Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The 12 Pillars of "Integrated Visibility" - Number Two: "Understanding and Belief"

I will be writing about all "12 Pillars of Integrated Visibility" over the next several weeks. The skills involved to create success in each area are rarely present within a single individual, and this is why so many companies fail to achieve the success they desire. There must be company-wide involvement to make it all come together.

For a company (or an individual) to find the desired level of success in business there must be a healthy combination of "Understanding and Belief". When we fail to understand who we are and what we provide to our community, we will constantly be chasing whims. Additionally, when we do not believe in the strengths of our products, services, management and co-workers, then we we can never achieve to the fullest.

Understanding can be allusive. Entrepreneurs and C-Level executives know where they want the company to go, but honestly interpreting current situations can be difficult. Employees often know the here and now, but sometimes cannot comprehend the vision of what the organization can become. Bridging this gap leaves many on both sides frustrated.

Open and honest discussions with everyone involved in a business is important to gaining that realistic assessment. This discussion should transcend just those who work for a company, but include customers, referral sources, vendors and other community members. Too often those who are the closest to the day-to-day operations will not provide the best overview.

Entrepreneurs who runs businesses sometimes have no understanding of the changing marketplace. The history of their company and the passion for success can mask the realities that are happening around them. When this happens everyone else usually knows they are out of sync, but getting them to accept this is difficult.

Seeking understanding means welcoming the hard information that the ego can sometimes try to shield. Many years ago I worked in a situation where my efforts fell short of my expectations. It was not a failure, but hardly the level of victory I had become accustomed. I failed to explore how the environment was impacting my work product. I did not understand my reality. By the time I understood what had really happened, I had moved on to another career. If I had understood myself, my employer and the company culture.... my contributions would have become legendary.

Belief is the other side of the coin. Just knowing your reality is not enough without the confidence to take epic actions. When people do not believe they may still go through the motions, but the power of their work will never be fully executed.

Businesses are made up of people, and the mind in each person should be tuned toward contributing to the company's success. When the employees believe the company is changing the world, then the business will make a difference (and higher levels of success will follow). If people doubt the management, the products, or the importance of the mission.... then nothing much happens.

Belief takes faith, and that is not a tangible item that you can purchase at Office Depot. To cultivate this emotional commitment and confidence in the company's vision there must be leadership.

I have worked in organizations that had strong leaders, and I have been in places that lacked leadership. It makes a difference. To be a leader you must be out front. Executives who are secretive and operate behind closed doors leave their people wondering, not believing. In these work cultures you see high turn over, gossip, and run-away office politics.

Where there is a strong belief in the future of the company and a human-oriented inclusive culture you find workers who come in early, stay late, and promote the cause of advancing the company 24/7.

Does your company understand what it is (now and tomorrow)? Do your people believe in you and the organization? If the answer is "no" to either question, you can change that... really!

Have A Great Day.


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