Once you've made it to the position of a business leader, you might feel like you've reached the plateau in your professional career, especially if you have recently been promoted to CEO role.
So, what comes next?
Whatever your next career goal is, becoming a leader that inspires and motivates everyone around will definitely help you to achieve it. Each organization has its own culture and dynamics and there is no one size that fits them all. Most likely, the approach that worked in the past will not deliver the same results now. Nevertheless, the tips below will help you to be more successful as a leader in most situations..
All successful business decisions can seem completely logical in hindsight, but they often risky in nature. Think about how big of risk innovations like the iPod were when they were first developed. At the same time, innovation is a ''must have'' to achieve and sustain competitive advantage. Identifying and mitigating risks is likely to be the difference between launching a super successful product and the failure of introducing to the market a product that has not been properly tested.
Which risks can be critical to your organization and you as a newly appointed business leader?
It may be too early or too late to introduce a new product to the market. Add to that the customer needs that may have already been addressed by the competitors and the risks can already be identified as high. Identifying the potential of your new product and its flaws are incremental for assessing the risks and developing a strategy of how to mitigate them. In some cases, putting the product launch on hold is the best course of action. What distinguishes brilliant leaders from the rest is the ability to listen to their teams and ask the right questions to identify all major risks and make informed decisions.
These may be not so obvious but at the same time can result in losing market share. The introduction of GDPR in the EU is a good example of a legal risk that required lots of companies to invest money and resources to develop new functionalities and solutions to be in compliance with the new rules.
Technology - related risks
Your competitors may be way ahead of you in terms of new technology and the quality and capabilities of their tech team. A lot of newly appointed CEOs face this situation as they are expected to rescue a troubled company. Marissa Mayer and Yahoo! are a good example. A troubled company usually is less able to attract and retain top talent making it even more complicated for the newly appointed leader to stabilize it.
Usually, this information is shared with the candidates during the selection process giving them a chance to prepare their strategy ahead of being appointed. No strategy is perfect in a real-life situation and being flexible and quick to adjust to the circumstances can help a lot. Motivating and re-energizing the existing team can take you a long way as they already know the business. Complementing the team with new strategic hires that can bring a fresh look and approach is also recommendable especially if the brand and budget can still attract them.
Dependency on a business partner
Many companies rely on strategic partnerships and that's how Transformify expanded to 150+ countries. At the same time, depending on a key partner may be extremely risky and one morning you are likely to wake up and find yourself in the position Huawei is currently in. It may result in losing market share or losing the freedom to operate. Although giants like Huawei are likely to survive, some smaller companies may be forced to close the shop. An outstanding leader would identify such dependencies early on and have an emergency action plan readily available in case something bad happens.
Never Stop Learning
Life -long learning is mantra most of us hear daily. Yet, only a few devote enough time and effort to read industry related news and check the newest developments regularly. Whether or not you're actually enrolled in a formal program is irrelevant to whether or not you can keep enhancing your skills. As an entrepreneur, Daymond John says, education provides more opportunities in businesses. From connections to channeling your energy, educating yourself is fundamental for business leaders.
Where to start?
Check relevant blogs and podcasts, follow fellow business leaders on Linkedin to read their latest updates, subscribe to an industry journal or join the free courses offered by some of the top universities like Stanford, etc. The best ideas come to mind while reading the success stories of others and how they achieved their goals. Some strategies can be enhanced, others can be built on existing best practices or you can develop a completely new strategy that differentiates from all the rest.
Explore Different Options
Mediocre leaders choose the first plan that comes to mind and blind themselves to the possibility that there couldn't be a better alternative. According to Bidsketch, before you commit to any idea, you should think about whether it's the best course of action. Write out a list of pros and cons. If there are more minuses than plusses, come up with alternatives until you land on the best one. You don't need to have a perfectionist attitude, as doing so can cause serious anxiety and a lack of decisive action, but you do need to let your mind go in as many different directions as you can.
Each of these tips helps you to become a better business leader by giving you something greater to aspire to. The moment you stop finding growth opportunities should be the moment you audit what exactly you want out of your career. If you're truly meant to be a leader, you'll do everything possible to become a brilliant leader.
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