The vast majority of leadership literature tells us that great leaders are made, not born – meaning, for the most part, the best leaders work hard to develop their leadership skills and cultivate certain habits that support them as leaders.
How often have you received some direct mail, an email or a call suggesting, ‘Now is a great time to sell your business’? If the suggestion catches you on a bad day, you might be tempted to respond with a cry of, ‘Yes, get me out of here!’
You’ve no doubt worked very hard to build a successful business that delivers a great product or service. But do you understand your customers’ experience? For many business owners, the answer is no because other business activities have taken priority.
What would you give to win, to hit gold, to achieve your dreams? In many sports we are becoming accustomed to being on or even at the top of the podium. Even in the snow, where we are rarely at our best (witness the recent transport problem) we are winning Olympic medals.
Many times I’ve had business owners say something like, ‘If only we could go back to working from the garage, just the four of us. We were happy then!’ That’s because, while some business owners are natural communicators and leaders, many others find ‘people’ the most difficult and stressful part of running a business.
Most business owners would agree that people are one of their company’s greatest assets. But are you doing enough to protect and grow that asset? What are you doing to develop the people that will lead your business in the future?
A good relationship with your business adviser may last a long time – perhaps even as long as you’re running your business. Or it may be that you have successive business advisers as your needs change, seeking a new, fresh adviser relationship as your business evolves or when new challenges arise.
Just last week I was talking to a business owner who had been running their business for three years and had never done a business plan. And that scenario is not as uncommon as you might think; some people just don’t plan their business.