When I think back on what has shaped my career, I always come back to the teams I’ve worked with – the groups of people who lend their skills and expertise to help transform a client’s business for the better. I truly believe that achieving business success is as much about teamwork as it is about strong leadership.
But there are so many things a leader can do to encourage teamwork with the goal of achieving business success, however you define it. As a leader, it’s up to you to set the tempo, assemble and maintain teams and remind your team of the common goal. This, however, is easier said than done. I’ve spent years helping companies streamline business processes, making their back offices more efficient, but how do you encourage the right behavior from the people you work with to drive business success?
Here are my top five rules for achieving business success:
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses: As a manager, hire people that shore up your weaknesses to allow you to play to your strengths. For example, if you are a good strategist and visionary but poor at day to day operations, hire a great COO to manage the day to day activities of the company.
- Focus on people: Like I said before, you’re effective through people, not by doing things yourself. Make sure you prioritize helping employees achieve their goals to achieve results. Work hard to ensure they have what they need to do their job.
- Don’t compromise your standards on hiring: If you’re growing and need to hire people, don’t compromise on the quality of the people you hire. Find the best and hire them and pay a bit more if you need to. A high performer usually costs only a bit more than a poor performer.
- Fire people faster: One of the biggest mistakes managers make is to take too long to fire people. A poor performer drags down everyone else and you lose respect as a manager for not making the proper decision. If you realize you need to get rid of someone, do it quickly.
- Be persistent: If you are convinced you’re right but it’s not working out as quickly as expected, keep at it. Often, a persistent manager wins while the others give up. As Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”.
Beyond these five rules, there are so many other variables that define business success. But as a leader, these are the principles I keep coming back to whenever I face challenges.