Every great leader is different, but most share certain innate qualities. These qualities, as well as adhering to a few concrete principles, elevate their leadership to the highest level, and ensure they leave a lasting, positive effect on the people around them.
“Great leadership doesn’t happen overnight,” says Brian Moran, contributor to Open Forum. “Great leadership is built brick by brick over many years with each decision and every mistake you make.” This experience (and the wisdom that comes with it) serves as the “rock solid foundation” of great leadership.
That foundation itself is built on four corners—four words that both “describe the type of leader you are today”, as well as the leader you hope to become tomorrow. Below are the cornerstones Moran chose for himself.
How much of your average day feels like wasted time? The principles of lean management offer valuable lessons to help ensure your time is spent on what’s most important to you.
Jamie Flinchbaugh, co-founder of the Lean Learning Center and a contributor to Industry Week, offers some tips on how to get rid of waste in your daily life.
Customers’ preferences and buying habits are often a mystery to sales teams, and the businesses they represent. But a recent study from the Rain Group identifies ten things most customers want—a useful guide shared by Geoffrey James, contributor to Inc.
Businesses striving to meet their customers’ needs must be very good at the following actions and processes.
As a new entrepreneur, you have a great idea for a business. You work hard to build a website to support the business, but you’re careful not to rush into the launch. Some tweaks here, a little adjusting there—you want everything to be perfect before announcing it to the world.
According to Alison Johnston, a contributor to The Daily Muse and CEO/co-founder of InstaEDU, an online tutoring company, that’s not the way to go. “It’s the opposite approach—launching something imperfect, getting plenty of feedback, and going through quite a few rounds of trial and error—that will ensure that your company is set up for success.”
Sounds counterintuitive, right? So do her other nominations for “big mistakes new entrepreneurs make”—but certainly advice worth considering.
We like to think we’re charming and professional in our dealings with the people who work for us -and with us – every day. But chances are we’re all guilty of at least one or two of the most common “etiquette infractions” so often encountered in the business world.
Michael Hess, a contributor to CBSNews.com and the founder and CEO of Skooba Design, lists ten “petty annoyances” people inflict on each other that sound alarmingly familiar.
What do companies like Kodak, Sears, Sony, and Blockbuster have in common? All of these once-monolithic businesses clung to status-quo thinking rather than seeking to constantly adapt, innovate, and improve. In at least two cases, the reward for their conventional thinking was bankruptcy.
How does an organization escape the prison of conventional thinking? “The first step is to consider the way you have always done business—and stop,” says Brian Klapper, a contributor to the Harvard Business Review Blog. “Failing to do so not only prevents truly innovative thinking: it also ensures failure.”
Klapper, president and founding partner of The Klapper Institute, offers tips for “killing the status quo” in your business strategy.
It’s not unusual to find some of your closest friends among the people you work with. Consider the many hours spent together (both in and out of the office), as well as the many common interests, including of course a shared commitment to growing the business.
But things get a bit more complicated when you’re the one in charge and your good friends happen to be people who work for you.
In many small businesses and especially young startups, “Most relationships tend to get pretty close,” says Prerna Gupta, a contributor to Young Entrepreneur. The long days, the emotional roller coaster of getting a business up and running can make things cozy with employees — “possibly much cozier than normal professional relationships.” The line between friend and co-worker (or boss) tends to blur when you seem to be always grabbing lunch or having a beer after work.
But, Gupta says, “It is essential to not let that friendship get in the way of your business success.” She offers four tips for maintaining an essential professional distance.
Think about your star employees. What would it be like if your entire workforce was as good as they are?
Peak performance expert Chris McIntyre has a six-step process for recruiting, selecting, and retaining “A-level” employees. He shares the key points of this process in an excerpt from his book, The Roadmap to Freedom.
No business plan should be written in stone. Business conditions are always changing, the marketplace is always in flux—and your lean business plan should reflect these changes.
But lean “doesn’t just mean thin,” says Tim Berry, President of Palo Alto Software, Inc. Berry argues that a lean business plan, like a lean startup, can be executed more efficiently “by continuously measuring progress and feedback.” A lean business plan “requires rapid changes and fact-based decision making.”
Berry offers five guidelines toward a truly effective lean business plan:
Some of the most famous and innovative artists in history have had some unusual rituals to get their creative juices flowing.
The idiosyncratic work habits of Beethoven, Kafka, Woody Allen and others are chronicled in a new book, “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work,” written by Mason Currey, and described by Jessica Grose, a contributor to Fast Company. What’s interesting is how so many of these wildly differing individuals stuck to a routine schedule of work to produce their timeless works of art.