This may be hard to imagine, but people are not choosing your company, product, or service because you’ve been in business for a hundred years.
Do you often find yourself thinking, “What if this improbable thing happens?” Or “What if that terrible result happens?”
Using “What if…” scenarios to guide our behaviors is tricky. Sometimes it can be the safe way to go. As in, “I can’t run out into the street. What if there’s a bus coming?” But often, we let our "What if..." questions push us in the wrong directions.
"The competitor to be feared is the one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time." – Henry Ford
Business is all about competition, but the question you need to ask yourself is:
Who are you watching?
All too often, we feel like we’re taking a risk simply because we’re going out and spending some money to acquire new resources. And to be fair, this is partially true. Spending money on a new resource does give you the potential of delivering new value.
But that potential value will never be recognized until you step up and spend some of your leadership capital as well.
How do you know if you’ve hired the wrong people?
You need to micromanage their every move.
How do you know if you’re just a micromanager?
You micromanage every person, project, and task within your grasp regardless of competence – yours or theirs.
Many of us give presentations regularly as part of our work lives. Staff meetings, employee meetings, client meetings, sales meetings. And in your spare time, maybe even PTA meetings.
Whether you’re scheduled to present to 300 caffeinated conference attendees, 20 brand new interns, a grim-looking finance committee, or a single prospective client, the last thing you want is for anyone to feel like their time spent listening to you was wasted.
Providing great client service is a claim that nearly every business makes. However, being able to provide that great service, versus just promising it, is dependent on a number of things being in place.
It begins with a definition of what great service means to your company. And that is dependent on what you would like the client to experience every time they have an interaction with your organization. Which is dependent on… well, let’s just take a look at how this works, shall we?
When you look around a company and see a common set of behaviors, you can usually tie it back to the behaviors of the leaders.
Positive, focused, driven behaviors by leaders set an example for the team, and it's very common for the team to generally behave in the same way and have similar attitudes. It's contagious. And people tend to rise to the level of expectation or standard.
As advisors to executives, we are well aware that the CFOs and executive teams we talk to and work with are all under immense financial pressure to regain or improve their prior levels of company profitability and/or make dramatic increases in their bottom line operational efficiencies.
And all too often, we see unworldly pressure on these leaders to the point that it’s amazing each updated financial statement doesn’t create a new DSM-5 definition for Financial Oversight Traumatic Stress Disorders.
Having a little fear in your life isn’t necessarily bad. It can inspire you to do things like wear sunscreen, obey the speed limit, and “Sit up straight!” when your grandma tells you to.
But a lot of fear? A lot of fear can stop you from doing things that move you forward, like learning new skills, asking for help, or telling the truth.
When organizational leaders start basing their actions, behaviors, and decisions on fear— look out! The zombie apocalypse is near.