And the more exploring that you do, the more you learn. Often much that can be applied to your stack of entrepreneur business lessons.
Being right keeps us in place. Being wrong forces us to explore.
- Steven Johnson
But life can be tough at times tough. Life as a business manager is tougher.
While there is always the argument about the differences between management and leadership, management, leadership and teamwork go hand in hand, don’t they?
So to build a strong team you need to be the type of manager that will measurably help others succeed, don’t you think?
Future business managers certainly need to grasp this fact and understand the concepts of the best management and leadership qualities and attributes don’t they? Spot on.
I have been in management and leadership positions in the military and business world for forty years and I often get asked what the best lessons for future business managers I have found. Surprisingly (or not) my list of lessons probably have varied to a degree, depending on when in my career it was constructed.
Great people learn hard lessons.
Sigmund Freud was booed off stage the first time he presented his theories to a group of scientists in Europe. He went on to win the Goethe Award for his work in psychology.
Henry Ford failed at farming, being an apprentice, and as a machinist — going bankrupt five times. He went on to modernize mass production.
Leo Tolstoy flunked out of law school and was labeled “unable to learn” by his professors. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest novelists.
But it’s not about them
It’s about you. About what you are prepared to do in order to be successful.
Here are my 10 top lessons for all business managers … the ones I wished I knew when I started:
Learned this one quite early in my management career. Your people are your business. No question about that. And your business will only go as far as your people will take it. So put them first on your list and take good care in their welfare.
Business lessons … talent hound
Be the best talent hound you can be in searching for the best employees. Know this … surrounding yourself with the very best is the top and quickest way to success.
Are you interested in learning more about these topics?
If so, check out these blog categories for some interesting reads:
There is a tremendous amount of competition in any market that you chose. And it is continually growing. Your success depends on your business being better than the competition. Knowing what those advantages are and putting them into value propositions is what will put and keep you ahead.
Know this simple fact about marketing. Everything is marketing and everyone is a marketer. It takes a while to really appreciate this lesson’s true meaning. Stick with it long enough and you will understand.
Your customer’s experiences in your shop are the new marketing, pure and simple. The better the experiences, the more the customers will remember you and return. Work hard at creating WOW experiences as much as possible.
Make friends with as many customers as you can. Customers would always prefer to do business with friends. Start with a smile and positive conversation in engaging customers. Selling is something to be strictly avoided. Substitute just being as helpful as possible.
Be a change agent in everything business. Anticipate and embrace change in your market. Adapt is the name of the game, as soon as possible. This is a hard lesson to learn as often change is required while things are still looking good.
Now more than ever, things are changing at blazing speed. There is only two ways to keep up. They are continuous learning and applying what you learn.
Keep everything you do as simple as possible. No exceptions.
Check out our thoughts on team leverage.
The last and most important lesson. Know, understand, and care about your customer. Your rule 1.
If you read 10 books on business management, you could easily build a checklist of 50 or more management lessons for future business managers. But more is not necessarily better for the best lessons to study and apply.
The following lessons represent my favorite 13 lessons on business management that I believe could make the biggest impact. If I was starting my career over and could take 13 leadership lessons back in time with me, these are the ones I would choose:
Create an environment of continuous learning
It is absolutely necessary that business managers be good learners. They need to instill this in all their team. They must learn from their mistakes. To be most successful, managers must acknowledge, understand, and improve on their shortcomings. And they must encourage their team to also focus on continuous learning.
Be a multiplier
Multiplier business managers know that at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is NOT the lone genius. Rather, it is the genius who knows the importance of bringing out the smarts and capabilities in everyone in the team.
Both managers and leaders know their job with their teams is about building lots of connections. They make people feel they have a stake in common problems.
It is vital that you let your team know you are interested and will listen to their concerns and ideas and contribute to solutions to any and all problems.
Offer recognition and always share success
Focus on building team confidence by publicly recognizing their efforts and achievements. Think of it this way; anything is possible if you share the glory. Giving others a chance to claim credit is an easy, and effective, way to magnify results.
Communicate clearly and often
Language is a manager’s most powerful tool, whether it is written or oral. Always keep your people informed of team goals, priorities, and schedules. Without the ability to communicate, managers can possess all the other attributes and still fail to have an impact.
One of the key jobs of a manager is to be an effective decision maker. Employees are never comfortable with managers who make slow decisions and the frequently change their minds. Quality managers make decisions quickly and stick with them.
Provide sound guidance
Be available with your staff members and show interest in their career development within the business. Don’t hesitate to offer guidance along the way.
Building and maintaining trust
Always do what you say and set good examples. Demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. Trust, once broken, is seldom restored to its original state. It is the most fragile yet essential attribute of leadership and management.
Present the big picture
Consistently show the team how their projects fit into the larger goals and objectives of the business. You can never be too detailed on communicating the big picture.
Be patient but persistent
Delivering strong managerial skills takes time and practice. Seek guidance from mentors, colleagues, your boss, and your network.
Business lessons … deliver confidence
Having and being able to deliver confidence counts. Most managers are self-confident. The real skill and ability is to extend faith to others. They must be good at recognizing and believing in the talents of others.
Accept learning is never done
You have worked hard to get to this point. Rely on your experience but accept there is still much to learn. Learn from everywhere you can, including your own team