If you are in (or aspire to) a leadership position in your company, there is one word that needs to be foremost on your mind at all times. Results.
Whether you are the Plant Manager or Director of Operations. Run Marketing & Sales. Or Finance. And, of course, all the more so if you are a company owner or President. People are looking to you to help them achieve excellent results.
Leaders directly impact results. And it’s important for you to understand how, so that you can be clear about the most important contributions you can make to your organization. As well as how to address any weaknesses that you may have.
It is no longer enough to think that things like strategy, leadership, project management and resource deployment differentiate great leaders from mediocre ones. These are now table stakes. “Gotta haves.”
Working very closely with excellent leaders over the past ten years or so, first at Deloitte & Touche, then with Catalyst Connection and now in my own practice, One Step Beyond, I’ve come to realize that there are still a few “secret weapons” that leaders can look to.
High on the list? Talent and Culture.
Though these may seem obvious, I know of relatively few companies that are investing in these areas -- be it with time, money or simply attention -- in a way that allows them to create significant competitive advantage.
And this is very strange -- not least of all because they are already important areas of competitive advantage for every successful company that I know!
Most pockets of excellence in small companies (who very much tend toward “pockets of excellence”) can be traced to ... super passionate, motivated people (talent) and a certain type of DNA -- be it customer focus, a service mentality, extra effort or creativity (i.e. culture).
So, there they are: your secret weapons. Talent and Culture.
Whatever your top strategic or tactical priorities are right now, ask yourself: Do I have the talent base to get this done? And: Does our culture enable excellent execution? You’ve got to have the talent to make it work and the culture that allows the talent to thrive.
Think about your priorities, your goals, once again. And ask yourself honestly: do we have with it takes to succeed? If so: awesome! (And congratulations.) If not: ramp up your Plan B. Right now.
Bryan J. Fischer, One Step Beyond (www.onestepbeyondllc.com)