Business As Usual By Stuart Friedman
December 17th, 2013 – It’s the end of the calendar year and for many the end of the fiscal year. Any previous end-of-quarter results for 2013 really don’t matter. Your final numbers are your final numbers, the concluding measure of your sales and/or profitability performance for the year – of your top line and your bottom line.
Like it or not, the world of business, personal finance and consumerism is all about top line-sales and bottom line-profitability. Think about it:
- When do investment bankers decide it’s time for a company to go public with an IPO?
- When do owners determine raises and/or discretionary bonuses are appropriate?
- When do Wall Street analysts decide to give stocks a thumbs-up?
- When do your employees feel most secure about their jobs and their futures?
As a leader, you need to understand that the world revolves around sustained sales results and profitability, and that this needs to be the focus of your thought processes and your entire organization. The type of business you are in or own, doesn’t matter, nor does being a steward for a “better planet” (or whatever strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires might be on your vision board).
Without sales and profit none of what you need and want becomes a reality; not for you, not your family, not for your teammates – that’s the real bottom line.
Great leaders are able to laser-focus on sales and profitability and establish specific performance metrics for the people on their teams, educating them along the way how what they do affects their numbers and the numbers of the whole team. Great leaders also find ways to support the efforts of their employees by creating development plans and offering training.
As a leader, your awareness of the success of your organization – regardless if you reside in sales, operations, human resources, IT or accounts payable – needs to include sales and profitability. After all, you directly affect these measurements and you’re culpable for your influence on the numbers, your peers, your bosses and your subordinates.
When the leader – no matter where he or she stands, sits, or walks within an organization – pays attention to sales and profitability, the focus on sales and profitability becomes contagious. The clues to success are already within the walls of the company you own or where you work. Look around you. There are always people performing well (and some even better than you). Why are they so successful? Why do they always hit their goals? Are they lucky? What is their secret? What is their silver bullet?
I guarantee that if someone is more successful than you are, this means there is something you are not doing.
You say you’re in sales, but not at the top of the heap or even in the top 20-percent? Maybe it’s time you considered . . .
- Going on sales calls with the top performers.
- Listening in on their sales calls/ service calls.
- Getting some coaching.
- Having your manager or best sales people observe you on your sales calls and then give feedback.
Success comes from being aware of your failures. Do you have the guts to expose your inner most “secrets” and be transparent about your flaws?
You want more success, rewards, money, freedom, independence? Do you understand and accept that what got you here won’t get you there. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got, and that includes failure.
To break free from business as usual, you have to change the playing field. No one will do it for you because, frankly, no one cares about your success unless it affects theirs.
If you think luck is a top reason for success, you are partially correct – but it’s the kind of luck that successful people create for themselves. It doesn’t just fall into their laps. They went out and made a difference, failed, learned from it, modified their behavior and took action.
You want the “silver bullet” to greater success? Stop complaining, stop asking why something happened or who is at fault, and start asking . . .
- What can I do differently?
- How can I change my outcomes?
- What else can I do?
. . . because nobody wants to hear it, not even your dog!
It’s your choice!