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Never get complacent

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I remember a while back reading an article in US magazine, Business Week, on its judgement on the Top 25 Executives of the Year. Apart from having a peek at some of the thoughts of the world's most momentous movers and shakers for the sheer power of it, I always like profiles on successful people for the hints and edge it can often give you.

For example, tennis player Lindsay Davenport, attributed her vastly improved form to shedding about 10 kilos of lard. That's a tip for many struggling athletes.

Business guru, Michael Gerber, insists business success comes from introducing systems which not only work, but systems that everyone knows and understands.

The boss of Disney, Michael Eisner, believes synergy explains his company’s recent success. This is where everyone in the business knows what is going on all the time. Everyone delivers creative input and is listened to and one product or service sets off a chain of other products or services.

In the case of Disney, a film gives rise to a book, a comic, toy figures, a cassette, a CD, a video, a computer game and even a musical. We should all look for synergy even if we are trying to grow not only a business but also a family or even a life. Enough of philosophy. Let's get back to business.

One of the top executives who I thought had a worthwhile message was Millard S Drexler. (Only in America do they have names like this. Why?) Millard developed clothing chains such as Gap, Banana Republic, babyGap and Old Navy.

A stickler for detail, he was always looking at everything from window displays to music played, etc. He anonymously visited his shops to understand how the consumer views his product.

He refused to succumb to believing he was a big immovable player and considered his business to be merely a fledgling operation. Business Week described him as a “a guy who believes his multi-billion dollar business outfit is as perishable as some rinky-dink start up”.

Clearly, that's the lesson – avoid being complacent and always keep the enthusiasm of someone who is just starting a project. Who knows, it could also be advice for relationships ...

Drexler is reported to have advised, “We are limited only by our imagination”.

Business and even life success starts with a dream. Making it come true and then making it bigger and better is the underlying process which drives champion sportspeople, successful business owners and, undoubtedly, happy human beings.

Work on your business, not in it. To learn how, book a complimentary business assessment today with a Switzer Business Coach.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.


Published on: Wednesday, December 02, 2009

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