The opportunities to learn business-building strategies are everywhere. You read articles here in this magazine, attend workshops, listen to tele-classes and webinars, search the internet. On and on. But here are some NON–business strategies that will help you be even more successful. Remember these 10 guidelines.
1. You are separate from your business.
Very often entrepreneurs, professional practitioners and small business owners are so absorbed by their work that they are unable to differentiate between their job and themselves, between their work and their lives. Remember that your business is the means to achieving the goals in your life; it is not your life.
2. The ‘whole’ person goes to work every day.
Have you ever tried to leave your right arm at home when you go to work in the morning? It’s a ridiculous suggestion. Yet that is exactly what we expect of ourselves and those who work for us. This is not about allowing personal issues to interfere with productivity. It’s about acknowledging that your whole self shows up. We tend to work a lot harder when we feel heard and acknowledged. Instead of interfering with productivity, it will generally boost productivity.
3. You can demand dignity, but you have to earn respect.
There are basic common courtesies that everyone is entitled to. The rest you have to earn. If you think about the people that you respect, you will soon realize that you respect them because of who they are and what they do, not because of ‘what’ they are. They may come to your notice because of their role, but it is their actions that command respect.
4. Your actions speak louder than your words.
Specifically, what you reward speaks louder than words. Many business initiatives have failed because management didn’t reward the behavior it espoused. And what gets rewarded gets repeated. What doesn’t get ‘punished’ is also important in this regard.
5. You can make wise business decisions and treat people with respect at the same time.
Sometimes it is necessary to make some very difficult bottom-line decisions. What some businesses don’t understand is that HOW you implement the decision is often more important than WHAT decision you make.
6. Lead your associates; Manage your systems.
The businesses that are most successful are those that understand the difference between people and systems. Systems operate atmaximum effectiveness when they are managed tightly; people operate at maximum effectiveness when they are led and inspired.
7. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
Letting your associates, customers, vendors, backers, family know ‘What, When, Where, How and Why’. Communicating fully – even when it’s about why you changed your mind – creates trust.
8. Have a compelling vision.
Everybody, including you, needs a good reason to go to work every day. Get crystal clear about your vision and then share it with everyone. Help them understand and buy into it. This is often overlooked and considered as taking time away from the business. If you are the leader, this is your most important role. In addition to giving your associates a clear sense of purpose, it ends up saving you time as others make better choices (that is, choices in line with your direction and vision) on a daily basis.
9. Say ‘Thank You’ Often.
You are not the only one that likes to be acknowledged. The more often you say ‘thank you’ – to individuals up, down and across the organization – the more you will enhance your relationships and your reputation. The strongest leaders say ‘thank you’ often.
10. Learn, Stretch, Grow.
Become committed to life-long learning. This applies to what you do for a living (technical abilities), how you do it (innovative systems and structures), how you implement it (behavioral competencies), and stuff you just want to know (personal development, arts, whatever).
These personal strategies will go a long way if they are combined with smart business processes and plans. A good business person is usually a “good” person in life as well. The two go hand in hand.
Go back and look at #1 and #2 – initially they may seem to be contradictory. But in fact, they are complimentary. As a business coach and consultant, I have discovered almost every client has business issues that have been impacted by personal issues of some type and to some degree.
Recognizing and identifying this can indeed create the environment where success is so much easier and produces even greater rewards.
Join a group of amazing business people the 3rd Thursday of each month for a powerful lunch ‘n learn where we discuss topics like this – personal and business success strategies. You can get more information and register at www.wncwoman.com
Saralyn can be reached at Saralyn@SaralynCollins.com or 828-649-8011.