Archive for October 4, 2010

Secret to Building a Stronger Business

Just the title got our attention. BNET posted an article with this title that made us want to pass along the key ideas.

Ultimately success and effectiveness comes down to people, and more specifically: you. As chief executive, you impact every aspect of your business.  Even when you delegate, your personality and decisions influence everything. It stands to reason that leaders who are psychologically in tune — meaning resilient, agile, and aware — are not only more effective, they also bring an unmatchable competitive advantage to their businesses.

How can you make that happen?

Many leaders — even those who run businesses with people-centric cultures — tend to prefer a straight-ahead, hit-the-ground-running, just-make-it-go approach to managing people. The alternative is an inside-out — rather than outside-in — view of managing people. When an employee makes a mistake or a bad decision, your first question should be “Why did he do that?” not “What can we do about it?” If you want to motivate someone, you better understand first what motivates her.

What to Do:

Strengthening your business by investing in “psychological capital,” doesn’t happen overnight. But here are two key pointers to get you started:

1.    Understand that we all naturally assert the tendency to try to keep things the same, notwithstanding good intentions and recognized imperatives to make things different.

First step: Identify the issue — say, become a better listener, feel more confident at board meetings, get your SVP to micro-manage less, understand why morale is low.

Next: Start thinking about what the issue is made of, not how to change it.  Talk about your ideas with a spouse or trusted colleague, confidante, or consultant.

Remember, dismantling and reconfiguring entrenched systems requires time, thoughtful attention, and heavy lifting.

2.    Change isn’t about finding easily opened doors. Whatever your desired outcome, what’s most crucial to getting there is identifying and unraveling the tangle of ingredients, understanding how and why they got there, and then putting something new in motion.