Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year!

Now is the time of articles on all the things you should start doing now for a successful year. My contrary view is that you might be wiser to think about what you should stop doing now.

Too often we do work, keep practices and policies, even hire people just because we have done so this far. One of the smartest things most of us could do would be to look at what we should stop doing. What is not really worth your time? What is no longer productive for anyone to do? What are you doing because,,, just, because? Cut it out!

Health, productivity, and joy for 2014! I look forward to wishing you these in person soon.

Growth Tips: Networking

You can hardly open your browser or a business publication without seeing something about networking. Why? Studies show regular networkers are more successful in business and in life.

Read more on the Alexandria SBDC blog: http://alexandriasmallbusiness.com/growth-tips-networking-2014/

The Leader’s Role

Whatever your size and growth pattern, here is a quick summary of some of the most critical functions of an executive or founder.

From a McKinsey interview with Richard Bracken, CEO of HCA:
“I’m not fond of trying to sum up something as nuanced as leadership skills, but if I had to say what are some of the fundamental attributes of leadership that matter to me, the following would be high on my list.

First, the attitude of the organization toward change is established by the tone set at the top. For me, that means a continued statement, restatement, communication, and validation of the company’s mission and values, which includes reinforcing its culture. This is the CEO’s first and most important job and a clear requirement of leadership. As leaders, we must not only determine the appropriate strategic course but also define how we, as individuals and as an organization, will conduct ourselves.

Second, and most obvious, leaders must ensure the development and execution of a clear, well-communicated, and appropriately measured operating plan.

Third, effective leaders ensure that the right team, with the right values, is in place to execute the plan and can pivot appropriately when factors change.

Fourth, effective leaders show an intellectual flexibility that recognizes there are different ways to achieve goals and objectives within different environments. To me, it is important that environmental and market changes do not modify the company’s, or the executive’s, basic values.

And finally, I think a good leader is a problem solver. How an organization deals with problems, failures, and missed opportunities clearly defines an important aspect of its culture.”

Read the entire interview at http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Health_systems_and_services/Leading_in_the_21st_century_An_interview_with_HCA_CEO_Richard_Bracken