When planning or beginning a new business a lot of would-be CEOs build their business for success, but fail to build themselves for the tasks that will be required to shepherd that company from startup to long-term success. This lack of preparation has doomed many businesses to failure before they even got off the ground. Don’t let that happen to you. Never forget, your preparation is every bit as important as the infrastructure of the company if you want to succeed in the long haul.
Situational awareness is a key skill for anyone who wants to manage a growing business in an ever-changing business landscape. It’s more than understanding what’s required of your business to be successful. It’s about what changes may come down the road and what will be required when that happens. It’s about knowing how to prioritize behaviors that allow you to achieve optimal success now and build the apparatus you will need for success down the road.
Being aware isn’t about having “a vision”, it’s about understanding the practical application and the literal steps that must be taken to realize that vision.
Constant learning is a must. It’s more than just job-related skills. You need to be able to be both a sponge learner and a flexible learner. That means increasing your ability to learn on the fly while also being willing to unlearn the wrong ideas and behaviors that are holding you back. Many businesses have run aground or sunk because their leaders flat out refused to accept what was happening around them. Covering your eyes and plugging your ears is not an effective business strategy.
Part of this is about humility. Not the sort of humility that allows you or your business to be steamrolled or ignored. It’s about creating worth rather than demanding attention. There’s a ratio to this correlation between marketing and value that must be managed well. You want eyes on your product, but you also need to deliver good experiences for your customers, to create then exceed expectations. This is a difficult task sometimes, and it requires a specific measure of both awareness and humility.
To build yourself for long-term success you need to have an innate understanding of risk versus reward. Risk taking is vital to any kind of success in any business venture, but an unmeasured risk is a recipe for disaster. Never leap out of an airplane without knowing your ’chute was packed properly and all the straps will hold, and never take a business risk that isn’t properly, honestly, and accurately calculated.
So, what about it? Are there some areas where you should be focusing more on personal development as you build your business for success?
Jay Sekulow is the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice.
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