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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

6 Leadership Failures that Put your Company at Competitive Risk

1. The Glass Is Always Half Empty Be concerned if your senior leadership team is slow or not receptive enough to new ways of doing things. You might be winning now, but the marketplace can catch you by surprise at any time and you will begin to lose momentum quickly when it does. Competitors are always ready to beat you at your own game if you don’t stay on your toes. The fiercely competitive landscape requires constant forward thinking and the adoption of a survival mentality. Create a sense of urgency – not out of fear – but as a means to stretch the organization’s thinking. Always seeing the glass as half full will stimulate an environment of competition. When I walk into a leader’s office, the first thing I do is glance at their desk and book shelves to determine their state of mind. What are they reading and who is influencing their thinking? My goal is to identify their mindset, how they manage their time and what steps they are taking to identify the next big opportunity.

2. Without Preparation, Often Blindsided

Your senior leadership team should be optimistic about the company’s future and prepare itself to avoid being blindsided. When leaders are not receptive to change, and reflect negativity in their tone, body language and attitude, it’s a crisis waiting to happen. Senior leadership must embrace the mentality of change agent, constantly anticipating the unexpected with a healthy dose of skepticism. Every leader must be a change agent or soon they will face extinction – blindsided without preparation to competitive strategies and the evolution of the marketplace. For example, are your leaders prepared for the cultural demographic shift? Hispanics, Asians and African Americans will represent $4.2 trillion in purchasing power in the United States by 2019. In just four short years, they will represent nearly 27% of the U.S. total, according to the Selig Centre for Economic Growth at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Unfortunately, the majority of organizations are not anticipating and preparing themselves for this cultural shift in their business models – and what it means to their talent pipeline and the positioning of their brands. This puts their organizations, their brands and their retention of top talent at risk as the demographics of the marketplace change and they lack the preparation to change with it.

3. Not Courageous Enough With Their Thinking

Today’s unpredictable market demands courageous thinking from its leaders. If your senior leadership team is not passionate enough to explore endless possibilities for your company, then its ability to grow and compete is limited. Senior leadership must have the belief in its people and clients to become potent pioneers in the organization and trailblazers in the industry they serve. It’s their responsibility to build high performance teams and push the boundaries to see and seize opportunities previously unseen in the marketplace to elevate consumer trust and loyalty. As Steve Jobs said, “You have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing because it is so hard. If you don’t, any rational person would give up.” In other words, if your leadership doesn’t give it everything they’ve got, your company’s value proposition will quickly become irrelevant. Read more on Entrepreneur News Online