With so much advice out there from the latest internet viral article to latest New York Times Bestseller it can be hard to determine what really is the best advice. However when you look at today’s to leaders in business their seems to be a common theme
In this article I’ll cover 6 of the top lessons that you can apply to your business today.
Follow Your Passions
Numerous big name CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg have come out and said something about following your passion before.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, sums it all up in one statement by saying, “Do something you are passionate about, do something you love. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you are just naturally going to succeed, and a lot of other things will happen that you don’t need to worry about.”
On the personal side of things I’ve found the same to hold true in my own life. I’ve owned several businesses over the years and I’ve found that the businesses I have passion for seem to take on a life of their own while the ones that don’t seem to do far less in profit.
Bottom line: Do something you love — and not just for the money — and you’ll make the sacrifices needed to reach success.
Simplify Your Leadership Responsibilities
Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle, once wrote about the aspects of leadership in a LinkedIn post. Hurd says, “In my own career, and with the great executives on my team now, I try to keep the leadership formula pretty simple… I’ve found that the best way to be a leader, and to help shape high-potential young people into the leaders of tomorrow, is to ensure that these five abilities are always the focal points:
- Getting the strategy right.
- Executing that strategy.
- Putting the right people in the right places.
- Managing dual priorities that others see as conflicting.
- Keeping everyone focused on what matters.
Bottom Line: Keep everything you do simple and don’t make it anymore complicated than it has to be.
Become a “Yes” Man
In business, you’ll never know where you can get without taking risks. When a great opportunity presents itself, say yes, even if you face the chance of failure.
Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt encourages, “Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.”
This is how networking happens, how you find inspiration for new ideas, and how you build something out of nothing.
I recently did this myself hiring a mentor to coach in a specific area and I can tell you that I am way out of my comfort zone. First off, it cost me over $2000 for this coach and what I am learning will take me to that next level.
It’s like Marshall Goldsmith’s book says… What got you here won’t get you there.
Bottom Line: Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take risk because their is always something new to learn.
Take Feedback to Heart
Levi Cooperman of Freshbooks gave sound advice when he said, “Customer feedback has been critical to our success from the beginning.
We occasionally would push out features that were a bad user experience and made our service worse not better and our users told us right away when something was wrong… The key in those early days (and even now) was to be nimble and open to feedback.”
Before the digital age, gathering customer feedback on a product was a timely process. Today, it’s almost instantaneous.
Use online feedback surveys, social media comments, blog posts, forums and all the other digital tools at your disposal to gather feedback from customers. And then above all else, listen to their feedback and implement it.
I actually runs surveys on my audience a few times a year and it’s helped me learn a lot about them. One tool I use for this is Survey Monkey because it makes the whole process very streamlined and helps me get the info back in a very organized way.
Bottom Line: Run surveys and get feedback from your customers often.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says, “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you’re going to double your inventiveness.”
He encourages business professionals to never stop experimenting. There’s no question that your business won’t get anywhere without adapting to change.
In the fast-paced business world, ideas are constantly changing and consumers always want more. So experiment with new products, marketing tactics, etc., because there’s always something better out there to suit the changing environment.
Bottom Line: Always be testing something no matter what. Their is one thing that is always constant in business and that that is change, the best way to know is to experiment.
Move On From Your Failures
Even the most successful people have failed at one time or another. The people who never make it are the ones who take a failure and let it consume them. But you have to keep moving forward to the next thing.
Richard Branson of Virgin Group says, “My mother always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project always amazes me. I have fun running all the Virgin businesses — so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
Bottom Line: Don’t be afraid to fail at something. Failing doesn’t mean you are a quitter it just means you need to try again.
Which one of these pieces of advice do you find to be the most valuable as you build up your business?