Achieving Success in Your Business

Fortune magazine once published an article entitled “The Best Advice I Ever Got”. It offered wit and wisdom about achieving success in your business. It made me research into the best leadership advice that successful people have received. This advice helped them become effective and successful leaders. Some of them are CEOs, coaches, consultants, presidents, politicians, religious leaders etc.

Here are the secrets to leadership success:

1. Leadership is about making things happen

If you want to make something happen, just do it. Perceived obstacles and problems will disappear with your persistent pushing to achieving your goals. Author, Leadership Communication Consultant and Founder of Baldoni Consulting LLC, John Baldoni, shared advice given to him from his father, a physician. He taught him the value of persistence. His mother taught him the value of compassion for others at the same time. Therefore, persistence for your goals should not be achieved at the expense of others.

2. Listen and understand the issue, then lead

We have all been told, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason”. Or as Stephen Covey said, “Seek to understand, rather than be  understood.” As a leader you should listen to what the issue is first before trying to coach has been the most valuable advice given to Cordia Harrington, President and CEO of Tennessee Bun Company.

3. Answer the three questions everyone within your organisation wants answers to

Where are we going? How are we going to get there? What is my role? President and Chief Executive Officer of Affinity Health Systems, Inc. Kevin Nolan believes the more clarity you can give to answer there questions, the better the result will be, and the greater chance of achieving success in your business.

4. Master the goals that will allow you to work anywhere in today’s dynamic business world.

President, CEO and Founder of Global Dialogue Center and Leadership Solutions Companies and author of “Action Dialogues and Breakthrough”, Debbie Kennedy said the following piece of advice was key in finding her path to her future and achievements.

After becoming a manager at IBM, she was promoted to her first staff assignment in regional marketing officer, one of her colleagues call her into his office to give her unsolicited advice. This advice has stayed fresh in her mind. He told her that jobs, mission, titles and organisations would come and go and the business dynamic is always changing. So, her told her not to focus her goals towards any of them. Instead she told her to learn to master the skills that would allow her to work anywhere. These skills were:

The ability to develop an idea

Effectively plan for its implementation

Execute second-to-none

Achieve superior results time after time

5. Be Curious to achieve success in your business.

“Curiosity is a prerequisite to continuous improvement and even excellence.” This advice was give to Mary Jean Thornton, Former Executive Vice President & CIO, The Travelers. The person who gave this advice inspired her to be intellectually curious and reminded her that making progress, in part, was based upon thinking. She applied this to her business by understanding the present. As a result, she challenged herself to creatively move the organisation closer to its vision.

6. Listen to both sides of the argument

Brian P. Lees (Massachusetts State Senator and Senate Minority Leader) said the best advice he has ever received came from his mentor, United States Senator Edward W, Brooke III. He told him to listen to different kinds of people and ideas. Limiting your knowledge to people who share your own background and opinion can be important. However it is important to respect your neighbours’ rights to their own views and listen to the. Therefore, this is essential to be a good leader in business. Also to be a valuable member within your community.

7. Prepare, prepare, prepare

If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. If one has truly prepared and something goes wrong, the rest of what you have prepared for usually makes this something easier to handle without panicking. Dave Hixson (Men’s Varsity Basketball Coach at Amherst College) said the best piece of advice he has ever received is this anonymous quote, “Preparation is the science of wining.”

This emphasises the importance of preparation towards achieving success in your business, and your goals.

Great advice comes from many people. Furthermore, the most important thing to remember is to stay open, listen to everyone. Also develop your own leadership style.

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