A business superstar or superhero works smarter, not harder.
Whether the company is wet behind the ears or well-established, what drives it to success are the superstars. But it takes more than a cape and x-ray vision to do it.
Elon Musk is a good example. SpaceX and Tesla Motors have benefited from his outstanding results and innovations. Jack Welch has taken GE to the top with acquisition know-how.
Every business needs a superhero or superstar. No need to swallow a dose of liquid kryptonite or be bitten by a radioactive spider to acquire business superpowers. Here are the basics, in eight simple steps:
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1. Measure Results; Only Results
Does it matter how tall your sales manager is? Does anyone care how long ago your marketing director attended rehab? Of course not; taking heed of such measurements in hiring, promoting, and supporting is the height of folly. But so often a business person will measure someone they depend on by some set of arcane algorithms and personal whims that don’t make sense. If you’re going to leap tall buildings in a single bound, you measure your staff and your competition by results; only by results. And you reward and make changes based only on results.
2. Never Stop Learning
The minute you are done learning you are done being a superstar. What do you know about your company today that you didn’t know yesterday? What do you know about your competition that they don’t even know? Why does your marketing director leave early every Thursday? Knowledge is power and if you want super business powers you’ve got to have super business knowledge.
3. Simply Simplify
Every complex problem can be broken down into simple basic components, which can then be handled one at a time without panic and visits to the ER for anxiety attacks. Learn to see each tree for the forest to begin your rise to superstardom in business.
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4. Look Ahead
Superstars are not taken by surprise. They consistently generate results because they’re not distracted with putting out one fire after another. They plan ahead. They act as if their goals were already accomplished. If you plan for success you get success; if you plan for failure, or don’t plan at all, failure is what you get.
5. Find the Root
A business superstar looks behind the facade of customer dissatisfaction to discover the root cause of falling sales. He or she is not afraid of wading through thickets of metadata to discover the source of the problem, like earlier explorers, waded through thickets of jungle to discover the source of the Nile. Take nothing at face value. Test every hypothesis. Then take care of the root problem and move on to the next challenge.
6. Consult, Adopt and Adapt
Business superheroes know when they need help when to call in a consultant or another company department. This is not a sign of weakness, but a smart move to bring every resource available to bear on a particular project and/or problem. Once the superstar has all the information gathered and collated, he or she can make the ultimate decision or formulate the final strategy.
7. Never Procrastinate
If you’ve reached this section of the post and now decide you’ll finish the rest of it some other time... You are not going to be a superstar anytime soon.
Don’t be afraid of new challenges; they are opportunities to learn more than your competition. Don’t put off any action because you might fail or because it might bore you. You can’t fail if you just keep going. Does Batman quit and come back tomorrow just because he runs out of batarangs? Never!
8. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Leaping blind is not what superstars do. They assess the risk through research and consultations with others. But ultimately, they don’t wait for everything to be 100 percent perfect. Business is not a rocket launch, where every last detail has to be known and calculated out to the nth degree. If the risk is acceptable, after due diligence, then go for it. And don’t look back.
The business world is littered with pillars of salt, each one representing a business superstar who had to look back once too often. If you’re confident and willing to put aside prejudices when presented with new knowledge and/or evidence, you just might have it in you to become a business superstar/superhero.