In the 2nd part of this two-part article series on habits of highly effective CEOs, I will list some more habits that every CEO should develop in order to lead his company to greater fulfillment and success.
1. Learn and implement the art of differentiation
Differentiation or positioning has emerged as one of the most important aspects of an entrepreneurs marketing strategy. According to some business experts, differentiation can make or break the success of your product or service in the market, especially for small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs. If you can get the differentiation strategy right, you can set your business apart from the crowd.
According to business experts, the parameters on which you can develop your differentiation strategy are the following:
Range of Products/Services Offered
Make sure to communicate to your customer your differentiation and positioning so that your customer can find the answer to the crucial question any customer will ask before investing – “What is special about this product/service?” Differentiation helps increase gross margins and as the CEO, this area needs your utmost attention.
2.Emphasize personal interaction
Take the initiative to keep an open and interactive communication channel with your clients. Thank them for their business and the relationship the week before Thanksgiving and associate with them in areas outside the business as well. Participate in the charities your large customers support, be a step ahead of others in admitting or identifying mistakes and taking corrective action without delay. When you enable your customers to discover how much you care, they will see you in a differentiated light.
For a small and medium scale business, communication holds the key to greater visibility. Put more emphasis on verbal communication with your clients and customers rather than the impersonal voice mail and email. When emailing, make sure your email message is clear and concise in its message, the tone is polite and the grammar is correct. Read your email carefully before clicking the send button, because once that’s done you can’t take it back.
4.Never stop learning and improving
The way to success is through constant learning and improvement. There is no escalator to success. You have to take the stairs. And the most important steps are those of time management, prioritizing tasks, handling multiple tasks at the same time, following organized schedules and employing technology for faster execution. Build these habits into your daily routine and you will find your desk clean at the end of the day.
5.Identify the low performers
Identify the complainers, the gossipers and the low performers. Complaining and gossiping is a cancer inside the company and should not be tolerated. Low performing people drag the whole company down, especially if your people see that you will tolerate this. If you do not take corrective action, everyone will see that they can keep their job by just putting in their time, and productivity will suffer immensely. Upgrade your people on a regular basis.
6.Keep your vision firmly set on future targets
Take a reality check on what the future holds for your business. Develop a 5 year strategic plan, and don’t let it just sit on the shelf. Consider Exit Planning as a strategy to cause your company to be more valuable both now and into the future. Work toward the goals you have set with a clear vision of how you will methodically go about taking the steps necessary to achieve them.
7.Get practical insights from other CEOs
Confer with other CEOs and business leaders to get some practical and proven insights into problems you are facing in your business. The best way to do this is by becoming a member of an established CEO Group in Atlanta or anywhere else. In a CEO Coaching association ; CEOs, general managers and executive coaching experts get together to discuss and deliberate on issues and problems of business management, leadership and corporate strategies.
Tom Bordon is a freelance writer who has extensively written about CEO peer groups in Atlanta and executive business coaching. His articles focus on guiding CEOs, COOs and top level executives in making new business strategies, selling a business and exit planning.