What it Really Takes to Be and Stay the Best

July 14, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

What does being and staying the best mean to you?

For me, there are three answers:

  1. I need to challenge myself to deliver my personal best. Even at 69 years of age, there is still room for improvement as a leader, businessman and decision maker. This also applies to my passion for cycling. I still want to ride faster and climb hills stronger.
  2. I need my company to stand out from the competition. There are many coaching companies and independent coaches in this industry. For me, being and staying the best means coaching salon/spa owners to achieve the results they seek and expect. Saying and thinking your company is the best doesn’t make it the best. Delivering consistent results creates value. The more value you offer, the more your company stands out from the competition.
  3. Lastly, and most importantly, my company needs to perform at a level that infuses pride in all we do. Shared pride is what shapes and reinforces our company culture. Shared pride gives every member of our team a sense of ownership and responsibility to deliver their best efforts. This far exceeds the inherent need to win. It represents the shared value that pride in accomplishment is hard earned every day.

Here are some No-Compromise Leadership thoughts to help you and your team be, and stay, the best company you can be:

  • You can’t “delegate” being the best: Hey, you’re the owner. Don’t expect others to read your mind or do what you’re not willing to do yourself. Your desire to be, and stay, the best company is yours to own and your sole responsibility to lead. The passion must come from you. The energy must come from you. The belief that extraordinary opportunities can be achieved must come from you. Delegate any of this and it all becomes empty words and promises. You must want it ten times more than anyone in your company. Got that?
  • Good is never good enough: If you see a behavior, technical service, customer interaction, failure to follow an agreed upon system, etc., and it doesn’t reflect your vision of “the best,” engage. Address it. Fix it. Coach it. Train it. Inspire it. Let your competition buy into good is good enough thinking and behavior. Relentlessly seek out the best. Got that?
  • Everyone is held to the same standards: Double standards wreck cultures. Allow any employee special privileges to shortcut or compromise the standards everyone else is held to and you blew it. You allowed contamination to infect your culture. You lowered the bar for a few at the expense of everyone — and your company. Got it?
  • New employees require intense indoctrination: Hey, indoctrination by osmosis doesn’t work. New employees don’t have a clue what your performance and behavior expectations are until they’re on your payroll. They won’t rise up to fit into your culture just because they show up for work. Anything less than weeks of intense indoctrination is a setup for disappointment. More importantly, the faster your company is growing and adding new employees, the greater the danger of culture contamination. Intense indoctrination means having your own formal Internal Training Program and investing in the development of every new hire. Got it?
  • Information Flow must be flowing at all times: There’s a reason why Information Flow is one of the key drivers in business performance. That one staff meeting each month or those memos, emails, GroupMe messages, etc., is just the tip of the Information Flow iceberg. If you want everyone on the same page, you need to be feeding your team that “same page” information daily, weekly, monthly and more. Got it?
  • Every setback is an opportunity to get better: Setbacks and screwups hurt. They sap momentum and derail progress. Every setback is an outcome. Every outcome has a driver. Bad drivers produce bad outcomes. Isolate that bad driver. Understand what fed it and eliminate it. Setbacks are lessons. As leader, it’s your responsibility to score an “A” on every setback lesson. There is no mystery to getting better. Got it?

Here’s my challenge to you: Being “the best” at anything is a choice, followed by commitment and action. The worst thing you can ever do is buy into your own hype that you’re “the best” when your critical numbers, financials, customer service, level of consistency say otherwise. Got it?

Categories: Leadership

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