KBB - January 2015 - (Page 26)

BUSINESS PRACTICE Nine Success Secrets The strongest leaders in our industry harness the power of these practices At various points in our careers, we find ourselves at a fork or plateau - seeking direction to propel us on and up to the next step. For more than 15 years, I've been in the business of helping professionals sharpen and strengthen their skill sets by drafting developmental road maps for success. And while there are differences from industry to industry, I consider these nine practices to be universal, regardless of role or tenure: 1. You've developed an effective leadership style (and you're constantly fine-tuning it). As you advance in your career, your leadership style plays an important role in your relationships with employees and with your clients. How do you act day to day? How do you manage under pressure, and how do those situations impact how you lead? Even professionals without direct reports can be leaders where they work; their attitudes, ethics and business practices can have a positive impact on company culture. You need to control risk and align your finance, structure and marketing initiatives to support your business goals. Ask the big names in the industry, and chances are they'll say they review their business plans frequently to make sure they're on the right path. 2. You work effectively in the face of ambiguity and change. Even when they're not given direction or all the necessary information, leaders maintain a sense of true north. Let's say you have to make a decision but you don't have all the information; you're on deadline and it's going to cost you money to delay the decision until tomorrow. Can you be effective in situations like that? It's about being nimble while maintaining your center - you determine the best avenue and take the steps necessary to help you or your team reach a solution. 3. You hit your business targets by managing your resources. Solid business management skills are essential. You need to control risk and align your finance, structure and marketing initiatives to support your business goals. Ask the big names in the industry, and chances are they'll say they review their business plans frequently to make sure they're on the right path. If they take a wrong turn or veer off course, they're reviewing it often enough to know when adjustments need to be made. 26 + K BB 4. Your talent pool is your biggest asset - and you treat them as such. Managing resources also means investing where it matters most: your employees. Just as frequent business plan reviews are important, it's equally important to regularly evaluate your talent pool needs. You may need to hire a new employee or promote an existing employee to help your business grow. Creating a development plan during the onboarding process is a good first step. Make sure all of your existing employees have a development plan too so everyone has action steps for developing new skills every year. Once you begin to view employees as a valued talent pool and you communicate your commitment to their growth and success, you're well on your way to cultivating a committed team that embraces your business goals because you support their development. Successful professionals also know not developing employees can have a revolvingdoor effect on retention. No one will stay if they think they will be more valued and have better growth opportunities elsewhere. And once the economy picks up even more, it will become a market where people can leave more confidently - and they will. 5. You're customer-centric. Those with a passion for service who provide a nothing-but-the-best experience know the impact is farreaching. Word of mouth is powerful, especially when amplified through social media and websites like HomeAdvisor. Those who truly succeed in this arena also know there's always room for improvement. They're constantly gathering feedback in conversations with clients, post-project surveys or comments posted online. It takes courage to open yourself and your business to feedback, but by asking the right questions and being receptive, you'll identify solutions you wouldn't have otherwise uncovered. 6. You're clear and to the point. Whether you're speaking face to face with a colleague or corresponding with a client, clarity is everything. Excellent communicators know brevity is key. They begin dialogue by sharing the main point and tailoring the message to support the goal of the conversation. Top-notch professionals also know there's no such thing as overcommunication. At the end of every conversation, they check for understanding and ask for confirmation. For more important tasks and discussions, follow up with an email to capture the conversation.This also provides another opportunity to check for understanding, which is especially important when it comes to client interactions when misunderstandings can cost time and money. 7. You know the power of delegating - and you practice it. Delegation is a powerful skill that successful professionals have taken the time to study and practice. Lots of people know they should be doing it, but they don't (or don't do it well). Sometimes there's the "no one can do this task as well January 2015 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - January 2015

Contents
Online Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Director’s Note
People & Places
Dealer Dish
Tech Savvy
Business Practice
Sustainable Design
Universal Design
Solutions
Favorites
Before and After
Industry Outlook
KBIS 2015 and Design & Construction Week
Trends
Products
Design
Living Joyfully
Bittersweet Symphony
The Glamorous Life
New Lines, New Look
Learning Corner
Last Word

KBB - January 2015

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