SCOPE's Resources for Employers and Job Seekers

10 Key Leadership Trends to Follow for Small Business Owners

Posted by SCOPE Recruiting on Oct 17, 2017 3:07:00 PM

Did you know there are over 28 million small businesses in America today? Staggering statistic, isn't it?

With such intense competition on today's market, learning how to prepare for success is key in order to separate from the masses. One of the best ways to achieve this is by focusing on leadership trends.

Let's look into the best strategies to follow for your business.

Assertive Communication

One of the most classic leadership trends is also one of the most important. Clear and cohesive communication is critical for company success.

As a manager, you absolutely must be able to convey your ideas in a way that is upfront and honest- without being condescending or rude.

Your needs matter, and so do the needs of your employees. Engaging in assertive communication keeps communication open and healthy for all parties.


Assertively communicating your needs and expectations makes your requirements clear to your employees.

With that said, it's also important to show your gratitude and appreciation for a job well done. Employees who feel respected in their roles are far more likely to take their jobs and your role seriously.

Validation also conveys a sense of acceptance, which promotes a safe and happy work environment.


This one goes without saying: honesty in the workplace is key. In fact, this is one of the most important leadership trends for all small businesses.

Honesty promotes integrity and good intentions. It also promotes the willingness to be vulnerable when things don't go smoothly- which is important for all leaders to know how to do.

Remember: honesty is a two-way street. If you struggle to be transparent with your colleagues and employees, they will likely struggle to be upfront with you.


When things are going well with the business, it's easy to feel on top of the world. But, what about when sales are down? When life gets hectic? When you start feeling immense pressure?

It's easy to start thinking negatively or entertain the idea of throwing in the towel. However, this is when motivation and perseverance are key.

You must be willing to go the extra mile, take on that additional assignment, provide that pep talk for your employees as needed.

Keep yourself motivated to work hard and people will look up to you. Keep your employees motivated to continue working hard- no matter the conditions- and you will have a stable environment.


This trait goes hand-in-hand with motivation, and it's just as important. Nobody likes to be around an angry, cynical leader. In fact, it's a surefire way for people to lose their respect around you.

Positivity goes a really long way. Learn how to laugh at yourself. Learn how to shrug off the small things. Be silly sometimes. This shows the human side of you, and it's also going to make your job that much more enjoyable and fun.


What do some of the most successful businesses have in common? Their leaders were unconventional and creative.

They were willing to think outside the proverbial box, take calculated risks, and make dramatic and nontraditional changes, no matter what the conventional wisdom said.

If you're finding you or your business in a somewhat stagnant state, it's important to take an honest inventory of what's making your company stand out.

Go back to the basics with this one. What's the vision of your business? What's setting you apart from the competition? Why is this your calling or dream? Focus on these questions and watch the creative process unfold.


Life rarely works on a fixed schedule. Even the most organized planner can't account for all of life's nuances.

One of the most important leadership trends in today's society is maintaining a sense of flexibility.

Work with your employees. Be open to their feedback and suggestions. Ask them what they want to see changed or improved. Consider more unconventional methods for working.

Most of all? When mistakes and mishaps happen, do your best to handle them with grace and move on. Dwelling on imperfections only makes everyone feel stressed. Your ability to be flexible in difficult times models both strength and courage for the employees working for you.

Proper Hiring

A leader can only be as good as his staff, right? With that said, it's important to be diligent and thorough with your hiring process.

This can be done through your own interviewing skills and leadership intuition. It can also be done through professional outsourcing or expert recruiting.

Whatever you do, don't rush this process or blindly hire the first person who meets your requirements. You need to feel that the match is right. At its core, the hiring should be an exciting adventure for you to scope out and discover new talent.

Hiring the wrong employees can be an emotionally draining and costly mistake. Be meticulous in this area.

Commitment to Others

As a leader, it's critical to follow through with what you say. Flaking out of promises only makes you look like you can't be trusted or relied upon.

This is not the message you want to be demonstrating to your employees. If you're only talking the talk without walking the walk, you're not doing your fair share. And, don't expect your employees to do so, either!

Helpful and Productive Feedback

Employees want to grow and be productive in their roles. They want to know where they are excelling and where they need to improve.

It's your job to provide this feedback and constructive advice. It's your job to point your employees in the right direction while also appropriately confronting and exploring mistakes and/or areas for growth.

Encourage your employees and let them know where you are seeing improvements. Meet with them if you start noticing slacking or decompensation.

It's up to you to create that leading environment.

Final Thoughts on Leadership Trends to Follow

We're convinced these ten leadership trends will stand the test of time in small business ownership. Are you maximizing all of them?

We're here to help! Be sure to check out our continuous employer resources for making the best choices for your company today.

Topics: Leadership Trends

6 Leadership Trends for Businesses in 2017

Posted by SCOPE Recruiting on Sep 21, 2017 3:07:48 PM

Is your business looking to stay ahead of the competition and lead it's employees towards success in 2017? Don't miss out on these top 6 leadership trends.

First, the bad news: a recent study discovered that roughly half of all employees aren't happy with their current workplace and job.

