Monday, December 06, 2010

Qualities That Take a Business Forward

As we come to the end of the firm’s 30th year in business, I am thinking about the qualities that will take us forward for the next 30.

At the very foundation is entrepreneurship, the ability to strike out and take a new idea, strategy or approach to market. When it’s enacted inside a company, it is referred to as intrapreneurship. It’s a value that will always take us far. Thus, I encourage those who are part of our family to seize opportunities when they arise.

Another important quality is the ability to change and adapt to the demands of the marketplace. Helping clients change is our business. But we can’t be like the proverbial shoemaker’s children, who go without shoes. We have to be prepared, ourselves, to embrace the change we urge on our clients.

Change involves two elements: logic and emotion. When it is clear that we must change — and even what we must change to —emotion often stops us. We are comfortable with the way things are. Who knows what will happen when the change hits? Our gut tells us to act … and then we do. My uncle told me once that more people have brains than guts. Probably true. Let’s be among those that make the call or take the step that others would be too timid to do. Let’s not over-think when we know what must be done.

Resiliency is critical. Sometimes our plans go awry. Bounce back quickly. There will always be darts. Give yourself one hour for depression — if the puncture warrants it — and then move on. Depression stifles progress. Get going!

You must respect those with whom you work, otherwise there is no point in going forward. It is the basis of all we do.

Plan. An unplanned business is not a business. Occasionally, the best laid plans of mice and men … well, you know how that ends. Reorganize and establish a new goal —and a roadmap to get there!

Finally, nothing replaces the qualities of optimism and confidence. They will help you over the toughest hurdles.

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