A Message From Howard
CEOs, Presidents and Business Owners:
Your business success is determined every single day. Business success doesn’t take place because of a good or even a bad marketplace. It takes place because of you. You’re the one that has worked through the difficulties and slogged through the challenges of your business. But one day something happens in your business that…
We live in an interesting, fast changing world. Wouldn’t you agree?
Many people, now that it is September, are starting to think about the fall season and the eventual approach of winter. Just like in the springtime, they’ll be washing windows due to the summer rains, working outside in the yard, perhaps planting in the garden, raking leaves and putting the summer clothes away till next year. Replacing the clothes with fabrics more suitable to the colder months ahead.
Today people don’t keep their clothes for as long as our grandparents or great grandparents did. Back then people would often keep their overcoats till they were threadbare. Same with shoes. They’d have the leather soles replaced as well as the heels till the shoes feel apart.
Now it’s more about being in style; being in fashion. People think nothing of buying a new coat each year. Fabrics aren’t the quality they were in years past contributing to the fashion buying cycle. Everything today is mostly wash ‘n’ wear. You wouldn’t want to be considered “out of style”, would you?
When you look at ads on television, in magazines or on the internet, the people in those ads often appear to look and act perfect. Which, in turn, can make you want to look and act perfect. That’s a problem because people are not perfect in life or in business.
For example, two teams play in the Super Bowl. One wins. One loses. The team that loses isn’t celebrated. Yet out of 32 teams only two get to go to the Super Bowl each year. Second place isn’t good enough.
More and more, people today feel the need to be perfect. Use the right toothpaste for a whiter brighter smile. Use the right shampoo for more shine and volume. Oh, and don’t forget to dress a particular way for maximum success. It’s about being as perfect as possible. Otherwise, the fear is that someone may take yours customers or worse yet, want to takeover the company when it’s not to your best advantage.
It’s correct to want to do a good job at running your business; and to do everything possible to make business happen. To go the extra distance in your work each day. But to feel you can never ever make a business mistake is just wrong.
In the more than 25 years of advising the many hundreds of CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States, the most successful are those that have made mistakes. In fact, some were absolute doozies when it comes to business mistakes. Real business problems. Events that put them on the edge, sometimes to the point of nearly or having to go out of business, sell the company or to seek a new job and start all over again.
How do you stop yourself from making a business mistake?
Answer: You can stop yourself from making a business mistake by…
- Thinking things through
- Determine what the unintended consequences may be
- To keep asking questions till you are satisfied you have the necessary answers.
But sometimes you can’t see everything that may be coming your way.
Sometimes you may get blindsided.
Sometimes things happen that you didn’t expect.
What to do when you make a business mistake?
- Evaluate what happened
- Determine what actions to take/not take
- Start over again.
As you regain your balance just go out there and do it again – only this time with more knowledge, awareness and understanding.
Mistakes are inherent to business – and to life. The key is to not make the BIG mistake that puts you out of a job as the head of your company or the company out of business.
The next time you make a business mistake (and yes, it will happen sooner or later…), compliment yourself for being assertive enough to be out there making decisions that will help further your goals and success in the future. Just be careful not to make the BIG mistake that will cost you everything.
Remember: Business mistakes happen. That’s not an excuse. It’s reality.
Do your best not to…
- Be too critical of yourself
- Make the same mistake again and again and again
- Learn from your mistakes.
You can’t go through life thinking you can be perfect all the time. It just doesn’t happen.
Business mistakes, if handled in the right way, can actually be a positive part of your business day.
To your success!
If you are a CEO, president or business owner and are worried about the direction of your company, talk with Howard directly at 888-738-1855. There isn’t anything Howard likes better than to see business people succeed and prosper. Connect with Howard on LinkedIn or follow Howard on Twitter @HowardLewinter.
At the 2015 Academy Awards Lady Gaga gave the performance of her career during the tribute to the 50th anniversary of the classic film, The Sound Of Music – which is probably a favorite movie of many reading this blog post. Lady Gaga’s performance was breathtaking and potentially career changing. It certainly brought highly favorable attention to the talent that she is.
When Lady Gaga was asked to perform songs from The Sound Of Music at the Oscars, she recognized how important this performance would be. According to press reports, she spent six months working with a voice coach every single day so she was prepared for this very special moment when the world would be focused on her and the talents she is gifted with. The preparation paid off for Lady Gaga on many professional levels. It will be interesting to see what this particular Oscar performance will ultimately lead to as she continues to transition her career and expand her fan base.
Lady Gaga’s Oscar performance leads me to today’s business topic:
Preparation Is A Key To Business Success.
- How much time do you spend to showcase your business talent?
- How prepared are you?
- How prepared are you when you go to work each day?
- Do you know what you want to accomplish each day?
- Do you know who you want to talk to or meet with each day?
- Do you take time to think through your day before it even starts?
