In screening potential clients, one important characteristic that I require from owners is being humble and teachable. In order to improve and change for the better, all of us need to be interested in and open-minded about education and lifelong learning.
Beyond the time I spend with personal religious studies, I am continually reading or listening to business-related books for new concepts, so I do not get caught up in complacency. I make a point to attend occasional webinars to obtain the perspectives of others. Additionally, with my thirst for knowledge along with the various licenses and certifications I maintain to assist clients, I am required to complete continuing professional education hours annually. To give perspective to the level of this type of education, I have already completed approximately 60 hours of live training this year and have registered for a few more multi-day conferences, which may double the number of live training hours in 2019.
Money, things and stuff are all temporary, while education and knowledge are forever. Are you wrapped up in your daily routine? Are you seeking new understanding and learning on a consistent basis? Would you qualify to be considered a potential client of ECA? The best way to improve the value and growth of your company is to make a commitment to improving yourself.
“Customers will never love a company until the
employees love it first.”
– Simon Sinek, author, Start with Why
In last month’s newsletter, we discussed the importance of creating a positive organizational culture. Culture is your company’s authentic identity and helps set the parameters of acceptable behavior and performance. Business guru Seth Godin defines culture as, “People like us do things like this.” All companies have some type of culture, but unless you as an owner take a proactive top-down approach, it will become negative by default.
Statistics bear this out. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, only 26% of employees nationwide are actively engaged in their jobs. Worse yet, 55% have no enthusiasm for their work.
Why is this important? Companies with strong cultures like Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines, Zappos and Nordstrom’s routinely outperform their competitors by 200% or more. When we get into specifics, the benefits of a good company culture are many and varied. They include areas such as morale, innovation, engagement, integrity, mutual trust, loyalty, empowerment, teamwork, accountability, job satisfaction and more. This translates into tangible results such as better employee and customer retention, superior recruitment, improved lead generation, enhanced reputation, increased productivity and a more robust bottom line.
Examined through this prism, it is clear that your people — and the culture you create together — are one of your organization’s most valuable assets.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
Business owners are often future-focused. They keep their eyes on the horizon, constantly setting new goals and pushing themselves and their organizations to achieve them. This is a good thing.
However, any sailor will tell you that, no matter how fast you travel and how straight your journey, the horizon is always out of reach. Because of this, gazing ahead might leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction.
And so, as we pass the halfway point of 2019, I urge you to take a brief timeout to look back, remind yourself what you’ve accomplished and plan some type of celebratory event to mark the occasion for you and your team. This could be as simple as a lunch or dinner, a company picnic or other outing, an awards ceremony or any other tangible proof to memorialize your achievements and show appreciation before pushing on.
Who knows? You may find yourself pleasantly surprised and reenergized.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
J. David Squires, Esq., General Counsel and Director, Human Resources/Risk Management, La Paloma Funeral Services, Commentary: “This quote rings true to me. Coming from a musical background, I can’t tell you how much it peeves me when a teacher begins the first lesson with theory, especially when teaching new students who are just learning to play. Begin with love for the music. Inspire people by showing them their potential. Play Ellington, Stravinsky, Mozart, Charlie Parker and Maynard Ferguson. Tune into their dreams and let them fail, but love the process. Can’t play like them? That’s okay —- neither could they when they started. If students have sight of the vast and endless sea, they will want to learn the theory.”
If you’d like your favorite saying featured in a future newsletter, please email it, along with a brief commentary, to ChuckM@EagleCorporateAdvisors.com.
Owning a business can be the most exhilarating time of your life. And the most challenging, because working without a net is both thrilling and terrifying.
No matter where you are on the business rollercoaster, Chuck understands those sleepless nights feeling all alone while a million thoughts race around in your head. He knows because he’s been where you are. It’s the reason he started Eagle Corporate Advisors in the first place. To provide just the right kind of mentor support for any issue, milestone or decision, to help you and your business perform at a higher level — smoothly and with the best information at your fingertips. And to give you back that sense of controlling your own destiny.