Throughout my career I have had the privilege of working with many business leaders in various industries. These companies have ranged in size from large to small. There are certain things in life that only many years of firsthand knowledge can teach. One observation has to do with action. Successful leaders in their business take action to do the things that cause their people, and their companies to reach high levels of success. Please notice that I use the word action simply because ideas, solid plans, and intentions are worthless without doing what it takes to be successful. These successful business leaders and company owners have done the following:
- Learn from Others– Successful leaders are constant learners. They read books, attend seminars, go to conferences, and learn from colleagues and mentors. They are constantly educating themselves to be more efficient, knowledgeable, and looking for every opportunity to make themselves and their companies better.
- Constantly Challenge their People– Successful business owners have no room for complacency. They celebrate their successes but then challenge their people to set their sights on the next goal and milestone to be achieved. These successful leaders know that improving, growing, efficient companies have improving, growing, and efficient people. They reward those who respond and weed out those who refuse.
- Stickler for the Numbers– The most successful company leaders are constantly measuring the progress of their organizations by analyzing timely, accurate, financial information of their business. They never have to guess if they are winning or losing, they know so with solid accurate evidence. They also are constantly looking ahead, projecting with forward looking financial information and taking action to adjust direction when necessary.
- Maintain Close Relationships with Customers– Company leaders are never far away from their customers. The larger the company the more challenging it becomes; however, even then company leaders are constantly face to face with key customers and verifying all customers are being taken care of by their people. They do not allow themselves to become so distracted that customers do not remain front and center of their actions.
Successful leaders have a definite pattern of continual ACTION.