Let’s start by asking a question: Are you or other CEOs, presidents and business owners you may know truly a leader? Think about it before you answer. Chances are every business day there is “stuff” that needs to be done. But does all that daily “stuff” you do help you to get where you want to be with your business?
According to the Business Dictionary, the definition of leadership is:
The activity of leading a group of people or an organization…
- Establishing a clear vision
- Sharing that vision with others so they will follow willingly
- Providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision; and coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all
- A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations.
How you manage a business doesn’t mean you can lead a business effectively.
The majority of people in business do “stuff” all day. From the time they walk in the door at their business address to the time they walk out of the door at the end of a busy day, it is a marathon of activity trying to get things done. Often, in the whirlwind of it all, business people will say things like:
- All I seem to do is “put out fires”!
- I don’t have any time to really think!
- There’s just too much “stuff” to do!
As a CEO, president or business owner who has ownership in the company if you are …
- “putting out fires” constantly,
- have no time to think clearly
- and the “stuff” that needs done never seems to go away,
… then you are more of an employee than a leader. You are not leading. You are just getting through the business day and “hoping” for a better day tomorrow.
By the way: Hope is not a strategy in business. Hope will not bring you the business results you want. If you find yourself thinking or verbalizing about your business with the word, hope. Stop and rethink the dialogue with yourself. “Hope” will not bring you success or profits in business.
… is a good starting point towards removing “hope” from your business vocabulary.
There are many things you must do when you are an entrepreneurial business person. The size of your company may further dictate what may be necessary to do every business day. As a CEO, president or business owner there are things you just need to do. There are things you must be actively involved with. And yes, there are times when your time is all taken up by what’s happening in the business. That’s part of operating a company!
As the title of this article states: Successful CEOs (presidents and business owners) don’t just do “stuff” every business day.
- If you are not being a leader
- If you’re not sitting at your desk or other quiet place and thinking about your business; writing your thoughts down for future reference and business planning
- If you are not creating the necessary vision and strategy
- If you are not looking to the future and asking: Where are we going next with the company?
- If you are not analyzing sales reports, profit & loss statements and other reports
- If you are not asking yourself questions, such as:
– How do I get the very best performance from every employee?
– How do I better train my employees on an on-going basis?
– How do I have everyone in the company understand and be on board with what we are trying to accomplish every business day?
Then you are doing more “stuff” every business day rather than leading your company. You are not putting yourself in a position to absolutely become MORE successful and profitable. You are not making your company sustainable for long term growth.
As a CEO, president or business owner, think about what you do every business day.
- Is what you’re doing anything that can be delegated?
- Do you have an assistant or other management personnel you can count on?
- Can you teach other staff members what needs to be done to lessen your daily load of responsibilities?
If you don’t or can’t, then you probably don’t have the right people working for you.
- Can you free up some time every business day so you’re able to be the leader of your company?
- Walk around and just talk to people about what they are doing on that particular day.
- Ask people if they have any questions you can answer.
- Go out and make a sales call with the sales team.
- Place a phone call to a customer just to say “hello” and ask if there is anything else you can do for them.
- Thank an employee for a recent job well done.
- Pop into a meeting not on your daily schedule.
- Spend a few minutes working next to employees. Getting an opportunity to see the work from their vantage point.
- Decide “today is the day” you tackle an issue or a business problem you’ve been avoiding. No sense in putting it off any longer.
These things are not necessarily easy to do when you are running a non-stop marathon every business day.
You need to establish how you are going to empower your employees to do things they’ve perhaps never done before. Have them help you in ways perhaps they never thought possible. Encourage them. Inspire them. That’s how innovation happens in companies. That’s what acts as an incentive for people to love their jobs and the companies they work for. Employees feel like they are part of the business – and that’s because they are. In their respective job positions, they now aren’t just doing “stuff”. They are motivated to help the business and you be more successful; which also makes them feel more successful as individuals. They feel their skills and input are of value.
The interesting thing about employees is that, in general, they don’t seem to fully understand where their paycheck comes from; where the money comes from to pay them. Another example is the lack of understanding as to why or why not a pay raise is given each year. An employee may say during an annual job review: I want a raise – which an individual may be entitled to based on many factors. But what are they doing to create more value, more profits for the company which in turn will provide the funds for the monetary raise being sought?
- What are you doing as a leader to create more value, more understanding, more business, more profit and less stress every business day?
It takes a team of people, working alongside you, that realize they do more than just “stuff” every business day to have the company succeed and prosper. Every position is important. Every employee must realize the importance of their role within the company. But it begins with you as CEO, president or owner not filling up every business day by just doing “stuff”. The most valuable thing you can do is find time every day just to think about your business and let the ideas flow. The key is to be in action and make those ideas happen!
As an advisor to CEOs, presidents and business owners, I am asking you to sit down and think about exactly what your day is like.
- What can be delegated?
- How better to train employees so there are not so many “fires to put out” every business day?
- How can everyone in the company better understand how to make business just flow? It’s similar to a product coming along the conveyor belt – What needs done first, second, third, fourth, etc.?
- What can be done to improve the billing and collection of money process?
- How to improve and maintain a continuous cycle of profitable business and retention of employees?
Use more fully the intelligence of the people you work with every business day. Get them involved. Hire people with the skills, the ability – and the motivated attitude – to get things done. Make work interesting for yourself and everyone in the company. Set the example every business day by being a leader. Find ways to do less “stuff”. Find ways for more:
Remember: Leaders lead.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, practical advice, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
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