Successful entrepreneurs and chief executives often share many of the same traits that have helped them get to where they are today. While advice about success in business abounds, it can be helpful to look to specific CEOs and hear what they have to say about how they’ve achieved their success as well as how they’ve faced the challenges along their paths.
No matter what your industry or sector, by hearing from those who have made their way up the professional ladder to a position of power, you can gain valuable insights that you can apply to your own business ventures. With tactics that range from areas such as organizational skills, managerial skills, decision-making, and leadership, you’ll be sure to find ideas that you can put into practice right away. Reflecting on your own leadership style and how you envision the future of your enterprise can help you determine which pieces of advice and helpful hints will work best for you.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Most likely you’ve heard about micro-managers, the ones who don’t trust their staff and employees to carry out tasks for them. Instead, this type of manager holds everything close and doesn’t feel comfortable delegating duties to those who are most likely quite equipped to handle them. A management style that lacks delegation is one in which the manager or CEO will find him or herself under an ever-increasing amount of stress, with personnel becoming discouraged and even possibly resentful that their talents aren’t being put to use.
Forbes Magazine, in its article “Delegation is a CEO’s Secret Weapon: Here’s How To Do It Right,” said that a study by the Harvard Business School study revealed that only 28% of managers got training on how to delegate. That’s a surprisingly low percentage when you consider just how many managers are out there on a daily basis trying to be effective without perhaps knowing even the first thing about how to delegate in a way that benefits the company and the team.
While specific training in delegation may not be an option, it can also be as simple as evaluating the tasks you currently handle on your own, having a look at the staff resources at your disposal, and deciding which tasks you can take off of your plate and hand over to a qualified member of your team. Trust is an essential component in the art of delegation, and if you demonstrate trust in your staff by allowing members to own projects and their results, you’ll help increase morale as well as streamline output.
Straight From the Source
One of the easiest ways to learn more about how to manage effectively is by utilizing the many online resources available today to hear about leadership straight from the source. There are many CEOs and business leaders who make their thoughts and experiences available to the public through podcasts, blog posts, articles, and videos. For example, Eugene Chrinian, a veteran of the furniture industry and licensee of Ashley Furniture Stores, discusses leadership and philanthropy with video presentations on Vimeo and on his SoundCloud page.
Another good source of direct interviews with CEOs and business leaders can come from broadcasters who focus on business, such as CNBC, which has a channel on its website where it collects videos, including one in which innovative leaders give business tips and advice. The Wall Street Journal has a YouTube channel with more than a half-million subscribers, where it offers videos with general news as well as business-specific news. Other options for online videos are CNET, Bloomberg, and Business Insider.
Quotable Quotes and Advice
Fortune Magazine has long been a business reference for entrepreneurs. In their article “Best Advice from CEOs,” the magazine gathered tips and quotes from 40 top leaders. The names that fill the article are well-known business superstars such as Warren Buffett and Meg Whitman, as well as others you may not have previously heard of, such as Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union, and Stacey Boyd, founder and CEO of Schoola.
From each brief profile, certain common themes emerge among the whole. Confidence, hard work, and perseverance are some of the likely themes that pepper the advice. Other tips are less predictable, however. For example, Robert B. Pollock, CEO of Assurant, said his mom gave him the advice to listen more and speak less. This may seem counterintuitive to an executive who is used to giving direction and making decisions, but similar to the concept and practice of delegation, active listening can produce excellent results in a team.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
As a business leader, you can continually study the most successful of your peers in order to continually improve your own performance. Even when you reach a pinnacle in your career, the learning never has to stop. Even top CEOs often agree that being open and curious are important qualities for effective leadership.