If you stay ready...

Stay-Ready What decisions are you making to help your business stay ready?

...you never have to get ready

In a recent discussion with other buiness owners, the topic of luck came up as a point of conversation and the impact it has on business success. One of the owners related the title quote of this article her grandmother shared with her to help navigate the ups and downs of owning one’s own business. While variations of the quote are attributed to an actor, an athlete and a rapper, this version immediately resonated as great leadership knowledge in today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment.

In Michael E. Gerber’s 2004 book, The E-Myth Revisited, he highlights the concept of working on the business versus working in the business. This is a great place to begin the discussion regardless of the type of business a leader leads. Whether a for-profit or non-profit, public or private, corporate or small business, the degree to which leaders work on their business is the degree to which the business will stay ready. In our leadership and business coaching practice working with leaders from all business segments mentioned previously, we’ve identified several keys to successfully staying ready by proactively working on the business.

Know the Industry: It is easy for leaders who are not consciously focused on working on the business to get pulled into the day-to-day issues every business deals with. This inward focus takes the leader away from the looking outward to understand the industry and market trends affecting their business. It is not a luxury to know these trends, it is an absolute requirement. Ignoring this fact literally puts the sustainability of the business in jeopardy by not being ready and being slow to react to market and industry shifts!

Be a Problem Finder: One of the most common attributes leaders identify with is that of being problem-solvers. They see problems and issues and resolve/solve them for the good of the business. While we clearly understand the positive aspect of being a problem-solver, we also know that getting caught up in the reactive activities of problem-solving can detract the leader from proactive problem-finding. Knowing the market and industry trends means looking for the potential issues and challenges that might affect the business either now or in the future. When leaders embrace a problem-finding attitude, they are more likely to stay ready for what comes next!

Think Critically: Critical thinking is an essential leadership skill in a VUCA business environment. The ability to question and challenge existing conventional norms and the status quo ahead of the reactionary curve of change helps leaders make critical business decisions. Last year, we covered the eight essential critical thinking skills here and here. These skills run the gamut from analyzing the market and industry trends to actually making the decisions necessary to maintain a sustainably relevant business. The decisions necessary to stay ready for what comes next!

Thinking and acting reactively means the business is, at best, in the middle of the competitive pack. The leader’s ability to keep their businesses relevant and ready depends on both their proactive attitude towards thinking critically as well as their actions to make the timely decisions to stay ready and in front of their competition!

What decisions are you making to help your business stay ready? If you are not sure, we can help!

Lead Well!

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Sunday, 21 April 2024