Navigating the corporate world is something most businesses struggle with. Yet, what history teaches us is that while some companies embrace this challenge, others succumb to the pressure.
For your organization to be part of the former group, it needs to build leaders from within and a happy, motivated workforce. Also, it should pay close attention to the details and create an environment of flexibility and change.
When asked about leadership, five-star General Douglas MacArthur once said, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.”
It is certainly true in times of war and geopolitical conflict. After all, human lives are at stake, and one false step could spell doom.
In business, the risk might not be as high, but the consequences of bad leadership are equally unacceptable. Bad decisions can leave companies at the brink of bankruptcy, create irreparable damage to their reputations, and affect thousands of employees. As a result, one of the most important things any organization should do is build leaders among their ranks. It guarantees both success and sustainability.
But how can they do it? An answer to this question is far from easy. Yet, there are certain things organizations can do to make sure the current staff will one day take over from management and drive the business forward. The three most important ones are:
- Constant training. Not just any kind of training will do. It has to be specific to what the firm needs while at the same time relevant to the market. Among others, examples include Miick, direct sales, crisis management, and corporate growth strategies.
- Effective two-way feedback. Training without feedback is useless. Effective feedback highlights strengths while identifying weaknesses and creating plans of action with which to improve on them.
- Opportunities for risk-taking. Some people strive under pressure; others don’t. But there’s no way of knowing which one will happen without experimenting. Of course, junior staff shouldn’t be asked to make life-altering decisions. It would be both reckless and counterproductive. However, those with potential can slowly be involved in the decision-making process. For example, they could attend upper management meetings to listen, take notes, and learn.
By having a clear process that gradually builds leadership skills, organizations will be ready to perform once the founder is out of the picture.
Employee satisfaction can be one of many things. For some, it’s a higher salary or company perks. For others, it’s the opportunity to work from home.
Organizations can’t please everyone. Some employees will be unhappy no matter what they receive. Besides, the company is paying people to do a job. Still, enterprises can be proactive in asking their staff what would make them feel better or how they would be more motivated.
The key is to establish clear channels of communication among all ranks within the organization. If employees feel as if their opinions matter and are heard, their performance will reflect it.
Taking Care of the Details
The devil is in the details. Success is about consistency and excellence in routine. Everybody can do something great at least once. But few can manage to do it day in and day out.
One of the main ingredients of German and Japanese industrial success post World War II was diligence, not innovation. These two countries were able to rise from the ashes by establishing a clear set of policies and procedures to follow. They understood that being successful was about taking care of the small things while at the same time keeping an eye on the big picture.
Flexibility and Change
Things change all the time. Nobody could have predicted the extent of the covid-19 pandemic. Nobody knew it would happen.
Yet, when it did, some governments handled it better than others. Some countries were able to keep the virus at bay, while others drowned in their lack of decision-making and flexibility.
For businesses, this is an example of the importance of change. It is true within all organization levels, from upper management to new hires and part-time staff. Without change, there is no progress. Companies stuck in obsolete, traditional business models won’t flourish in environments filled with uncertainty.
Business success is not something all companies achieve. Some fail due to financial reasons. Others make bad decisions or suffer the effects of unexpected circumstances or bad timing. There are no guarantees.
Still, companies can take the necessary measures to give themselves the best possible chance to prosper. They can strive to create leaders and satisfied employees. They can also focus on the details and remain flexible in times of change. By doing so, they will be able to tackle any challenge that presents itself in the future.