The Key To Growing Your Business

July 31, 2011 8 Comments

Growth through excellence should be the top priority of most businesses. Money that does not hit the top line never has an opportunity to hit the bottom line; consequently, if your business is not growing, it’s probably dying.

What’s the single most important thing you can do on a daily basis as a leader if you want to grow your business?  Invest in and impress your employees. Your people can be an inimitable engine of competitiveness, but only if you make their development a priority. Wishful thinking won’t grow your business.

Loyal customers delighted with your products and service drive sales. Impressive operations are never a matter of chance. Impressive operations occur through punctilious design and consistent execution.

Your employees are the key to both the execution and the continual improvement of the system. If your employees are not impressing your customers, then your customers aren’t being impressed – except maybe by your competitor’s employees. In addition to knowing your systems better than you, your employees are also increasingly socially networked boundary spanners, which makes them a rich source of learning and suggestions. Partner with them to improve the work you do and you will also strengthen their satisfaction and commitment.

The single most important thing you can do if you want to grow your employees is to grow yourself. Your own personal learning and development constrains the growth of your employees, which means it also constrains the growth of your business. Growth scales.

Taking care of yourself and your employees is taking care of business.

After you watch my short video, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Comments (8)

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  1. Evergreen says:

    Bret:

    I love the idea of impressing your constituents. I enjoy how your blog leverages social media and social issues into the picture–too many ignore this key resource. I am curious if you have any examples you can point me to of leaders who successfully treat their employees this way?

    I am in a graduate program and I recently had a discussion with a classmate about the role of professors seeing students as customers–we were both perplexed how little is done to retain and invest in students. Trust me, I take full responsibility for my education, but it seems there is a lot of room for improvement in the process requiring the student to chase down a professor as a thesis adviser. I would love to hear any suggestions you may have.

    Thanks,

    Evergreen

    [Reply]

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Welcome, Evergreen (is that your real name??). You are correct that few professors see students as customers, but alas, the flip side of that is few students see professors as their customers. When one side in a relationship wants all their needs catered too without any thought of the other, it’s never a good thing. First question – check out Charlene Li’s book Open Leadership or Jennifer Proser’s Army of Entrepreneurs. Second question, pick your chair carefully. Your chair is your lion. Feed the lion, and let the lion help with keeping the other members in line. Thanks! Bret

    [Reply]

  2. Evergreen says:

    Bret:

    Thanks for the advice–I appreciate your quick response! I am eager to look into the books and will do my best to tame the lion :) .

    Evergreen is my Nom de Plume (blog), but it is also symbolic of the ever growing me!

    http://noexcusesleadershiptraining.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    glad you found it helpful. Hope to hear from you again sometime. thanks, Bret

    [Reply]

  3. Bmore Sara says:

    “Invest in your employees” is a familiar suggestion. “Impress your employees” is new (to me), but I really like it. I wonder if some people might give it too superficial a reading: impress your employees with your operational excellence. The real art is when you impress your employees with your transparency and commitment to change in the face of operational weakness.

    As for the students-as-customers issue, you probably know that is a raging debate in academia right now. Coming from the professional training sector, it’s a perspective that seems quite natural to me, but even there it can be tricky. Who is the customer? The student receiving the training? The employing organization that pays for the training? The administrator who contracted for the training? The executive trying to transform her organization?

    [Reply]

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Welcome, Bmore. The customer is anyone that has expectations of you that you have to care about and meet. By definition, almost all of us, no matter what we do, have multiple constituencies that we have to take care of. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Bret

    [Reply]

  4. Great insight on the importance of the employees and their role in maintaining and growing a business. They are the ones who interact with the customers and know what the issues are for the customers so naturally know what the customers want. When you look at the companies who are known for being a best place to work are typically also focused on their customers and ultimately successful! Great insight!

    [Reply]

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Welcome, Patricia! I was not the first to say it, but count me among the folks that endorse it as you do. Thanks! Bret

    [Reply]

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