Three Insights on Leadership From Enterprise CEOs
Great leadership touches every space and process of a growing business, from employee engagement to brand value, operational productivity, and ultimately—profitability. Here are three ways to refine your leadership strategy with perspectives from Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs and Larry Page.
Successful leaders provide vision, focus and direction for their teams, but they also give their people a voice. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said it this way, “People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is, and how it will be implemented.” And, “They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and authority to act on it.”
While management and leadership are two inextricably linked jobs, it’s been said that the manager relies on control, while the leader inspires trust. By helping people within a company unlock their own talents, leaders can fully benefit from the ideas and abilities of their staff.
Maintain focus as a leader and as a company.
Rather than create an army of mediocre offerings, Steve Jobs made sure Apple was known for creating a few iconic products. He once said, “Focusing is about saying no.” That’s because fixed resources and time dictate that leaders identify and develop areas with the greatest potential for their companies.
Without the right information in front of you, it’s much harder to accurately identify what those areas are for your business. This data is all around you, from profit/loss statements to month-over-month sales trends, changes in cost of goods sold, changes in your social media following, and much more. Tap into this data to define, reinforce or shift your focus while keeping your company’s core values in mind.
Balance short-term solutions with long-term opportunity.
Google’s Larry Page once said, “Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.” External forces like shifting consumer trends and new technological developments can render a company irrelevant in the marketplace if company leaders don’t pivot in time. Internal forces, can too, based on decision-making. For example, an equipment sale one year might actually increase a company’s tax liabilities over the long haul if not considered together.
No CEO goes it alone; you can be sure these didn’t. Regardless if your company is large or modest, draw on a network of knowledgeable advisors by partnering with the Talley team. We can help you gain more insight into your key performance indicators and consider how seemingly unrelated decisions might have tax, legal and profitability implications you might not have considered.