ASK ALAN: Are You the Enemy of Your Own Business’ Success?
Have you ever been so afraid that it is difficult to think straight? Your mind is going so fast that you are paralyzed by your own thoughts?
Practicing mindfulness, exercise, reading, and journaling first thing in the morning frequently helps reduce fear. While the problems will still be there, at least you’ll be able to think more clearly about solutions.
A friend had just been promoted. The promotion included taking over the responsibilities of another executive. The other executive (already a millionaire) refused to give up the responsibilities unless he got the quarterly bonus associated with those responsibilities.
My friend let the executive have the bonus. That executive never advanced further in his career while my friend continues advancing. In fact, he is now the CEO of a $2 billion market cap company.
My friend was not thinking about money, rather the opportunity. The executive was thinking only about the money. The money will follow if you do the right thing.
While success breeds success, it can also breed hubris. When hubris sets in, a leader will stop listening to people they formerly relied upon. They will avoid being challenged or confronted. Power can be intoxicating and when leaders make decisions without counsel, those decisions can frequently have negative consequences. These consequences can even cost them their job.
The best counterweight to hubris is surrounding yourself with strong, independent people you can trust. And most importantly, listen to what they have to say.
Or, poor time management. The further you progress in your career — the more important time management becomes. Successful leaders manage their time with laser-like focus.
Knowing when good is good enough
Jim Collins, wrote that “Good is the enemy of great.” However, sometimes trying to make everything great can be just as damaging. Knowing when good is good enough is an art form unto itself.
Stopping just short of the finish line
You have been working hard on a project and give up. Then, you see someone else with the same idea succeed.Do not let this happen to you. Keep fighting until you win.
Hiring a weak team
No one can do it alone and thinking that you will is crazy. Remember that the saying, A players hire A players. B players hire B players. C players hire, etc. … is true.
Hire the best people, (and vendors) you can. Because that’s how you will win.
Not learning to delegate
After you have hired a great team and you have a clear plan of attack … point them in the right direction and let them go! Delegate as much as you can to your team!
You’ll achieve two goals:
- Free yourself up, so you can play to your own strengths.
- Motivate your team by responsibly giving your team as much responsibility as possible.
Of course, there will always be mistakes. But leaders of organizations that avoid the enemies listed above, typically run the most successful businesses. Everyone associated with these become beneficiaries!
My friend and colleague, Steve Chapman of DYI Business Classes, suggested this topic.