Business success strategies are not unlike ‘climbing’ success strategies; know where you are and look beyond where you are to find ‘opportunity’ to achieve greater heights.
I received a response to my January/February blog questioning the concept of ‘looking beyond existing focuses’. The position taken implied ‘cultivating current success will lead to future ‘success’. There is some value in this thinking; focusing on strategies that led to success may lead to long life, but long life by itself cannot be a measure of success. Long life coupled with managed growth would be a better measure of success, and growth is achieved through forward thinking; looking beyond existing focuses.
Forward thinking should not be stressful, but rather a thought provoking and personally meaningful challenge; you know where your company is and you want it to successfully move past its current station. If your ‘forward thinking’ becomes stressful, maybe it is not forward thinking, but just continuing efforts to manage, to create more policy (probably ineffective policy), and to control. A mindset focused on control is not the best option for innovative and constructive decision-making. A better option is to stop managing, become a leader, and share the challenge of forward thinking with your employees. Create a genuine team environment, one that sends a message to your team that reinforces your position as a team member; you are one of them, no task is below you, and each team member has ideas that deserve consideration and evaluation. You remain the leader, a leader who will be better positioned to make innovative and constructive decisions because you shared ‘ownership’ of the forward thinking challenge; you gave yourself an opportunity to hear and evaluate ideas proposed by others, you expanded your ‘horizons’…
“A leader has a vision and knows how to inspire a team to go above and beyond. A leader uses emotional intelligence to draw the best out of each teammate and empower them.” Ashley Stahl, Forbes Magazine, January 2018.