As you look at why people and companies are successful, you quickly realize that they question everything.
If you don’t know why you are successful, and what helped get you there, you may be doomed for failure.
Great leaders know this fact and constantly question, challenge, test, and duplicate their successes.
Here are some tips to help you become more successful:
Customer surveys and group meetings. Implement an annual or bi-annual survey of your customers and find out what they like, what they don’t like, and what you can improve. Another effective way to illicit this information is to have meetings with your customers and brainstorm ways to improve. (Think about what Ford did with the Taurus. The vehicle was a direct result of consumer’s suggestions). Pay close attention to the customers that are unhappy. Let them speak about what they would like to see improved. Then fix it. Whenever possible, allow employees and key personnel to be present.
Conduct an external assessment of the competition. Take a look at what they offer and what improvements they are making. Ask your staff:
- Who are our competitors?
- Are they better?
- Why are they better?
- Are we better?
- Do they have a bigger share of the market?
- How can we improve to become better than our competitors?
- Who can put us out of business?
Conduct an internal assessment. Survey your employees and find out what improvement(s) they think you should make. (Internally and externally) Have them brainstorm ideas for improvements. You may be surprised at the suggestions and ideas that your own employees have. Another key to making this effective is to make sure you respond to the suggestions.
Accept and prepare for change. The only constant today is change. Create a culture within your company to embrace change and anticipate future changes.
- Is your market place changing?
- Any new products being introduce that is a direct competitor to you?
- Any new competitors entering your arena?
- Will new technology affect your product/service?
The best leaders are those who are not satisfied with complacency. Encourage everyone in your organization to keep informed in your industry and be prepared to make the necessary changes to get and stay on top.
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