It is the chief aim of every entrepreneur to make a profit and scale their business. However, how you plan to do that as the CEO will hinge on your leadership style and the success markers used for your organization.
How do you measure success?
There is no rulebook for measuring success, as the definition can vary depending on whom you ask. As the CEO, how you define and create success for your organization will impact engagement with your employees, suppliers, and customers. For instance, is success a direct measure of revenue, customer conversation, investors, intangible in nature, or both?
Once you understand your success parameters, the next step is applying the five foundations that govern and sustain success.
- The Law of Navigation – in other words, what’s the vision? To achieve your start-up goals, you must have a precise aim. One quality that Napoleon Hill states one must possess is knowing your purpose or WHY coupled with the burning desire to attain it. A tip to crystallize your organization’s purpose is to create a mind map and mastermind with your inner circle of advisors until it speaks the vision of success. The book the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by the internationally renowned leadership expert and speaker John Maxwell suggests the “plan ahead”:
- Predetermine a course of action
- Layout your goals
- Adjust your priorities
- Notify key personnel
- Allow time for acceptance
- Head into action
- Expect problems
- Always point to the success
- Daily review your plan
- The Law of Accurate Thought – As a leader, how you communicate vibrates into your team engagement and customer retention. Your words have power, and how you engage will determine the impact. According to Napoleon Hill, this is one of the most critical foundation stones to ensure success, business or otherwise. The ability to make and communicate decisions based on factual, tangible evidence rather than emotions and biases. If you find yourself in a highly-charged exchange with your leadership team, employees, or suppliers, you can switch gears by pausing, removing yourself from the environment if necessary, and assessing the pros and cons of your next steps. Giving yourself time to think through your emotions opens the door to the seat of your executive brain to take back control of the emotional brain (amygdala). So, before you find yourself speaking in haste, monitor your words, and it will enhance your success.
- The Law of Influence – ask yourself, would your employees follow your directive if they didn’t have to? Your ability to influence is determined by the value and positive impact you have created on the people you served (your followers): If you desire to improve your capacity to influence, start by self-examining who you are, your character, personality, how you connect with others and your past and present experiences. Additionally, building tolerance is another way to expand your influence. Napoleon Hill denotes that no one can achieve success in life without first practicing tolerance for not doing so closes the book on the knowledge and success journey. In other words, taking an open-minded approach to your leadership and business for embracing differences move you toward the success ladder.
- The Law of Buy-In – In the words of John Maxwell, who notes that people first buy into the leader, then the vision. This applies to your leadership and business in that if you gain people’s trust, they will follow your lead no matter where you lead them. Conversely, if they don’t buy into you as a leader, they will resist your vision even if it aligns with their desires. In the short vision, while it is essential, it isn’t the measure of buy-in success but who you are as a leader. To improve your buy-in index for your company, gain feedback and assess the buy-in level. What are the indicators for a high or low buy-in? Maxwell suggests that helping your employees do their jobs better, achieve their personal goals, and teach them how to lead are ways to increase buy-in.
- The Law of Timing – in all things, business or otherwise, the adage remains that “Timing is Everything.” The decisions you make as a leader can be summed up in the following four outcomes:
- Wrong action + wrong time = disaster
- Right action + wrong time = resistance from your team
- Wrong action + right time = mistake
- Right action + right time = success
The next time you execute a decision, you can ensure that it’s the right one by having a clear and objective understanding of your situation; doing a pros and cons analysis. Keeping your motives from self-serving, consulting with your trusted circles and necessary stakeholders, and ensuring the team is supported and confident in taking action.
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less, and thus how you influence the success of your start-up will come down to your leadership capacity to improve. To close in the golden rule of Napoleon Hill, “others control your reputation, but only you control your character by your thoughts and deeds.”
Written by Aden Eyob.
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