We’ve all heard the old adage, “Love makes the world go round.” But, how many would argue these words apply to business as well as life? Well, it’s true! It’s time to inject more LOVE into your business. Fortunately, this is the time for New Year’s resolutions, that time when we charge like the Light Brigade to become that paragon of performance that fate, trivia and sloth have perhaps thwarted in the past.
So, let’s discuss a few LOVE resolutions to conquer business challenges we may encounter in the tumultuous year that 2014 portends.
LEADERSHIP: Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric and universally acknowledged as one of the America’s truly successful business executives, had a credo, “LEAD, don’t manage.” If it’s your company, your sales force, your department… your people depend on you to lead. Of course, we need good managers. But, leadership is that special charisma absolutely vital to the success of any organization, including your corporate team. A great quarterback is a great leader and field general, not a manager. Resolve to exert better leadership in 2014.
OPPORTUNISM: Your comfort zone is your enemy. Get rid of it. Jack Welsh succeeded by another credo, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” Each day, each sales call, each customer service contact, everyone on your team should be alert to opportunities to provide new services, new products, new contacts, whatever will improve your competitive advantage. Remember, there are no silver medals in sales. Resolve to make your team more opportunistic in 2014.
VISION: Superstar Wayne Gretzky observed, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” IBM’s most common reason for business failures, “Companies were unable to simultaneously manage their business of today and build their business of tomorrow!” Jack Welsh put it another way, “Change BEFORE you have to.” That means running your company with an eye to the future, not letting it run you. Resolve to take more quality time in 2014 to craft a viable vision for your company’s future.
EFFORT: Winston Churchill, England’s great prime minister and war leader, who defeated Hitler’s attempt to invade England, when asked his advice to the next generation, simply replied, “Never give up… Never give up… NEVER GIVE UP!” Woody Allen remarked that 90% of life is “showing up.” The opinions of all we contact are favorably impressed when we project effort. A great attitude combined with great effort virtually guarantees success. Resolve in 2014 to heed the words of Nobel laureate William Faulkner, “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
Finally, take to heart the words of the late great Cincinnati Reds outfielder, Roberto Clemente, who died on a relief mission to the poor in the Caribbean, “Anytime you have an opportunity to make a difference in the world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on earth.”
This year, put a little LOVE in your business… and in your life.
Happy New Year!