Signals of the best time to visit or revisit your company’s strategy.
I have had a hosting provider for a number of years (Aplus.net, now a Deluxe Company) who had been highly recommended as one of the best website hosting providers according to C|Net.com. While the service initially was fine, over time the company was purchased and repurchased, servers were upgraded and I, of course, upgraded my website several times. After several years, I began to notice changes – the website wasn’t as stable as it once had been, emails were not being handled correctly and technical support was slower and less capable. Remarkably, their 99% uptime guarantee is gone from their website as well. I began to have one of those “bad mojo” feelings about this relationship. Incidentally, if you are reading this post on the home page of the company website, instead of the site, it has everything to do with the site not being properly set up.
As I write this, I am sitting at the funeral of the man who greatly sparked my entrepreneurial spirit and attitude. I didn’t realize quite how deep an impact he’d made on my life until I was sitting here. You see, Larry had been an entrepreneur all his life…his legacy has rubbed off on me from the time I met him 25 years ago. Strangely, I hadn’t seen him in 20 years. Like a tornado, while he impacted my life only briefly, the experience is memorable for a lifetime.
Imagine if you purchased a brand new car. A car, by itself, is a significant investment. This car, however, is the one that you’ve always wanted. Therefore, it means so much more to you. You might consider it your ‘baby,’ and if you are anything like my brother-in-law, you will name it, wash it almost daily, wipe down the dashboard and upholstery at any sign of dust and keep anyone under the age of 12 out of it unless they are directly related. But they must be clean and come wrapped in plastic.
Now that you’ve gotten your car – would you refuse to invest any more into it? Would you refuse to put gas in it because, well, we all know that after a while, the gas will run out? Would you refuse to do oil changes. I mean, heck! It’s just going to need another one in 3,000 – 5,000 miles, right?
What is leadership? What makes a good leader? What makes people want to get on board and own a cause or take some stance, against all odds? Here are eleven characteristics we have seen in great leadership.
Looking at the various social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., we cannot help but see dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of quotes made by people that have been worthy of archiving and regurgitating over and over, again. While many, if not most of the quotes have some immediate, perhaps motivational value, all of the quotes are part of the legacy these people left – an extraordinary legacy that is worth following.
In conversation with a gentle lady a while back, around the topic of running and growing a sustainable business, the woman asked me how she could get beyond living from check to check and make some real, sustainable money in her business. My response was that in all likelihood, she could not. Not that she didn’t have a great service, great report with her customers and vendors or have good business practices on a whole. The problem was that she could not see the business as being bigger than herself. She could not relinquish controls so she could focus on the things only she could do in the business.
One of the world’s largest telecom agencies has the habit of boasting about how big they are, how fast they are and that sort of thing. They tend to buy up competition and technology at what seems to be an alarming rate and have been given leeway to dominate the marketplace. Interestingly, despite its boasts, it still has one of the highest consumer dissatisfaction rates in the world. You have to ask yourself: how successful could the company be if they put more effort into lowering the customer service?
http://www.ea.com/) that used to use the tagline “Challenge Everything.” As one who, at times, must question the natural order of things, this tag immediately appealed to me. Many of my clients often hear the question of, “Why?” when they propose ideas. The goal isn’t to belittle the idea or thought, but rather, to make sure that the idea is completely thought out.
As business leaders, we nee to understand and question everything around our businesses. As someone said to me, once, “You need to inspect what you expect.” Even if we feel like we understand certain things, or that certain things appear to be part of the natural order, understanding “why” something is done will often serve to ensure that the product or service or idea does have merits and has been completely thought out.
When these things happen, we typically only have two options: get stuck or move on.
Chances are, if you let yourself get stuck, you are creating or continuing a mindset that will never allow you to move beyond mediocrity. You’ll get sad and depressed, probably start blaming yourself and/or other people and generally make the people around you miserable.
Aim low and you’ll never be disappointed. It was interesting – I was listening to a parenting professional on the radio this morning, who was saying something to the effect of not putting so much emphasis on re-enforcing the standards that our parents place on us, and going with whatever feels good. While it may not have been her intention, I what I took from this was that, as parents, we shouldn’t push our children to be the best that they can be, we shouldn’t teach them our standards, that have probably been passed down several generations and the children will turn out to be just fine – balanced, happy, hard-working citizens that stand for truth, justice and the American way.