Every day, a countless number of times across the business world, business leaders including CEOs, presidents and business owners either say or hear the words: We have a business problem… or Don’t know what to do about (fill in the blank)… The tendency is to make it sound as though the business has the problem; as though the business has a life and a problem all its own. Successful leaders take this thought process a step further and look deeper within themselves and the organization rather than make a general statement like the examples given. Successful leaders don’t permit perceived business problems to stop business success.
Let’s make something very clear right up front: The business doesn’t have the problem. You, the CEO, president or business owner, have the problem. Successful leaders acknowledge this fact.
When I say the problem isn’t really about the business, but instead about how you are leading and managing the company; for example, a problem you perhaps failed to address, anticipate or chose to ignore rather than face directly, you may initially not like what I have to say.
I encourage any CEO, president or business owner to continue reading. Once you begin to understand how to prevent the problems in the first place the business will begin to operate more efficiently – and you will experience much less daily stress.
For those business leaders truly interested in solving problems and moving the business forward, it’s time to take a good hard look at your business – and more importantly, to take a look at yourself. Whatever problems you may have within your business begin and end with you.
Successful leaders set
- the tone
- the standards
- the policies
- the vision
everyone else in the company abides by and aspires to.
When a particular business situation or circumstance is sensed or recognized, don’t think of it as a “business problem.” Tagging it in such a way is too general. Instead specifically identify what the problem actually is.
For example, it could be (but not limited to):
- a people problem,
- a hiring problem,
- a sales process problem,
- a prospecting for sales problem,
- a management style problem,
- a deadline production problem
- or other specific issue
you must acknowledge and deal with directly.
The key is to target exactly what the real issue is and not to generalize it in any way such as it’s a “business problem”. The more specific you can get, the more likely it is to be resolved more quickly in a satisfactory way.
Still it really isn’t a “problem” as most business people refer to it.
It’s really a lack of knowledge. Knowledge is power.
- Is the company set up to provide me daily with valuable knowledge that will allow the business to function at optimum levels with the least amount of “problems” or “lack of knowledge” issues?
The more you know about your business and its people, the less “problems” you will encounter on a daily and long term basis. This is critical to you being one of those successful leaders I refer in the opening paragraph and headline of this article.
Successful leaders, cannot know or be an expert in everything at a company. Create and set up procedures to make you more aware of what is happening. By doing so, it enables areas to be flagged requiring your attention before issues become bigger than necessary.
If business problems continuously seem to
- get bigger than they should
- seem like they come out of nowhere
- the company always seems to be in complete chaos and confusion
… then you need to generally look no further than yourself as its leader. The problem(s) begin with you (this is the part of the article that you may not like reading).
You can spend your business day doing all kinds of “stuff” or attending multiple meetings. Yet still not look at your business objectively or truly know what is going on within your company.
- How do you fix or eliminate daily business scenarios like this?
Or as they say in the dialogue of the classic western movies: To head things off at the pass.
Here are 5 points successful leaders incorporate into the daily work flow to solve and experience less business problems and issues:
1.) Be a student of business. Never stop your own education. Be a continual, life long student of business. Keep seeking more knowledge. Allow yourself to become more open to information. Be aware of what is going on around you in your business, in your industry and the business world, in general.
2.) Clearly communicate. Provide consistent direction and focus to everyone in the company – from how the phone is answered to how the bathrooms are cleaned to how your product or service is represented to its target audience. Details are important but make sure the message is getting through to everyone in a clear, concise manner to reach company goals. Otherwise, you will encounter more business problems with a lack of clear communication.
3.) Plan your day. Truly act like a CEO, president or business owner. Heads of companies don’t hide in their office. Instead, make yourself highly visible – in the hallway, at meetings, with clients and with other business associates.
4.) Delegate. Institute reporting systems so you and everyone else is always working with uniform information. Delegating frees up your time so you can do more which allows you to know more about your company. This will empower and build confidence with employees which in turn should again lessen business issues.
5.) Company advocates. Successful leaders need to attract employees, vendors and customers or clients that are advocates of the company. Sometimes the best decision in order to maintain the flow and vision of your business is to terminate employees or inadequate vendors that no longer are a good fit with company goals. In addition, examine your customer base and end relationships with unprofitable, challenging customers. When you take these actions, often many of your “problems” go away.
If you’re one of the many CEOs, presidents or business owners struggling to address the ‘problems with the business,’ take a moment to step back and think about your role in the company.
Remember: A business problem is only such if you allow it to be.
- What steps or improvements can I take to strengthen the business? Starting today…
The time you invest today will deliver priceless business results as the problems seemingly disappear and the company prospers.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide variety of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business. Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.