09 January 2017

Out with the old habits, in with the new opportunities for improvement

Are you the type of person who comes up with New Year’s resolutions every year and then ends up not doing them?

You’re not alone. It’s quite daunting to make sudden changes to the way you do things, especially when you’ve grown accustomed to tradition. This is much more complex in the business realm. Paradigm shifts can make or break the fate of a company, that’s why it’s important to make sure that your decisions as a leader are well thought of before any changes are made.

I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners, and though they won’t admit it, I know that making changes scares them. They’d rather stick with something that has worked for them for a long time, even though they know there’s always a better alternative.

Constantly disappointing yourself year after year? This 2017, there are a lot of things you can improve on as a leader, and these are the ones that cannot be measured by numbers.

Know where to focus on, and don’t lose it

Focus is necessary in establishing a clear course towards a successful business. Most leaders fall into the trap of dwelling too much on small, temporary successes. It’s called Shiny Object Syndrome. Never allow your insecurities to become distractions. Whenever you feel like your business is getting sidetracked, always take one step away and focus on what’s really important: your personal “why”.

Talk less and listen more

As with most intricate things in life, balance is the key. What I’ve noticed with most leaders is that when they want to make sure their point is understood, they share everything that inside their brain and then ask everyone else for input.

This year, make your people be truly part of the team. Ask them to contribute ideas right from the very beginning. Be patient and give them time to formulate. Making them feel valuable not only improves team dynamics but also enhances your leadership. Remember, it’s hard to listen while talking.

Know your customers better

Although it may sound like a timeless resolution among businessmen, try to bring back that commitment to understanding your customers as genuinely as you can so you can offer a better product or service. Your goal should be to make sure that everything that your company is about is geared toward that end.

Be the guide your employees need

We always hear people say that to be a leader you must be a role model. Actually, it takes a lot more than that. You don’t simply act according in front of your employees to inspire them. Sometimes you need to be their mentor for them to grow as individuals and eventually as a team. Putting a thick barrier between you and your employees would only make it hard for you to see them eye to eye when it comes to achieving goals and aligning strategies. Be their guide in being the best they can be, and everything else will follow.

Remember why you started the business

Whether you’re in a rough patch or relishing in considerable growth, the new year is the best time to remember why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. It keeps you grounded and makes all your objectives clearer. Think of your personal and business “why”, and start from there. Evaluate the past year. Have you been faithful to your goals, or did you get lost along the way?

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