Why are these employees unhappy?

Mostly because of poor leadership

But satisfied employees are 12% more productive in their workplace -- and that productivity can certainly rub off on others in your office. 

As a boss, project leader, or manager, you need to know how to motivate your employees. It's up to you to set the example for behavior, productivity, attitude, customer interactions...pretty much everything. 

Even if you think company morale is at an all-time high in your business, there might be a few things you're missing. 

In this post, we'll tell you the top 6 leadership trends you need to start using in 2017 to keep your business booming and ensure your employees know exactly what's expected of them. 

1. An Increased Focus On Company Culture

One of the biggest leadership trends of 2017 is an increased sense of collaboration between bosses and employees. 

Of course, sometimes the differences in titles can make the thought of more open communication with leadership intimidating to lower-level employees. 

However, when every employee feels they can come to you with ideas on how to streamline work, let you know when an idea or process isn't working, or pitch you an idea, you'll see benefits across the board. 

First, employees will want to work harder for a place they feel values them. Additionally, you'll uncover skills you didn't know your employees had -- potentially eliminating the need for more hiring. Finally, you'll be able to re-route projects that are headed for disaster earlier than ever, saving you time and money. 

So how do you open these lines of communication? 

By emphasizing company culture. This means more after-work happy hours and trips, so your employees and you can get to know one another on a more personal level. 

It also means having a clear "brand," that makes your company's values and mission obvious to everyone, so there's no room for misinterpretation.

2. An Increased Sense of Transparency

Gone are the days of "closed-door meetings" that make everyone else in the office nervous. 

Some companies have even started live-streaming their meetings over social media! While you don't have to take it that far, it's smart to shift your leadership to a style that focuses on transparency. 

It helps build a "we're all in this together" mentality among your employees, and you may even find your employees have a solution to the problem. 

Think more frequent team meetings where everyone has a chance to speak and share their ideas.

3. Employee Recognition

If employees don't feel that their work is valued, they'll leave your company in a hurry. 

While many bosses and leaders blame millennials for "job-hopping," far fewer understand that the reason for these frequent career shift might be poor management and continually under-valuing employees. 

Employee recognition is one of the biggest leadership trends of 2017. While you don't need to applaud your employees every time they complete an average workday, if someone lands a new client or closes a big deal, send around an email to let everyone know.

Always give credit to employees who came up with ideas you use by name, and consider celebrating your employees with a yearly dinner.

4. Incentive Programs That Don't Put Quality At Risk

This year, leadership finally found a way to incentivize employees in a way that doesn't put the quality of work at risk. 

Instead of focusing on numbers and productivity when it comes to your incentive programs, this year the focus is on quality. 

For example, instead of creating an incentive program around which employee won the most clients, base it around the employees who found the client that has the best long-term potential.

Or, reward the employee that wrote the best project management plan, not the one who completed the most projects.

5. An Increase in Accountability 

One of the biggest leadership trends this year is an increased sense of accountability. 

We all make mistakes in the workplace -- but too often, a fear of losing their jobs or taking on all the blame causes your employees to cover up these mistakes. 

This just leads to more work for everyone in the long run. 

This year, that accountability starts from the top. As a leader, you need to be the first one to own up to your mistakes. Whether it's a budgeting error, a lost account, or even a rude comment you made, acknowledging your own mistake encourages others to do the same.

6. A Focus on Professional Development for Current Employees

Last on our list of leadership trends? 

An option that lets you save money and helps your employees to feel valued.

This year, we see more companies than ever investing in developing the skills of their current employees. You might initially balk at the cost of a graphic design course or a continuing education program in HR training.

However, the reality is that it's far cheaper to strengthen the skill set of your current employees than it is to hire a new one. 

Whether you pay for an online course to teach your tech-savvy employee how to code or let your creative employee enroll in a writing class so they can create blog posts, you'll only benefit your business by developing your employees' skills. 

Use These Leadership Trends To Create A Productive Work Environment

Thanks to this post, the final few months of 2017 are shaping up to be your most profitable ever. 

Use these 6 leadership trends for the rest of this year and in the future to ensure you're providing an ideal example for your employees to follow. Encourage open communication, positivity, and mutual respect to see your business continue to expand. 

Of course, even the best leadership skills in the world can't always fix a poor hiring decision. Make sure you're working with only the best candidates and employees by relying on our recruitment services. 

And if you're among the half of employees not satisfied with their current place of work, you can upload your resume to our site to change a situation and find a place where your skills are appreciated. 

Reach out to us when you're ready to find the top talent or the best place to work. 

Topics: Leadership Trends

What CPO's say about the future of Supply Chain

Posted by SCOPE Recruiting on Aug 18, 2017 10:07:00 AM

Chief procurement officers are the executives in charge of supply management, sourcing and procurement for large organizations. CPOs need to juggle a team of employees, manage budgets, and keep one of the core parts of the company ticking along. CPOs face a number of challenges, both big and small, in the day-to-day running of their department. These challenges can change each year as trends develop and priorities shift. However, although the number of CPOs concerned with different challenges might fluctuate, the same issues will often be important. Take a look at these top challenges for CPOs and how they can be tackled.

