There is something about the “middle ground” that makes one feel very safe. That is why you will always find it very crowded. Real value and success, as marketing consultant Jim Connolly puts it, comes from “pushing yourself and what you do right to the edges”.
This concept was also espoused by strategy thinkers Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad in the early 1990s when they announced their theories on core competencies. While they concentrated almost entirely on large businesses, a lot of what they put forth was equally attributable to small and medium businesses (SMB). Perhaps more so!!
In this day and age pushing to the edges or getting competitive in the marketplace gains a lot more significance. Especially for SMB who operate in an increasingly disruptive and inconstant environment. It is an environment where experiences are quickly devalued and long-serving and familiar landmarks no longer serve as guideposts. The fast changing pace of technology that impacts business also results in disorder in SMBs’ that eat into its their vitality and impacts organizational effectiveness.
That is where, as small business owner, your leadership quotient becomes a game changer. It enables you to create a sense of purpose and mutual commitment that will inspire ordinary individuals in your organization achieve feats of collective heroism. It will then, as Connolly states, help your organization push the boundaries – in all areas of your business.
- Push your service to the edges so that it’s of unique value to people
- Push your quality to the edges so that your brand becomes a byword for excellence
- Push your communication to the edges so that people are motivated when you speak
- Push your creativity to the edges so that you can find the answers and ideas when you need them
- Push your courage to the edges so that you do what is right rather than what is safe
- Push your visibility to the edges so that people can find you easily
It is easy to step up your leadership quotient. It is clearly not something that cannot be worked upon. In a world full of advice there are many words of wisdom out there for you. But as a start-up small business person these resonated with me and I have taken the liberty of curating them for you.
- Focus: we live in world where we are increasingly distracted by the many alerts on the various devices we use and this trend is not going to die down any time soon. So it becomes imperative that you focus or drown out the noise. If you can’t focus you cannot get things done. And, if you can’t get things done somebody else will.
- Critical thinking: don’t accept anything as gospel truth. Question assumptions, status quo and go beyond the obvious. For this is fundamental to decision making which, in turn, is key to being successful.
- Be buoyant: as with everything else in life your business too will have its highs and lows. How you weather those, especially the lows, will have a big role to play in your overall success. Your ability to “bounce back” when you cash flow is tight, sales targets are not being met or an order is botched will make you a strong leader to get you to where you want to go.
- Nurture: the importance of a great team to assist you in your goals can never be understated. Invest and nurture in building your team. Provide an open environment, opportunities for learning and development and, most importantly, be genuine and self-aware. As executive coach Steve Tobak states “if you have that unique ability to listen and really hear what people are saying, to empathize, to really relate and truly connect with folks, then chances are you’ll be writing tomorrow’s success stories.”
- Be passionate: as is often said, passion is what drives the world. Very often the demands of running your business does have the uncanny knack of sapping your passion and can push you into a downward sucking vortex. It then becomes a daily grind. You have to find ways to reclaim that passion, find new ways of doing old things. Remember, passion is very contagious and as a leader if you have display it in spades, its ripple effect will run through your entire organization.
- Get things done: in the environment in which we operate, the challenge to get things done has never been greater and the need for leaders with that capability never been more imperative. You have to extol this virtue in everyone by putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping till the job is done.
Now, none of these are difficult to implement. And, in the area of pushing your visibility, we are always here to help you in any manner. We have a wide range of products to help you promote yourself and increase your visibility.
Change is never easy and tweaking the way you run your business to incorporate the above factors will go a long way in increasing the leadership quotient. Not only yours but also that of your business. What do you think?