Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three Keys to Success in Business

This morning I had a wonderful yoga class and breakfast meeting with a good friend of mine who owns several businesses. He is a self-made success story if there ever was one and we were discussing what it takes to be successful in business – and we were lamenting why more of our employees don’t “get it”. We made the following observations about success and I believe they are spot on for differentiating winners from ordinary companies and ordinary employees.

Execution: Winning companies and people perform. They make a plan and they follow through on what they have committed to do. I have always believed that success in business is 20% strategy and 80% execution. Business is dynamic: ‘strategy’ only sets a path forward given today’s known factors and assumptions about tomorrow – but ‘execution’ adapts to and accounts for the dynamic, constantly evolving, real-time environment in which we all operate every day. Execution is performance in spite of any obstacle.

Accountability: Winning companies and people do not make excuses. Excuses are the death of a company and the human spirit. Think about it: when do you make excuses? Only when you’ve given up! Or when you believe you have exhausted all options and there is nothing else you can do to succeed. What happens then? You start to explain why you couldn’t get the job done: you make excuses…Successful people don’t quit. Conrad Hilton said “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit”. Keep moving and keep thinking!

Problem-Solving: Winning people and companies are always thinking and innovating. They are always trying to find a better solution, a cheaper solution, a faster solution. And they never quit because they have a fundamental problem-solving attitude and approach to life. I call this “engagement”. Do you come to work – to life – engaged, trying to solve problems, to find a better way? Or do you come just to do what you are told and to sleepwalk through the day?

Want to be a better business person, employee, or human? Develop these three traits and you can’t help but be successful.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Have The Courage To Be Great

Some of my favorite quotes on pursuing greatness:

Think. Think about the values and principles that are important to you.
Believe. Believe in yourself based on the thinking you have done.
Dream. Dream about what you want to become, based on your belief in yourself.
Dare. Dare to make your dream a reality.
~Walt Disney~

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox ~

I learned this, at least, in my experiment: That if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
~Henry David Thoreau~

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
~Robert Schuller~

Wherever you go employ all your heart.
~The Shu King~

The secret to life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to . . . and the most important thing is -- it must be something you cannot possibly do!
~Henry Moore~

By believing passionately in something that does not exist we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
~Nikos Kazantzakis~

Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
~Lewis Carol, Chronicles of Narnia~

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Never, Ever Quit

"In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield."
~Warren Buffet~

Leadership requires incredible resilience to the comments of all of those around you who do not have to make the decisions that you have to make under pressure and with incomplete information. Never doubt yourself, and always learn from your mistakes; because you will make many of them. The question is how well you recover from your mistakes. Never get down on yourself and never give up.

"It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. "
~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

"There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder
or control the firm resolve of a determined soul."
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox ~