THIS year of the Tiger is a time for leaders to act with courage and decisiveness to grow their businesses.
Tigers are strategic. Their home is their stronghold. When they take action, they survey the immediate environment, seeking and listening. They understand their targets and chase their prize with focus, speed, agility, responsiveness, determination, and personal power.
Like a tiger, you too will need strategy, decisiveness, clarity, effective leadership and a mindset fixed on victory.
Strategic leadership speaker Roger Konopasek says businesses face two key challenges: external convergence and internal resistance.
Convergence is the coming together of technologies, ecologies and sociologies into smaller, cheaper units at a more accelerated pace while addressing increasingly customised needs. Reduced former barriers to entry now allow micro businesses to compete with much larger businesses using online, outsourced economies of scale.
To remain relevant and competitive, leaders must give staff space to innovate by facilitating a spirit of micro-preneurialism within their organisation, and align middle to senior management with such direction.
Managers who are less tech-savvy and nimble than their new recruits can unconsciously resist the pace of such change and innovation. Leaders need to embrace the speed at which new-generation employees are moving or they may become frustrated and resign. Rather than wait to collaborate, these young innovators will take their creativity and enthusiasm to the competition.
Find diamonds within
One of the world’s top-ranked speakers, Mr Simon T. Bailey from the United States, explains that unleashing the brilliance within the organisation is imperative to retain talent, uncover innovations, and develop products, services and new channels through which to grow your business and the loyalty of your people.
The art of consulting involves asking frontline workers for their solutions, then presenting a refined version of the answers to management. The diamond mine of solutions is right before you. Connect with your people. Seek. Listen.
The key: leadership development. But how do you help your leaders to embrace such transformation? United Kingdom-based senior leadership and board-level coach Richard Winfield suggests a powerful action to implement.
Address the process of your meetings with questions rather than providing solutions, and watch your relationships and communications improve measurably. Enhancing effective communication, by asking better questions, helps clarify goals, identifies solutions, and develops a culture of communication and empowerment that is more open and inclusive, enabling more purposeful work to get completed faster.
Productivity speaker Tim Wade says: “The possibility for success is always there. To realise it, leaders must be open, aware, then seek and act. Understand the process bottlenecks and redundancies, the psychological barriers to instruction and communication, the big picture and the impact of self.
“Cultivate a mindset of victory in your team so your direction is received with the excitement of a positive solution, rather than with the resistance of expected failure. Recognise the opportunity for positive change, be open to seek knowledge, and take guided, intelligent action.”
Mr Wade suggests that operational managers who blame a lack of resources during productivity challenges are absolving themselves internally with purely external solutions. But such solutions are expensive. Seek profitable productivity solutions that positively impact the bottom-line.
Cultivating a victor mindset is learnable. Once you are aware that you are often both the problem and the solution, you can eliminate blame and increase personal accountability.
Focus on growth
So focus on local, internal and leadership growth now, and your global, external and operational expansion will occur by a demand that pulls, rather than by you pushing supply. Don’t spread yourself too thin to the point that you’re invisible and irrelevant.
As a practising chartered public accountant (CPA), I help business leaders focus on growth.
Like a forensic CSI investigator, through numbers I see the areas for improvement, the possibilities, the areas to reduce and the areas to grow, because when it all comes down to it, your effectiveness shows in the numbers, and these are the results of a sequence of actions.
Business owners, take action. First invest in developing your leaders. They are your keys to ongoing success. Unlock their potential and reap the rewards. Seek leadership development. Grow, from the inside out, and you will make your Tiger year a roaring success.