Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You're the Lead Dog -- Are You Acting Like One?

In the world of sled dogs, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery is always pretty much the same. Goes for business owners, as well. You'd think that business owners were, by definition, lead dogs, wouldn't you? Except that many business owners don't act like lead dogs -- they keep their scenery pretty much the same by working in the business every day. There are 250 days a year when you can go to the office, and most days at the office (working in the business) look pretty much the same. 

According to a very successful member of Chief Executive Boards International:
"If you're not spending a day a quarter on the issues that are important, you're probably not running your business -- it's probably running you" 
                                                  Click here for the complete video interview

Yet many business owners seem to believe that every one of the 250 available work days in a year need to be spent in the trenches, slugging it out with the competition, bank, vendors, employees, etc.  As if doing those same things over and over will somehow produce a different result. 

Successful business owners do act like lead dogs, by controlling and changing their own scenery. They're constantly scanning the horizon for new ideas, and putting themselves in places and situations where they're finding new and different ideas, many times from completely different types of businesses and industries. In fact, there are major limitations to what you can learn from your own industry. When was the last time you heard of a business that failed or underperformed for lack of industry knowledge? Rare. You can probably get good ideas from others in your own industry. You're unlikely to get breakthrough ideas from others in your own industry. Click here to learn the difference between directional (incremental) and intersectional (breakthrough) ideas.

Let's face it. There are 250 days a year when you can go to the office and do the same things you always do when you go to the office. Will the business crater if you're not there 5 or 10 of those? Might those 5 or 10 be better spent getting recharged with some energy and ideas you wouldn't have come by in another day at the office? Get out a bit. Go to an all-day or multi-day seminar. Go to a Trade Show. Join a Rotary Club. Join a CEO Peer Group. Do something to put yourself in front of other thinking people who will challenge your assumptions and provide you some intellectual scenery you wouldn't have otherwise seen.

If you've found sources of good ideas you wouldn't have had on your own, please click "Comment" below and share them with others.

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Terry Weaver
Chief Executive Boards International

TerryWeaver@ChiefExecutiveBoards.comChief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

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