What great business leaders know – and we can all learn
Leaders are not born with a specific DNA, with certain qualities and talents that only they possess. We all start off with a relatively clean slate. Then come the formative years, education, experiences, how you behave and the choices you make.
What you make of yourself is what really counts and when you do it is up to you. Not all great leaders and entrepreneurs make it young, many are busy collecting different experiences before they find a focus and drive.
And whilst privileged backgrounds are often cited as giving unfair advantages to some, guess what, there are thousands of great business people out there who have make it all on their own.
The thing is to take control, today, of what can really make a difference in what you achieve going forward. Of course there is no blueprint for success, but there are common themes, things that successful business people know and are within reach of us all.
Let’s start with focus. It’s all too easy to get distracted (we have all experienced how easy). Imagine your next project is a new business. First you have to focus on finding a breakthrough concept, then you have to focus on demonstrating it. Then you have to focus on how to produce and deliver it and on getting customers on board. Then you have to focus on scaling it and focus on how to get results and not just wasted energy. Without focus, things don’t happen. Get distracted and you won’t get it done.
There is no punch-clock. Let’s face it, you get out what we put in. That’s true for every aspect of life, not just business. So forget a standard working week. This doesn’t mean you have to be a slave or narcoleptic, it just means that you have to do the miles as there’s no short-cut to success.
Passion that influences other. Great leaders and entrepreneurs are very passionate about their work, always striving to overcome obstacles and achieve or prove something. This energy is transferable, contagious and motivational to others when you can influence them to share goals and challenges. Become a believer, an evangelist.
Risk reward. To make great things happen, you have to be prepared to take a risk. Think of ‘Dragon’s Den’ (Theo Phatitis on risk/reward). To those guys, it’s all a risk reward equation that has to be got right. Too risky or not enough reward then find another way or move on. We come across this equation almost every day in business. Embrace it rather than hide, minimise the risks where you can and then take a decision and move on. You will not always get it right, which brings me on to the next point.
Expect to fail on occasion, but learn. You didn’t learn to walk without falling down occasionally. I’m not suggesting you constantly put your job on the line (but remember that start up entrepreneurs often do a lot more than that) because you have to remember the risk/reward criteria. However, when you do fail and everyone does on occasion, be positive and use what you learn to re-energise yourself to find a different, better solution.
Know how business works. This knowledge has to and can be acquired, from finance and balance sheets, management, marketing, understanding customers, sales and service. You have to be able see the whole picture and make decisions accordingly. You can delegate some of these but not before you know understand and can master them first.
Persuasion. Great business people develop the power of persuasion. To persuade, you must be able to communicate well. With colleagues and staff, customers, suppliers, investors, in fact everyone. You have to be able to get across the right message, in the right way so as to first engage and then influence their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
At Ecard Shack we are very focused on this last bit, on how our clients can better communicate by engage with their customers and staff using holiday e cards for business. As a means of conveying both seasonal greetings and other business messages or announcements, our corporate Christmas ecards are able to deliver greater attention, impact, interactivity and business value. Right now we are working on new products to extend the range of business messages our ecards can convey. Keep checking back with us for updates throughout the year.