- Do you give any thought as to what will make this day a success for you?
Preparation is the way to business success.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. It doesn’t matter what you still need to learn in your leadership role and industry. You will only get better at what you do each work day by being open to new ideas, new thoughts and learning new things. You can only get better at something through adequate, sometimes more than adequate, preparation.
If you are considered the best at what you do but are not fully prepared, then it has the potential to fall flat. If it does fall flat you may not get another opportunity.
Business and life can sometimes be cruel when it comes to second chances. So you need to always be prepared as much as possible. Can you imagine how it might have been for Lady Gaga to take the stage and to not be prepared as she was on Oscar night for the live performance in front of industry peers and millions of viewers worldwide?
Every business day is a live performance. Though perhaps not in front of millions but… still extremely important to the well-being of your company, employees and customers.
The award winning actor, Jack Lemmon, once shared in an interview that just before a live performance or shooting a scene for a movie he would say to himself: It’s showtime! A reminder to himself to give the best possible performance every time he was in front of an audience or the camera. No matter what – The show must go on!
We as business people – as CEOs, presidents, founders and business owners – need to do the same every business day: Give the best possible business performance.
As business leaders, we are here to help people – co-workers, customers, vendors and anyone else we may meet up with in our business day. But to help others you need to be prepared. You need to know what’s going on and what you want to talk about.
If you’re not prepared the competition will be breathing right down your neck – and that’s because they are prepared and they want your business.
The business person who is most prepared is the one who will win and keep the business. The person who is most prepared will excel at what they do. Others will enjoy working with them for this very reason as it supports what they do and the company. The person who is most prepared will enjoy coming to work each day. And… have a more stress-free business day.
- Be on top of your business game. If you’re not, find some time and space to quickly get back in balance.
- Understand your business role and what you contribute to the company.
- Understand how successful you are.
- Understand how successful you can be.
- Don’t use the excuse that you’ve been doing this for a long time.
- Know that there is always more to learn.
- Know what you want to communicate to others.
- Choose your words and actions carefully.
If you do and you are always prepared (as much as any business leader – CEO, president, founder or business owner – can be), success will be yours. You and your company will be getting rave reviews just as Lady Gaga did at the Oscars. Make every day a winning, red carpet business performance!
For 25+ years Howard has advised CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States. If you’d like to know how you and your company can achieve more profit, success and rave business reviews from customers, contact Howard directly at 888-738-1855 or connect with Howard on LinkedIn or Twitter @HowardLewinter.
This post was originally published on Linked Into Business.
The business landscape is littered with business failures. News headlines feature companies in trouble, with weak earnings reports, or worse yet, going out of business. It’s not limited to just companies. It’s also about individual business people from top ranking CEOs, founders and business owners to every level of management on down through a company’s organization.
Business leaders often do not view themselves clearly. None of us do.
We get up in the morning, look in the mirror, get dressed and may even do one final check in the mirror before walking out the door to work.
But do we really see ourselves as we really are? Do we really understand ourselves? Doubtful.
As a business leader, especially if you are a CEO, president, founder or business owner, in order to continue to be successful you do need to have a plan. But it’s much more than that.
The big question is:
As a CEO, president, founder or business owner, how do you view yourself as a business leader?
1) Ask yourself these questions:
— What words (in general) would you use to describe yourself as a business person?
Then ask yourself (regardless of what business title you currently hold):
— What kind of a business leader are you?
2) Write out what words or phrases you think best describe you either on paper or on your favorite computer device.
– Where are you strong as a business leader?
– Where are you weak or need to improve as a business leader?
– Are you competent as the leader of your company?
– Are you on “top of your game” always at work?
– Do you always have the right information or know how to access it quickly?
If yes, why?
If no, why not?
It’s important you get to the core of how you truly see yourself as a CEO, president, founder or business owner when running a successful business.
What words truly describe YOU?
3) Next, go to someone you respect and trust. Someone who knows you very well from a business perspective.
Ask that individual:
– How would you describe me as a business person? As a business leader?
Encourage them to be candid with their answers.
It’s not about how we see ourselves. It’s about how other people view or see us.
If you can begin to realize, more and more each business day, how other business people view you then you can make the necessary adjustments to:
– The way you think about business
– The way you lead your business
– The way you do business
– The way you interact with others including employees, customers and vendors.
For example: You may think you were really reasonable and respectful when talking with a co-worker. Yet the co-worker may feel quite the opposite from the experience. More like a 10 pound hammer just came down on their head!
Remember: Always think about how what you do and say may impact upon others.
By doing this exercise with yourself and really taking the time to consciously think about the answers; then putting into action the necessary changes to improve your business approach, you will become even more successful business leader than you already are.
To your business success!
If you’d like to discuss your business leadership role and challenges or how to improve and grow business at your company with Howard call him directly at 888-738-1855 or connect with him on LinkedIn.
This post was also published on Linked Into Business.