The Best Leaders Argue with Success

We've all heard the adage "You can't argue with success." But if you don't question your own success, you're doomed to eventual failure. Here are some ways you and your staff can fight complacency:

  • Court complainers. Not all of your customers are happy. Bring in unhappy customers and let them speak directly to employees about product or service improvements.

  • Study the competition. Identify competitors that are making significant improvements. Ask your staff some tough questions. Example: "How are they keeping costs down, and what can we learn from that?"

  • Avoid happy talk and generalizations. It's time for a reality check when your staff starts making statements such as: "We don't have to worry about ..." or "We have a few problems, but they're no big deal." Talk to them about the challenges you face. Ask them to come up with ideas to improve procedures.

  • Focus on change. No matter how well you've done in the past, you'll have to change to keep up. Study how your marketplace is changing. Are competitors coming up with new technology or products? Will your industry be hit with new regulations or rising prices? Encourage your staff to keep abreast of industry innovations. And don't allow yourself to be satisfied with the status quo.

~ Source:  Manager's Edge, as adapted from Be the Leader, Make the Difference, Paul Thornton, Griffin Publishing.

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