How to Become a Successful Business Leader

What Do Leaders of Successful Businesses Do? Leadership can make or break a company. This is why

public companies pay several million dollars for a new chief executive officer:

1. Have a positive attitude.
Believe that your business is the best business in the world. Self-confidence

leads to decisiveness and in particular, the ability to back your own judgment and to take risks. Be determined.

Be persistent. Be resilient. Overcome setbacks. Do not dwell on past mistakes and learn from your errors.

2. Love what you do. Enjoy your work and the challenge it provides. Work should be fun, not merely some

thing to be tolerated. Enthusiasm generates a hard work ethic and a passion which becomes part of the culture

of your business.

3. Seek wealth creation. Aim to maximize your sales by increasing your prices, selling more to your existing

customers or obtaining more customers either in your local area, in another state or in another country. Control

your costs. Eliminate waste. Sell unproductive assets and discontinue unprofitable products. Know your business.

Measure your marketing. Strategic partnerships with suppliers and customers can give your business greater

flexibility and enable you to better manage your costs and maintain or increase your margins. Maintain your

competitive advantage. Study your competitors’ assets, capabilities, marketing, costs and culture.

4. Delegate. It is impossible to do everything yourself. It is also unwise as it is more productive to get those

with the appropriate skills to do appropriate tasks. The ability to get people with different skills to work as a team

is a starting point for all successful businesses. Recruit high quality staff with complementary skills and organize

these people in the most efficient way. Motivate your staff and encourage them to think independently. Non-

performing staff which don’t fit the culture of your business need to be replaced quickly because they can affect

relationships with your customers and other staff members and ultimately the profitability of your business.

5. Seek financial, marketing and legal advice. Have a vision and clear goals. These goals should include

future income and the achievement of various tasks. A strategy to grow the business and a detailed business

plan consisting of marketing and financial plans are important. Manage your growth at a rate that enables your

cash flow to remain positive.

6. Concentrate on doing what you do best. Specialize. Focus on single industries rather than diversifying.

Maintain your core business. Outsource non-core activities and functions. Dominate a niche market rather than

attempt to serve a large number of markets.

7. Have systems in place. You need the business to run efficiently even if you are away from the office for

12 months. The best example of a company with efficient systems is McDonalds. Teenagers can run their

outlets profitably and efficiently because appropriate systems are in place.

8. Work smart. Success does not mean working 100 hours a week. Today, it is more likely to mean working

35 hours a week and spending time with our family and pursuing your leisure interests. Working smart is much

more important than working hard. Spend time working ‘on’ your business and not ‘in’ your business. Seek

continual improvement. This may mean more efficient procedures, better systems, better marketing or better

cash flow.

9. Have a good support base. Hire staff you can rely on for advice. However, use discretion when listening

to advice from others. Encourage training. Foster an attitude of continuous learning both for yourself and your

staff. Have a mentor. Be a mentor to your senior staff. Read and attend seminars. Notice what others are doing.

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