  1. Managing Spend

Anyone in an executive position has to pay close attention to their budget. CPOs are no different, and getting expenditure right is a huge concern. According to a 2017 survey by Deloitte, 79% of procurement leaders intended to focus on cost reduction throughout the year. A further 48% expressed their desire to increase cash flow. Reducing costs can be a tall order, but there are smart ways to approach it. Strategies for cutting costs can include using data tools to improve visibility into your spend and identify opportunities for supplier consolidation which in turn will help with price negotiations.

  1. Managing Risks

Risk is another vital factor for CPOs to consider, according to a Deloitte survey. Nearly six in ten CPOs make managing risks one of their top priorities. Many CPOs feel that there has been a recent increase in business risk levels. Risks range from geopolitical issues, financial risks, to the volatility of emerging markets, natural disasters and many more. Risk management is a continuous challenge that all CPOs have to face. Having a solid risk management strategy and ensuring you are aware of the most pressing risks factors is a continuous process.

  1. Generating Value

Generating value, and knowing how to measure it, is vital to help show the worth of the procurement section of the business. Companies are focusing on different business models, including operational excellence and customer relationship management. The way that procurement can provide value to a company depends on the business model. For example, Deloitte sets out procurement value levers for four different business models. For a company focused on customer relationship management, CPOs can look at restructuring supplier relationships and increasing levels of supplier collaboration. Procurement can help with achieving business partnering aims and can get involved with decision making in various areas.

  1. Contract Compliance

Contracts are an essential part of a company’s risk strategy and an essential tool in managing relationships with suppliers. Ensuring that these contracts are in compliance with the latest regulations and enforced can be tricky at times. Having a good vendor relationship management tool in place can help with keeping up to date with your contracts. Long term strategies can help manage contracts and suppliers to get the most value from them. A failure from either party to comply with those contracts could not only damage your relationships with suppliers, customers and your reputation, but could get the company in legal trouble.

  1. Choosing Technology

As everything in the business world becomes more digital, many procurement leaders are wondering about how to take advantage of those opportunities. Most of the respondents to Deloitte's survey (three-quarters) said they believe that procurement's role in digital world will increase. This is a challenge CPOs should prepare themselves for. Working out how digital solutions can help with procurement should be a top priority for any modern business. Technology including analytics, strategic and operational procurement tools, and ERP platforms are all key things to look at and review to ensure they are being used for optimal results.

  1. Team Teething Troubles

Many CPOs report that there is a skills gap in the procurement sector. The demand for strong leaders and digital skills has increased, but the talent hasn't caught up just yet. When trying to solve this problem, CPOs need to think about how to hire the right procurment talent while also invest in training programs. A quarter of respondents to the Deloitte survey spend less than 1% of their budget on training. If you want to have the right talent onboard, companies need to take action to help plug the skills gap. If you're uncertain that your team can deliver your strategy, you need to help them improve.

CPOs face a variety of challenges that they need to be ready to overcome. Keeping up with industry changes helps you to take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities.

Topics: Leadership Trends

4 Interview Questions to Hire the Right Leader

Posted by SCOPE Recruiting on Jul 14, 2017 6:41:00 AM

In the Supply Chain and Operations industry, a leader can make or break the success and culture of a supply chain organization or manufacturing/distribution environment. These questions will help you to assess candidates for your next leadership hire.

1. What is your proudest leadership moment?

This question will provide great insight into an employees’ values and leadership style, and you can assess if it aligns with your organization’s values. Do they provide an example of a very people centric situation, a number driven leadership moment, or perhaps something entirely different? Follow up with questions around how they accomplished the specific result. 

2. How do you provide feedback and develop your team?

A new leader can have a major impact on your current employees’ retention and development. Asking how they manage and develop their teams will give insight how well they align with your organization’s philosophy. The right individual who can successfully manage and develop their employees, can create a whole new wave of leaders for your organization.

 3. How have you successfully led a change management initiative?

This comes back to Point #1 of not selling yourself short. After you are established in your career you can leave off internships, summer jobs, and non-relevant roles; but be sure to include positions you have had within the Supply Chain and Operations field. For your most recent roles within the last 10 years, make sure to provide thorough details on the scope of responsibilities and accomplishments. You can leave less details on roles beyond 10+ years, but be sure to include the major accomplishments that would be a benefit to the role are applying for. For the sake of keeping your resume around 2 pages, it is OK to condense your earlier roles at the same company such as “ABC Company – Buyer, Sr. Buyer, and Purchasing Analyst 2000-2005” and summarize your total experience and accomplishments during that time frame.

 4.  Describe a time you failed as a leader or manager?

This question will give you a well-rounded view of your candidates and provide insight into how well they recognize their flaws and shortcomings. Ask the follow up question of “In hindsight, how would you manage the situation knowing what you do now?”


Interested to learn how our team of Supply Chain & Operations Recruiters can help finding leaders for your open positions?

 Contact Our Recruiting Team Today!


Topics: Leadership Trends

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