15 Business Lessons Learned From My Best Bosses
I have always considered myself a perpetual student … always learning (and occasionally relearning). The only thing I love more than learning is sharing what I learned. I am a firm believer that sharing helps you learn and remember the lessons from your mistakes even better.
Now, I’ve been in business since leaving the US Navy, after 3 years of service, at the age of 23, and I have learned quite a few lessons along the way. Some of these lessons were learned on my own, in the school of hard knocks, while others came from many of my bosses along the way. I can’t really say which was the most valuable as I received great value from both.
Here are 15 lessons that I attribute to great bosses along the way:
A journey of a thousand miles … starts with one step. Action is what counts, so take action, even if it’s not significant, this will get the ball rolling. Just do it, as Nike likes to say.
Always put your people first … they are your business.
Be a talent hound … put a priority on finding the best people. Some people are a helluva lot better than other people.
Don’t fear failure … just be good at learning from everything around you, especially mistakes (yours and others).
Help comes … where you least expect it. So, network. Talk to anyone and everyone, tell them about your business when they ask what you do, soon you’ll be connected to lots of people.
Be a change agent … anticipate and embrace change. You can either build a windmill or a shelter, but my recommendation is the windmill approach, hands down.
Solving a problem or filling a gap … is the only way to true market value. Be a good observer. Look at the current players and their services, interview a few customers, and identify a problem or issue with current product and service. Then, solve it.
KISS … Keep it simple, stupid. No matter what you do, nothing beats simple. Staying simple makes you far more efficient.
Make listening to a true core competence … it is the key to any communication.
For true learners, failure doesn’t exist … it is learning from mistakes that matters most. Not everything you do is going to be a success so, learn to learn from mistakes.
Learn when to say ‘No’ … enough said!
Always have a plan B … not everything you plan would work out the way you planned. Be prepared for contingencies.
Planning skills … are valuable to success. Always know where you are headed and how you plan to get there.
Luck favors … the decisive. It is always a great practice to get out and make luck work for you. The best way to do it is through hard work and decisive moves.
There’s a big difference in giving up … and changing directions. Be savvy and realize if something is not working, you need to change the direction.