Saturday, 1 December 2018
In the sporting world it is often said that the best offence is a great defence. The reasoning being that if you are not scored on, you cannot lose.
As a business leader, there is much merit in adopting a similar approach.
When asked to list our strengths, most of us display a false humility and we try to downplay just how good we think we are. When pushed, we reluctantly agree with another’s analysis and commend them for their honesty and insight.
But asked to list our faults or shortcomings, we struggle. It is not that we don’t know them but rather we are unwilling to acknowledge them to others in the hope that they have not perceived them already.
My challenge to you is to look at your company through your competitor’s eyes. Where do they see the flaws in your strategies that they intend to exploit in the workplace?
We all have competitors and we are all trying to grow our businesses either by maintaining our piece of the pie in a growing market or by taking more from others in a lower growth environment. Knowing our faults and vulnerabilities – playing good defence – is critical to your future success.
It is an old axiom, but nonetheless true. It costs much more to find new business than to keep and cultivate current clients. What firewalls have you installed to keep more of what is coming in the front door from escaping out the back?
This takes a strong leader. It means having others criticise the hard work that you have done. But it is constructive criticism that someone who is comfortable in their own skin is more than willing to accept.
In combat you do not press on without first ensuring that your gains have been solidified. In the same manner I suggest that you must always be confirming the foundation upon which your success has been built.
Don’t shy away from it. Learn from it and make even better decisions for the future.
If you don’t, there may not be one…