Business today is fast-moving and complicated, requiring an in-depth understanding of the conditions that drives success. Gone are the days of being able to rest on your laurels, and staying on a straight line course to continuous success.
Running a successful business today requires a high level of proficiency in a few interconnected skills. It is not enough to only master one of these skills, you must be exceptional at all of them in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Here is both a listing of those skills and an explanation of what executing those skills exceptionally entails:
Be a Leader
Saying that you need to be a leader seems obvious until you dig a little deeper into the meaning of leader. A good leader is someone who will seek the advice of those qualified voices in their business life. A leader will have an open ear to opinions that are in direct opposition and that on the surface may appear did not have much Merit. The goal in doing this is to make sure that every option and consequence is considered. But in the end, a leader must make a decision.
This is not a natural thing for most people. Most people look for consensus. They want to know that the majority agrees, so they can fall back on this fact when making an important decision. But a good leader does not look for popularity when making a decision. A good leader prides him or herself on being able to sometimes see further and better into an opportunity or challenge, and make a better decision based on vision rather than votes.
Good leaders have a strategy for how they lead, and they adhere to that strategy so others are clear about the process. They are constantly confirming direction of the business for themselves, its goals, and how they will be met, and meeting the needs of the business’ key stakeholders. Of course the most valuable stakeholders are the customers, so the leader’s primary focus will always be on how to ensure that they are satisfied.
Be a Great Operator
One critical skill that today’s successful business leaders have mastered is to operate the business exceptionally. Being a leader positions you to get the attention of key groups that make a business successful, and once you have their attention, they then must be managed well.
Operating a business well entails picking the right team for all the departments of the company, implementing operational plans that both inspire the troops and create a winning strategy for the company, and being vigilant about changes in the marketplace that will impact the way the business needs to be managed. Those who manage businesses well are light on their feet, yet have a deep understanding of how things work. They can interact with sales, marketing, product and service development, and financial departments, positioning each department to support every other and to consistently overachieve.
Make Things Happen
Being a great leader and operator are core attributes that those who seek to successfully run a business must master. However the greatest skill is an ability to consistently make things happen. In most industries, competition is more aggressive than at any other time in history. Those who run a business today must constantly find ways to gain an edge over this competition and close deals.
Execution today takes coordination of resources and creating a clearly defined set of milestones that get to an achievable goal. There must also be laser focus and patience in taking on only the business that can be handled effectively.
The combination of these things create a strong and capable leader who can effectively lead a company to success.