“The Power of Leadership”
As I write this week’s Thoughts, I am in the U.S. Having spent most of this year in China, I find I have to adjust mentally to what I hear about the financial situation in the world from the U.S. news media as well as from many U.S. business types.
For many of you who have lived in Michigan, you’ve probably experienced at one time or other, driving along the highway and suddenly seeing a deer in front of you. As you slam on the brakes, the confused animal panics and charges your car.
All too often we experience executives having a similar reaction to danger. When they most need a broad view of the possible courses of action, their vision narrows. Instead of changing direction before it’s too late, they rush directly toward destruction.
By developing a habit of thinking strategically, you can learn to exploit opportunity (if not create it). Further, you’ll see that no matter how severe the situation, there is always a range of alternatives available.
Avoid perfectionism … When you compete for market share, your goal is simply to beat the competition. If your strategy is even marginally superior to those of your competitors, it’s good enough.
Challenge constraints … If you’re hamstrung by government regulations, an unmotivated workforce, or powerful competitors, for example, ask yourself how you’d solve the problem if you had the freedom to do anything you wanted. Then examine the constraints that seem to prevent you from carrying out your ideal solution. You may find that the problem is far less formidable than you’d imagined.
Avoid timidity … Even competent; well-informed managers may become obsessed with detail, which keeps them from making clear-cut judgments.
Behind this attitude is intellectual timidity, a hopeless feeling that problems are too complex to yield clear-cut solutions. This results in a defeatist attitude.
Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by details. After analysis and creative thinking, choose a basic course of action and forge ahead.
Focus on key factors for success … Be obsessive about identifying the key factors that drive the success of your business.
These factors are simpler than you may think. Though banking can be complicated, for example, the key factor for success is simple: Amass money cheaply and lend it out at a rate as high as possible.
Attitude … Your attitude can work wonders. First ask “What can we do?” instead of “What can’t we do?” Then strip away doggedly the constraints that have made the possible seem impossible.
When I moved to Asia 18 years ago, the attitude in the U.S. was “What can we do?” That is what opened the opportunity for me to join the ranks of the global players. What I heard from many Asian business people at the time was “What can’t we do?” Today, I hear many U.S. business people saying “What can’t we do?” and many Asian business people saying “What can we do?”
The path out of the financial problems faced by many in the U.S. starts with the simple words “What can we do?”
“Life’s rewards go to those who let their actions rise above their excuses.”- Author unknown
Have a great day!
Russ M. Miller, LLIF – Chairman & CEO
Performance Institute (Human Capital Development)
Global CEO Academy (Management Training)
Sunny Hong Zhang – Managing Partner – China
Shawn M. Miller – Managing Partner – USA
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