For 10 years, Jill struggled to make a profit. At over $8 million in sales, her specialty call center should have been providing her with annual profits of 8-12% or between $640,000 and a million dollars. Instead she paid herself a “good-enough” salary and saw profits trickle in at 1/2% — just $50,000. She didn’t own a business, she owned a job. Jill had done strategic planning of the “blue sky” variety many times. That kind of planning is worthless, says leadership expert Tom Cox.
Good strategy lets you outmaneuver your bigger competitors. Bad strategy can sink your business. Here are three insights from leadership expert Tom Cox that you can use to harness strategic thinking and planning for your small business.
Create and measure success, month by month, with a CEO (or Executive) Calendar.
Part of your end-of-year routine should be to take stock. What did you learn in 2012? How will you make 2013 better? This is a form of benchmarking. Comparing yourself to yourself, and to others, and looking for ways to do better. Leadership expert Tom Cox tells you how to do it.
Humans are highly impacted by having even their small successes noticed. You don’t need to give awards or assemble the team for a public presentation. Just notice and acknowledge. You don’t have to say “good job” — just acknowledgement by a person in a position of authority is pleasant. And being ignored is unpleasant.
Effective leaders are constantly learning. To help you keep learning, here are five of leadership expert Tom Cox's favorite books, old and new, for growing a CEO’s or a manager’s capabilities.
For certain kinds of overwhelm the primary problem is that your brain has its activity stuck in the wrong area. You overcome the feeling, by moving the activity to a different part of the brain. You act differently, which makes you think differently, and then finally you feel things differently.
An online survey of 300 readers of Oregon Business magazine indicates a majority holds an unfavorable opinion of the federal Affordable Care Act, believing it will increase private health insurance premiums.
There are excellent companies that handle swings in client work and still turn out high quality results. Whenever someone attributes any type result (especially a bad result) to “circumstances” you can be sure they’re in denial. Those excellent companies face “circumstances,” too — they just handle them differently, says leadership expert Tom Cox.