Forget today, work for tomorrow
The job of the top manager is to think about tomorrow. Everyday duties, problems and solutions, everything should be done with one eye on tomorrow and future growth of the company. Thus, the first rule of a successfull CEO should be: Forget yesterday, think about today if you must, focus your efforts on tomorrow.
The logic behind this is simple. You can't change yesterday and the best thing you can do is to see can you learn something from it. If you made a mistake, learn from it. If you did something great, be proud and again learn from it to do it again.
Today... Today should be a routine job in a well-organized company, business as usual. But, if you are "in today," so to speak, all the time, you don't think about future plans and where your company should be headed.
So, what should you do?
First, don't let a day goes by without thinking about new products, improvements and benefits for your customers. Take a look at your resources. If your company is spending time, energy and money just to keep things going routinely, that's not good. Relocate some of your resources toward new projects that could bring you new products, income or competitive advantage in the future.
Then, study your competitors and their failures.
If you can't see the failure, study their products and think how to make something better. It is easy to make a mistake at this point: Many give up if they see it would take a lot of time for a new project to come to life. "Six months? A year? Two years?! No chance..." Well, that's totally, absolutely wrong point of view.
First, nobody made anything great just like that, and second, you must think about your company a little further down the road. What will be with it in five years? Where do you see it? What the market will look like? Those are all questions every top manager must ask, trying to find the answer.
Risk to the bone.
By this we don't mean take your company's money and put it all on 28 black in Vegas; but be brave and challenge the state of industry. If you have an idea that looks impossible today, maybe it will be possible tomorrow. And if you are sure - based on your experience, knowledge and skills - that your "crazy" idea will work - go for it. If people along the way tell you you're crazy, that's a sign you are on a good path.
And take action.
There are a lot of good plans in drawers around the world, sitting there just because somebody doesn't have enough courage to work on them. Don't be "It's not the perfect moment" type of manager because the perfect moment will never come by itself. You must create it. ■
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