FOR LEADERS AND ASPIRING LEADERS
The art of communication is the language of leadership.
Leaders need to know their personal and team’s strengths and weaknesses and use the information productively to hire people with skill sets that will buttress the capabilities they lack. No leader has all the required skills. The ultimate test is that a leader should be willing to ask him/her every quarter, "Am I still the best person to run this company?"
TACKLE BAD NEWS HEAD-ON
Many leaders don’t like to hear bad news. They hide it, they ignore it and they don’t want to share it with their board or investors. Some even tell employees "don’t tell me, just fix it." leaders must not worry about creating a perception of weakness or believe that they must fix problems on their alone. They need to assess quickly, involve the necessary people and resources, and perform triage immediately.
CULTIVATE A "VALUE EDGE"
Small and mid-sized business leaders need to keep in mind why customers would buy their product or service as opposed to their competitor’s. They have to understand how and why their company delivers demonstrably better value to their customers than their competition. Great leaders are road warriors, visiting customers and constantly testing their buyers to uncover why they win, why they lose and how they can improve.
MAKE ALIGNMENT A PRIORITY
To be effective, leaders must align their teams to the same business objectives and goals. Likewise, when they are considering, they need to be sure they are on the same page. Expectations and risk tolerance will change in some scenarios, but if there is a core alignment of values and clear communication about how the relationship will be structured (timelines, information sharing, plans for a liquidity event) everyone will be happier in the long run.
GET A SALES LEAD, WHO IS NOT YOU!
In most companies the lead sales person and the best sales persons is the CEO. Great companies require an exceptional, dedicated head of sales. As naturally as this comes to most CEOs, they must accept that they can’t effectively build their company if they are playing the roles of CEO and Chief Sales Officer.