Kool and the Gang.
As to this blog, over the past year we have tried to reflect that journey through our weekly posts, channeling the information, advice, trials and triumphs of our members and the organizations and individuals that make up our community. It has been given me the ability to pay forward the education that I am continually receiving from the Capital Region business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs who are successfully leading their organizations forward.
What have I learned from these accomplished people who surround me? There are many lessons, but these are at the top of the list:
- Vision is critical. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "In the long run, (we) only hit what we aim at."
- You need both focus and execution. Steely-eyes are critical to sighting the target, but hitting the bulls-eye comes from the ability to execute.
- Invest in structure. Most entrepreneurs do not lack for the desire to improve their organizations, but in many cases failure to scale comes from a lack of investment in organizational habits (processes and procedures) and sufficient time dedicated to installing and instilling them.
- Strategy and tactics are yin and yang. As Sun-Tzu once wrote: "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." You need both to win customers.
- Don't do: delegate. An "Army of One" is an oxymoron. A great leader is first and foremost a coach, who continually pushes forward to the objective, while teaching and instructing to get the most of the talent that he or she has. It is not possible to do it all yourself.
Thanks to all my teachers and coaches: we're still in school and the game continues!