Leading a resilient business is, as Rocky would say, not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s hard work that goes into solving the many issues that come along the way. It’s striving to be adaptable and continuing to learn and grow. It’s developing strong relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, and stakeholders. And becoming operational efficient means finding ways to reduce costs and enhance productivity, all the while increasing the level of value you deliver to your customer. By the way, you’re doing this while your competitors are nibbling away at your market position. Truth be told, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Your Desk – A No Drop Zone
Intensity in overcoming obstacles allows you to focus your energy towards finding the right solutions. When your desk seems like a drop zone for everyone else’s problems, finding time to focus on any one thing can come at a premium. Without this focus though, it’s difficult to review all three sides of any one issue and come up with a creative solution that saves the day.
Being a lifelong learner can have a significant impact on your leadership abilities. Instilling that lifelong learning ethos into your organization can have a multiplying affect. Consistency in learning allows you to move beyond the “not invented here” syndrome. It allows your entire staff to think things through differently. To be creative. To be resourceful. To be adaptable. These are great traits to have, but it’s even better when a customer says thank you for pulling them out of a mess. That extra work suddenly seemed worth it.
Another common expression is that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. That’s where emotional intelligence paired with your institutional knowledge is hard to beat. That’s where all the great ideas come from. That’s where the relationships are built with stakeholders. That’s where the trust is built with customers and employees. By consistently doing the things that are important, you’ll improve the lines of communication and enhance the level of trust and equity you have with an individual.
Striving to be the best and driving out non-value-added touches requires focus, intensity, and consistency – doing it right every day. This is one area where many struggle. The pushback is that it’s just too hard. It’s easier to cut corners. This is where you may hear, “Well, we got it out on time didn’t we,” with a little regard to the cost or the customer experience. This is an area that often separates the leaders from the rest of the pack.
People don’t work with companies. They work with the people at the companies. By consistently exceeding expectations and providing that “wow-factor,” you make it easy for customers to say yes. Being consistent in how you make decisions and treat people makes it easier for your staff to say I will. Find ways to weave intensity and consistency into your business – in fact, you probably already are. Identify those areas where this is significant and find ways to repeat the process throughout your organization. Your repeatability quotient can serve as a catalyst in helping your business stay resilient in the marketplace.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Printing Impressions.