Five Things Great Leaders Do (That Others Don’t)
For most people, researching and analyzing a market is a lot like going to the dentist. Despite market competition racing at incredibly faster rates that started with content rich driven marketing, our analysis of the marketplace reveals a sorry state of affairs: fewer than 20 percent of medium size or larger corporation employees can state the value proposition and strategy currently in place and the majority of senior executives spend as little as 10 percent of their month on strategy. The good news is that there are companies out there bucking the trend, and there are observations we can make about how they are doing it.
Senior leaders are intense until “The Big” solution is found. Leaders’ outlook and beliefs have more impact than all of the lower management’s voice combined. One spirited speech with follow-through actions from a CEO can cause more change in a company than 500 hours of sales training. It’s because doing something with authority always trumps talking about it. When employees see their leader doing something they want to follow along and copy the behavior.
Identify your strong middle-tier leaders and invest heavily in them. The future of a company is often found in the lower ranks. Time and again companies select ‘the next in line’ thinking this is fair. It probably is, but it’s also quite likely not the best choice to be made. Once you know who are the ‘next leaders’ hold onto them like bars of gold and don’t let them get away.
Never use a dip in your sales to make HR decisions. This is a practice we see over and over and frankly it’s ridiculous to lay off key staff members because the market decided to not purchase your products or services. Okay, there are companies who are bloated and need to lighten the load. The U.S. auto industry comes to mind. But for the most part since 2009 most companies have already leaned up their companies so using pink slips to shore up sales is not a strategy for the short or long term. The truth is the problems in the trenches are usually because of bad planning at the top.
Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.