Thursday, October 30, 2003
Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Being the Best. The October edition of Ideas!, an email newsletter by staff of the Sonoma Institute, offers 11 tactics and tips from going from good to great at the individual level. How can leaders become -- or remain -- the best? [Fast Company Now]
As far as business relationships are concerned, it all comes down to individual actions. While companies can lend credibility to individuals it is up to that individual to prove or disprove that assigned value. Fast Company provides a great summary of a Sonoma Institute offer of 11 tactics for going from good to great at the individual level.
The original 11 tactics for going from good to great at the individual level are presented here with commentary:
- Define your standards. Be clear about what you will and won't do to be successful. Give yourself something to work toward by setting the bar high enough to reach, but not impossible. When your standards are clear, others tend to try to conform to them (unless they have set their own standards.) Define the qualities you seek before proceeding.
- Define your industry and focus. Be specific about the audience you will serve, invest the time and effort to learn about their needs. By focusing on a specific industry you become a bigger fish in a smaller pool, this foundation can give you the strength to expand later, but enough focus to see achievable results now.
- Identify best practices consistent throughout your industry or community of focus. You don't have to invent the wheel, look for what great people are already doing in your own industry. By modeling the behavior of those who are already succeeding, you'll present a more confident picture of your own potential. Be a learner, regularly investigate how others are accomplishing those things you want to achieve.
- Decide whose assessment matters. The only opinion that really matters is that of the buying customer. Make sure you are measuring your progress against your own growth, customer opinion, and against your own standards. Public opinion (which is mostly negative) shouldn't influence your decisions if you are properly aligned with those people who really matter. Some relationships are more valuable than others.
- Recognize that you can only be the best within a narrow range of focus. You can't excel at everything, so pick those areas that you can truly be your best. From this point surround yourself with experts who can fill in for your own weaknesses. Strong business relationships makes these resources available and loyal to your common interests.
- Being the best means having discipline and rigor. You won't want to be the best everyday, even frequently thinking your efforts are futile. Pick yourself up to persevere every action, even when you don't feel like it. It will take doing certain tasks over and over, focusing on core efforts, it's the small things that will put you ahead.
- Embrace change as a gateway to innovation. While you'll have a core set of activities that will become ritual, in some areas of your action you'll need to invite changes that make your work easier or produce a higher value for the user. Knowing when to break tradition is difficult, but necessary depending on your individual situation. Try not to be influenced so much by what media tell you that you must change, but look into your own efforts for direction.
- At the end of the day it's all about relationships. Nothing matters more in business life than strong trusting relationships-- it's the foundation of commerce, most people buy from those they trust. In every interaction you should seek to improve the value of each relationships. Seek win-win today and always work in your customers best interests.
- Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and start over again. If you travel down a path that takes you away from your objectives, don't be afraid to cut your losses and reorient your efforts. This may require starting over with a new mindset or even ignoring what has (or hasn't) work in the past.
- Manage commitments and energy, not time. The only thing you can really control is what you do with what resources you have. Time is irrelevant because it can't be saved or recovered if used improperly. Make the best of every moment by focusing your efforts on commitments that matter and expend energy only in the direction of desired results.
- Have a vision that you can be authentic about. You must practice what you preach, there can't be any double-standards because they will reduce your credibility in the eyes of others. To be the best means taking actions that best take, practice what you learn in this journey and always walk your talk.
Last update: 04/08/2004; 2:37:36 PM.