7 Questions with John Knotts
Name: John Knotts
Current title: President
Current organisation: Crosscutter Enterprises
Personal and Professional Business Coach and Consultant with over 30 year's experience.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
When the company is small, the leader feels as if they should take on more responsibilities of the business. Thus, they find themselves working more in the business than on the business.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I actually founded and operate five current businesses. As the founder and owner of these businesses, that put me in the leader role as a default.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have a strategic plan, an annual plan, a quarterly plan, and a weekly to-do list that drives my daily actions. I have a morning routine, which I follow. Then, the day depends on my goals for the day. Evenings involve dinner, relaxation, and reading before bed. I try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Time is the one thing that we all have the same amount of. Thus, giving of your time is the most precious thing that you can do for others. Spend your time wisely.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Siloed Organizations. This was my first business book that I wrote. It took me 10 years to write it. It is a result of my journey in shuhari.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Spend as much time as possible growing and developing business transferable skills in your people. This makes them invaluable in any role and allows them to accept changes easier -- even seek them out.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
The first time I honestly fell on my sword for my people. I was in the military and worked for a Superintendent that demanded respect. He had pulled myself and two other NCOs out into a hall and said he expected the room to always come to attention when he entered. So, the next time he entered, I called the room to attention. He called us all back into the hall and said, I want them to come to attention, not be called to attention. My reply was, "Oh, you want 'earned respect'."