakeholders in the Agro sector, in a way that is transparent and has a very high viable investment return.
- As a licensed commodities exchange and warehouse receipt system operator, it deploys a warehouse receipt system and collateral management infrastructure to increase market confidence for both lenders and borrower.
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