If you are an industry leader or have desires of being an industry leader, there are thousands of decisions you face every day.
With all of this minutia to deal with, how do you stay focused? Here are ten things to do now.
- Carve out time to think. This is not as easy as it sounds. First, you have to set aside chunks of uninterrupted quality time where you can ponder the issues that you and you organization face. The secondary part of creating time to think is making sure it is in an appropriate setting. That is not at the office. It needs to be done away from interruptions and in a neutral or even relaxing location. If you have a long driving excursion to make by yourself, that can prove to be valuable time. Otherwise you may want to make time at an appropriate place at home. You may even reserve a hotel room for a weekend just for thinking. Be sure to ask yourself lots of “what if” questions.
- Get a handle on advancing technology. That doesn’t mean you have to know everything. You need people close to you who love and devour every breakthrough. You also need to know enough to challenge them with questions like “how can this technology best help us” or “how might our competitors use this to gain an advantage?” IT people many times know the answers, but they don’t ask the proper questions.
- Involve your team. Being an industry leader means maximizing all of your assets and that includes your people. Again, the secret may be in your questions. “Where are we exceeding?” and “What would you change?” are terrific conversation starters.
- Consider how changes in payment systems can help your organization. Two particular areas to look at are the potential use of bitcoins in your business, and the impact of the iWallet. These are potentially significant changes in commerce that your company must address if it hasn’t done so already. They may have little effect, depending on your industry. Then again, you should consider the possibilities.
- Address security. This wide-ranging subject includes everything from what individual employees have access to, network policies, and social media use. There is an amazing array of security features available today including finger print reading that can control access to computers and who has access to what physical areas.
- Marketing. Where are your clients now, what media do they use and what will they be using in in the coming two or three years? Businesses used to be able to focus on five year plans. Now you need to focus on a much shorter period, based on the changes in the marketplace. What is your cost of acquiring clients and how can you be more efficient? How can an effective inbound marketing program improve your flow of prospects and customers? It is time to find out.
- Research. One valuable feature of today’s organizations is the incredible amount of information that either is currently available or is there for the asking. Loyalty cards, surveys, and social media are just of few of the many tools available at very little expense. Customers today are willing to share information for a discount and you should be asking how you can take advantage of that.
- Constantly be in search of the best people. In spite of all the tools available, great people still are the basis of any industry leading company. If you can’t handle everything personally (which you can’t), hire the most talented surrogates to act on your behalf.
- What more can you offer? Industry leaders lead because they are always adding value. Adding value can be done in a myriad of ways including sharing information, offering discounts, introducing new products or product uses, and even rewarding referrals. Offer more and you will get more.
- Relax. Trust your instincts and remember all of the great decisions you have made. You are likely where you are because you haven’t been afraid to be confronted and challenged. Welcome new ideas. Embrace changes in your industry and choose to be the first to make the most of them. Relax…you are good at what you do, and sometimes even excellent leaders need a little encouragement.
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