Universal Leadership Lessons: 5 Simple Truths to Maximize your Leadership Effectiveness

As a boutique generalist, we consider it both a privilege and a strength to work with a wide variety of businesses across a broad range of industries and functions. And although our clients range in size, revenue, and specialty, we’ve found that all senior leaders we engage with share at least one common goal—to grow their businesses and increase their profitability in part by hiring and nurturing exceptional talent. And not only do our clients strive to foster great leaders within their organizations, but they also dedicate a considerable amount of time and energy to being great leaders themselves.

In the spirit of continual improvement, our team was honored to attend the 2018 Global Leadership Summit last month. Today, we’re excited to share with you five simple, but powerful takeaways from the event that we hope will inspire some fresh ideas as you work to further strengthen your own effectiveness as a leader:

Hospitality is More than an Industry.

When many leaders hear the term “hospitality”, their minds go straight to categories like food and beverage, travel and tourism, and recreation. And while that correlation isn’t incorrect, it’s also true that in today’s marketplace, hospitality is far more than an industry. At the end of the day, your organization is likely one of many offering similar products or services, and quite often what differentiates you from your competitors and drives loyalty is not your actual offering, but rather the overall sense of satisfaction that you deliver. At the Summit, restaurateur and author Danny Meyer emphasized the importance of one key question: “How did we make you feel while performing our service?”. If you’re not sure how your customers would respond to this question, or you don’t like the answer, it may be time to re-focus your energy.

Indecision Costs More than a Mistake.
It happens every single day. Business leaders become so fearful of making a wrong decision that they allow themselves to get stuck in a state of limbo. Although there’s always an excuse available for delaying a decision, the bottom line is that in any situation, indecision is a barrier to getting work done. When viewed as a form of procrastination, it becomes apparent that indecision can be an extremely costly trait to have, especially for any individual tasked with managing a business. As a leader, you’ve been granted and entrusted with the power to make decisions for a reason. Rather than relinquishing that control, it’s important to recognize that the only “bad” decision you can make is one that you choose not to learn from.

Success Can’t be Trusted.

When talking about an organization, the word ‘success’ seems to convey that the business has “made it” to the utmost level of achievement. In that context, success sounds very much like a final destination, which is dangerous in that it overlooks what comes after success, and specifically, how easily success can slip away if you’re not careful. As best-selling author and entrepreneur Rasmus Ankersen explained at the Summit in a simple equation, ‘Success + Complacency = Failure’. When successful companies get overly comfortable with their position, they put themselves at risk of losing the very drive that got them there in the first place. To remain at the top, your company must be willing to fight itself as much as your competitors. Rather than get caught up celebrating your successes, you must step back and ask, “why were we successful, and more importantly, what must we do to push ourselves forward from here?”.

Proper Delegation is a Money Maker.

The phrase “there just aren’t enough hours in the day” is thrown around quite commonly today, but the more accurate problem is that many leaders just aren’t using the hours they do have in the most effective way. Rather than spend the majority of their days in the weeds, it’s important that senior leaders spend the bulk of their time focused on doing what only they can do. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to do everything, but the ability to delegate demonstrates effective time management, helps develop your team, and frees your time to make sure the most critical tasks are done and done correctly. You’ve often heard it said that “time is money.” If you want to enhance your organization’s profitability, focus on successfully completing the work that only you can do, and delegate all the rest.

Education is your Best Sales Tool.

According to the American Marketing Association, the average consumer is bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages a day. In an environment where we have been conditioned to filter out sales messages simply to avoid being overwhelmed, the question as a business leader becomes, “how do I break through the clutter?”. To start, forget about what you are trying to sell, and focus instead on what your buyer truly needs. While most potential customers will be turned off by overt and generic sales speak, they are likely to be more receptive to free ideas that truly add value to their businesses and their lives. Once you have a comprehensive understanding of the challenge your buyer is facing, education is a great strategy for establishing your expertise, gaining rapport, and then ultimately inspiring a purchase by introducing your product or service as a solution to their problem.

What does this all mean??

Just as business leaders are tasked with managing organizations that are constantly evolving, the journey to becoming a great leader is one that’s never complete either. And although we spend much of our time deep in thought researching, analyzing, and strategizing, we hope these takeaways from the Global Leadership Summit serve as a reminder that sometimes the most impactful ideas for transforming both our organizations and ourselves also happen to be the most simple. For pdf, click here.

Are you interested in learning new strategies to enhance your capabilities and performance as a leader? At Robinson Resource Group, our certified management coaches offer customized one-on-one sessions that are forward-looking and outcome-oriented to ensure that our time together results in personal growth for you and increased profitability for your organization. To learn more, give us a call today at 708.738.5040, or visit our website at RRGExec.com