Last week we discussed the first 2 questions you should ask yourself to confront your business’s harsh reality, which you can read about HERE. This week, we’re going to ask ourselves the next two questions your should be asking.
3. Am I leading by example and delegating to the right people?
Employees follow the example of a company’s leadership. A huge part of being a good leader is knowing how to share responsibility and credit, and ensure that your managers are setting good examples for those who work with them.
All CEOs have egos. How they survive a troubled situation depends not only on their work ethic and ability to set those egos aside, but also the perception by others of these factors. If employees see you put cash straight from the register into your pocket, they will consider that acceptable. If they hear you bad mouthing clients and customers, they will consider that the company’s attitude – and follow suit.
Part of leading by example and delegating is recognizing that, at some point, all entrepreneurs need to either hire a professional manager or become a professional manager in order to reach the next level of success. Typically, entrepreneurs that don’t make this leap are those who ultimately call upon turnaround management professionals.
4. Am I constantly reacting to business issues, or am I being proactive to minimize problems?
Being a reactive business manager won’t work in the long run. You’ll be distracted and putting out fires rather than creating value. You need to be proactive about your product line, financial state, management challenges and business. If you see obsolescence of your main product line and don’t look for substitutes in order to stay profitable, then you’re not a good manager.
Consider the case of General Motors. They allowed their car lines to get stodgy and produced something the consumer didn’t want. Rather than proactively changing the way things were being done at GM, the company didn’t face the harsh reality of its situation and reacted by filing bankruptcy.
On the other hand, there’s Apple. They evolved their product line even before they saw obsolescence with existing products. They invest heavily in R&D, a very proactive approach.
Be proactive – not reactive.
Get ready for next week, when we’ll learn the final 2 Questions we should be asking ourselves in order to face the harsh realities of our business’s situation. Until then, share the kinds of questions you ask yourself about your business in the comments below.