|Navigation: | Home | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ||
The Business Leader as Ultramarathoner
Have you ever heard of an ultramarathon? A standard marathon isjust over 26 miles. An ultramarathon is usually on the order of50 or 100 miles, though there are some that span one thousand! Imagine the endurance required to run such a race.
Running a business requires the kind of devotion and stamina thatultramarathoners can only dream about. Like the 100-mile runner,the successful business leader must maintain focus, keeping aneye on the path...on the mileposts that mark progress...and onthe long-range goal.
Unlike an ultramarathoner, your long-distance business run endsonly when you leave the business by choice or when it dies anunnatural death. For in business the real success lies increating something you can live with for the long haul, acrucible into which you can mix your creative vision and talentsto build something unique and useful.
Keeping Stakeholders Focused
It's critical to your success to help your stakeholders stayfocused, too. A good business delivers value to employees,customers, investors, and the community in roughly equal measure.Lose focus in any of those areas and you can find yourself headedfor a business train wreck.
What happens when a business and its stakeholders lose focus? Irecently observed a group of people at one company meeting todiscuss the project manager's dissatisfaction with pink bubblewrap.
Eight people spent one hour in a meeting to talk about why bubblewrap had to be pink. Was that meeting necessary? Of course not.The focusing question to ask is: Does this meeting deliver realvalue to business stakeholders? Is it lined up with the business'principles and what it does consistently well?
Best intentions aside, such meetings are indicative of deeperproblems that have gone ignored for a long time.
How Many Bubble Wrap Meetings Can You Afford?
In larger companies the symptoms of a loss of focus can go on foryears. The systemic problems that occur in such situationsdevelop gradually. Unless you are paying attention, you hardlynotice them until they reach an almost ridiculous peak.
In smaller businesses, though, the results of defocusing can becatastrophic. They come upon you quickly like potholes in theroad because you are moving at high speed. Before you know ityou're sitting at the roadside, wondering what happened.
If you are going to avoid such problems, you must take actionahead of time. You must begin before the beginning.
Paying Attention Before the Beginning
During a business' startup phase, well before launch, foundersand leaders must take the time to get conscious about what theyare doing and why they are doing it. Smart leaders create answersto questions like:
The time you make to answer such questions is repaid athousandfold as your business grows. Be fanatical aboutindoctrinating your staff, employees, investors, customers, andthe community about your principles and what you do consistentlywell. Do so in terms they can relate to:Employees: Focus on delivering the value of what you do consistently well to those you serve. Make sure they KNOW who you serve and teach them how to be customer advocates. Reward such advocacy. Make sure they understand the value your business delivers to each stakeholder.
Customers: Create a communication strategy that connects intimately with those you serve. SHOW the value of your focus -- don't tell, because talk is cheap. Build relationships that feed improvements to existing products and services, and get your customers involved in creating new ones.
Investors: Keep them informed about your progress. Speak the truth clearly. Hide nothing. Act ethically. Plan for the long term (even if you personally want to take an early exit).
Community: Be involved as a good community member. Pick a cause that's congruent with what you do and support it with passion. Show the community you'll be there for the long term.
Your Courage and Devotion Set the Tone
Above all, have the courage and devotion to keep yourselffocused. There is no stronger example than that of your own life.Do your best to be the sort of person you want others in yourcompany to be. For they will look to you as the model foracceptable behavior, values, and creative passion.
It's your race. Run it well!
Michael Knowles, co-author of The Entrepreneur's Concept Assessment Toolbook (http://www.booklocker.com/books/1988.html) helps businesses take what they do best and focus it on success. A Principal in One Straight Line LLC, Michael has over 25 years of experience helping companies create communication strategies help them engage customers, employees, investors, outsourcing partners, and the community. Michael can be reached at email@example.com.
Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 429, exiting
Entrepreneurial Emotions or It Seemed Like a Great Idea at the Time
It's your first business or the next Great Idea in your ongoing business, online or offline, it doesn't matter. The roller coaster ride is a theme and variations on the same experiences.
The Power Of Personal Environments
I've got to admit, I'm a big fan of comfort. I like it when things in my world are stable and reliable.
Double Down on Marketing
If you want to compete in the world of high growth startups, you better know how to play the marketing game. Marketing has become a big stakes game where companies are betting fortunes on the success of their products.
Documenting Partnerships in Your Business Plan
Forging partnerships to improve market penetration has become commonplace, particularly for "new economy" businesses. And, most companies proudly mention their many partnerships in their business plans.
Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles to Discovering Your Gifts
What are the unique gifts that differentiate you from other solo entrepreneurs? The path to discovering your gifts may take a lifetime, but you can use the exploration process to begin to use your gifts NOW! Unfortunately, for many different reasons people get sidetracked or never even get started taking the actions that would help them discover their uniqueness. Here are some suggested strategies to help move forward and stay on the path of discovering your gifts.
Can a Microbusiness Help You Enjoy a Better Retirement?
Not having enough money for a comfortable retirement tops thelist of financial concerns among aging Americans, according to a recent Gallup Poll. It even outweighs peoples' worries about having a serious illness or accident.
Innovation incubator: Build it and keep it running
If your company is like the one I work for, your people are talking about the need for innovation. Mine has just announced a new program "that will bring a standardized approach to gathering and evaluating your ideas for generating new revenue and improving our business.
From Employee to Entrepreneur: Taking the Plunge
Before you decide whether or not running your own business is right for you, start by pinpointing your area of expertise and assessing your aptitude for business.Starter Questions Ask yourself the following questions:- In what areas do people approach me for advice and assistance? From what parts of my job do I get the most satisfaction?- What do I like doing so much that I would do it even with no pay?- What hobbies or interests could I "spin off"into a small business?- Do I enjoy budgeting and financial planning?- Do I enjoy making cold calls, tele-marketing and selling?- Do I have enough self-discipline to work on my own?- How easy is it for me to bounce back from rejection & setbacks?Proceed with CautionBefore you take the plunge, it's important to "wade in gradually" or you may just find yourself swamped.
Angel Investors: 7 Online Business Plan Scams and 1 Real Deal
We've all seen the hype: "We'll put your plan in front of thousands of investors!" "We'll write you an award-winning online business plan!" "Only $3,000 for thousands of investors to learn about your company!"I cringe every time I see one of these ads. Vultures are preying on honest business people who want to fund their businesses.
Financial Strategies for Transitioning from Salaried to Solo
7 Financial Strategies for Transitioning from Salaried to SoloA 40's something woman was talking to me the other day about her growing sense of frustration with "working for someone else" and her longing to "do my own thing, drive my own wagon". But, she said with consternation, "I have family counting on me and a standard of living I don't want to sacrifice.
Franchises - Success and You
Many people believe owning a franchise will make them rich, financially secure, and provide the life of their dreams. True, franchises have an extremely high success rate, and a very high satisfaction rate among their owners.
The Perfect Little Coffee Shop: Are You Afraid of Failure? Are You Letting that Failure Cripple You
Ah, coffee, the drink of choice when I want to share a special moment with friends, when I want to sit and ponder life or when I want a moment alone. I am an avid coffee drinker.
Enterprising Route is to Go Your Own Way
DON'T talk to me about education for entrepreneurs. They're pouring far too much public money into it already - not counting the millions some well-known Scottish entrepreneurs are prepared to waste on it.
Entrepreneurship Story; Over Regulation in Franchising Final Chapter
Sally and Jim have launched their automotive franchise business and are now selling franchises; problems arise as lawyers and over regulation threaten to ruin their life's work, see how it ends; tragedy or success. A realistic story of modern day franchising.
Secrets of My Favorite Government Auction
I love bargains. And there's no better place to find bargains than an auction.
Boundary Setting 101 for Solo Entrepreneurs
Select the best response to the statement below:As a solo entrepreneur, setting boundaries is all about?.a.
The Entrepreneurs Prayer
As I awaken with the gift of yet another day and prepare for thetasks at hand, I offer up this most ardent prayer:I pray for continued clarity of purpose so that I may hold myvision steady and keep my focus on the needs and success ofothers, which in turn shall bring me my success.I pray for the wisdom to expect abundance in my life, that itsurrounds me and is available for the taking and to be shamelessand unapologetic upon its receipt, for I deserve abundance.
The 9 Key Distinctions of Successful Solo-Entrepreneurs!
SUCCESSFUL Solo-Entrepreneurs approach life and business from a perspective that is new, fresh, and rather unorthodox. The differences are subtle, yet significant.
Business Name - How to Choose One
It's very important to get your business name right. You mayalready have a business name but it's not too late to changeit.
Business Startup Checklist
Use this comprehensive checklist to plan each step of your new business and transform your dream of entrepreneurship into reality. These steps may not necessarily be completed in the order listed, however, you can use them as a guideline for completing all of the necessary business startup tasks.
|home | site map ||