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Joseph LaForte on The Fundamentals of Building Strong Business Leadership

by Jajce d Muckic

Tenacity. Creativity. Industry expertise. After more than twenty years of industry experience, Joseph LaForte’s commitment, determination, and capability shine through in unexpected ways, both in his business efforts at Par Funding and in his community contributions through his extensive volunteer work.

Joseph LaForte, who has been with Par Funding for the last six years, has stepped up to the plate every bit as surely as he did as the catcher for the Seattle Mariners in his previous profession. Thanks to his efforts, Par Funding has remained on track and even seen unprecedented growth even in the midst of industry uncertainty and upheaval.

Just as he practiced catching fastballs on the field, LaForte has dealt with all the fastballs thrown his way throughout his career as a financial professional—and as a result, he has been able to guide not only his company but also the 15,000 companies that work with Par Funding, to higher levels of financial success.


Joseph LaForte certainly has the tools on hand that he needs to accomplish his goals. Thanks to his efforts, through which countless businesses have reached higher levels of financial success and stability, LaForte has expanded the products and opportunities offered by Par Funding as well as introducing new technology to his business and utilizing it within the industry as a whole. As one of the most distinguished leaders in the small business industry, he has well earned his position, generating more than a billion dollars in sales and profits with the small businesses that partner with Par Funding.

Not only does he work closely with small businesses as they attempt to turn their financial statuses around and grow their company’s, even working with numerous small businesses and nonprofits on the verge of failing, but Joseph LaForte also donates his time as a mentor to struggling, disadvantaged small business owners and youth within his community.

He partners with several local churches and community organizations, to which he feels a highly personal connection, as he works to build a rapport with the young people and adults who want to advance their financial station and improve their ability to generate the income they both want and need. Thanks to his efforts, many people have turned their financial states around, from opening their own businesses to successfully navigating the financial arena.

It is little wonder that Joseph LaForte is well-known and well-respected, both within the financial community as a whole and with the businesses he represents and offers leadership advise on an ongoing basis. His integral role in Par Funding has positioned him ideally to learn more about available community resources and connect with members of that community, in turn helping them to become more successful and reach their goals. Thanks to that enhanced financial stability, these businesses in turn are able to offer better service to their customers, ultimately leading to substantially higher levels of success.


Strong leadership is critical to the overall success of your business. Employees will follow strong leaders. Those leaders set the standards for your company culture and establish a strong working relationship between members of the team. Poor leadership, on the other hand, can send your best employees running for the hills. Are you trying to improve leadership throughout your company? Keep these key factors in mind.

Focus on uniting people around an exciting, aspirational vision. Start with the company’s vision of success: a goal that your employees can stand behind. Communicate that vision clearly to your employees so that they know what they’re working toward. Then, provide them with the tools they need to succeed. A team that lacks the fundamental tools that they need to accomplish their goals may quickly lose motivation, while a team that has the right tools and support will be more likely to accomplish those goals.

Create a clear strategy for driving and achieving that vision. When you have a specific vision in mind and a clear strategy for reaching it, you can compare each choice made for your business to those strategies. This, in turn, will allow you to keep driving your business toward the end goal. Your strategy will also let employees know what decisions they need to make when interacting with customers or making decisions on behalf of the business.

Attract and develop the best possible talent to implement your strategy. As a leader in your business, you need the right talent to help achieve your company’s vision. While managers and leaders often wear many hats, especially when they own the business, it’s equally important to know how to hand tasks over to someone else—and to have the right attributes in place to attract and retain the people who can accomplish those goals. This may include:

  • Clearly defining the skills needed by the individuals who will hold certain roles, including both soft and hard skills
  • Offering a competitive salary
  • Creating a welcoming working environment where employees are eager to stay
  • Offering the right benefits. Today’s employees are often as interested in benefits as they are in salary. They want flexible scheduling, work-from-home options, health insurance, and the ability to continue their training, when possible.
  • Communicating effectively with employees so that you can understand their needs and desires.
  • Evaluating what other businesses in your industry are able to offer to their employees and taking steps to remain competitive.

As a leader, it’s also important to keep working with your employees, providing effective guidance that will help them move closer to their professional goals.


Keep your eye on results. True leaders are able to focus relentlessly on results in the context of the strategy they’re utilizing and the goals of the business as a whole. As a leader, you need to be able to keep those big-picture goals in mind when interacting with your employees or making daily business decisions, enabling you to keep making progress toward those goals. It’s equally important, however, to remember how your staff members help you achieve those goals and to treat them accordingly.

Drive and encourage ongoing innovation. Innovation can help reinvent the vision and create an effective strategy to help you move forward and expand a positive leadership approach. Don’t dampen the opportunity! When you attract the top talent in your field, you’re also attracting experienced workers who are able to enhance your business as a whole, including offering creative, innovative insights that can help propel your business toward its goals. In an environment that dampens creativity, however, you’ll miss out on those opportunities along the way—and ultimately, your business will likely suffer for it.


Focus on leading yourself. All too many entrepreneurs shift their focus to growing and developing their business, rather than growing and developing themselves. Just as important as growing your business and your team, however, is learning how to lead yourself. This may include:

  • Taking classes and acquiring certifications that will help keep your knowledge in your field current.
  • Investing in leadership classes, if needed, so that you can lead your team more effectively.
  • Continuing to pursue knowledge, including looking for a mentor within the industry, if necessary.
  • Networking with people within the industry and outside it so that you have a solid understanding of what is needed, both in yourself and within your industry as a whole.
  • Identifying potential problems or areas of weaknesses so that you can work on them. One of the hallmarks of great leaders is their ability to examine themselves, identify those weaknesses, and work to correct them.

Great leadership doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen automatically. If you want to be an effective leader, these steps can help you achieve your goals and develop a deeper understanding of what your team needs, whether you’re leading through good times or difficult ones. Learn more about Joseph LaForte on twitter: https://twitter.com/joseph_laforte