Not too long ago, the billionaire founder of Virgin Group received a letter from a 12-year old school girl, asking him for the key skills he needed when he was starting out as an entrepreneur.
You may agree with me that coming from a 12-year old to a man we all can testify as having “the Midas Touch” for building successful business empires makes this subject really fascinating.
But before I let you in to Sir Branson’s answer, I wanted to remind you that this is not only relevant to entrepreneurs. If you are an executive in an organization, or have some forms of responsibility for another person’s business growth strategy, or even a leadership development role in any business organization, this article concerns you.
In my business coaching and leadership training work with entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them develop the capacity to double productivity, increase revenue and deliver superior customer service, I have done extensive amount of research around what it takes to create consistent sustainable growth.
I have had the opportunity of working with successful entrepreneurs, business executives and leaders, and here’s what I’ve discovered. At any time, when there is an issue with business growth, organizational effectiveness, productivity, or execution of action plan; it almost boils down to a breakdown of the following key factors among others: clear vision, best talents, and robust communication.
If you are like many people, I bet you must have heard this story hundreds of times in the past; but the trouble is always not in hearing or knowing them. The real challenge many entrepreneurs and business leaders have is in deciding what to do with the information they receive. That’s where many leaders fall down completely, lack of execution.
In Sir Richard Branson’s reply to the 12-year old girl, “The key enterprising skills I used when first starting out are the very same ones I use today:
- The art of delegation
- Surrounding yourself with a great team
- Working on projects you really believe in.”
At Business Mastery Summit, where we support successful entrepreneurs and business executives with the tools to create unimaginable business breakthrough results through entrepreneurial coaching, leadership development training, and innovative thinking, we expand on each of Richard Branson’s business skills and more. We are helping entrepreneurs to live these principles, and have seen them make huge differences in their lives and entrepreneurial results.
Let me expand on two of Sir Branson’s business principles, Delegation and Best Talents for demonstration.
The No. 1 problem that makes delegation seem so ineffective is that you’re probably delegating to a wrong person. Delegation is most effective when you identify a skill you’re not great at, and assign the task that requires that skill to someone in your team, who is superb in delivering the results. You can’t be great at everything, and the more you think you can focus on improving on your weakness, the further away you drift from your optimum capacity. Focus on what you are great at, and delegate your weakness to someone that has the strength for it.
Delegation problem No. 2; you cannot delegate your weakness to someone who is also weak in the same area as you. The result will be astonishingly woeful.
2. Best Talents
In my Leadership Development Training mastery class and Business Mastery Summit, we teach our clients how to create Quantum Groups, the art of surrounding themselves with the best talents they can find or afford. Nobody succeeds alone! Here is a demonstration of how this principle was implemented by one successful CEO.
In 2000, Anne Mulcahy, took over the reins as CEO of Xerox, a company with nearly $19 billion in debt and a share price that had been cut in half. Rather than doing what many entrepreneurs and CEOs would do (slashing, cutting, and burning resources), Anne decided to make a few phone calls.
Even though she did not have any personal link with him, she was privileged enough to get Warren Buffet on the phone and eventually joined him for a dinner to discuss what he recommended as the best course of action for turning around Xerox, a company at the brinks of collapse. After giving her his recommendations, Warren also gave her a piece of paper containing names of other people she can contact for further advice. It happens that the list contain names of people Warren himself turns to for advice.
Anne followed Warrant Buffet’s advice and the advice of his advisors and within just few years, she turned Xerox from a $300 million loss a year, to making nearly $1 billion in profit. Fortune Magazine then named Anne Mulcahy one of the three most powerful women in the world.
Here’s the key…
You can’t succeed alone! Find and surround yourself with incredible network of talented people who are invested in your success. They are people with complimentary skills, diverse opinions, and interesting experiences, who want to contribute to your vision.
Nkem Mpamah is founder and CEO of Cognition Global Concepts and creator of Business Mastery Summit. Nkem specializes in helping entrepreneurs and business executives to develop the capacity to double productivity, increase revenue and deliver superior customer service. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his company’s website at www.cognitionglobal.com.