Have you ever heard the terms “dog-eat-dog world,” “survival of the fittest,” and “natural selection” used in business? That’s not by chance, I guess. We’ve been told for years that “bloodthirsty strife” is the basic reality of business and that only the most successful businesspeople survive.
The mainstream media has also profited from these concepts. Entrepreneurs present their companies to tough venture investors, or “sharks,” in the popular CNBC program Shark Tank. And in the “ruthless competition” for funding, only the finest concepts prevail.
In many circumstances, the main objective of business is to survive, succeed, and crush any rivals that stand in your way. This implies that there is only ever one winner and that everyone else loses. What if, though, there was a different approach? In order to lead with consciousness, one must seek out win-win scenarios.
Leadership in today’s world is getting more and more complicated, especially when you’re trying to manage multiple relationships and tasks while still keeping everyone satisfied. The most moral course of action in business is to find win-win solutions, where you may benefit yourself as well as the parties on the opposite side of the table.
A win-win situation, for instance, can occur when two people make a transaction and both benefit; one person gets the thing they want while the other makes money from the trade. Then there are even more comprehensive solutions that benefit everyone. The third victory comes from finding methods to add value for the larger, external community as opposed to only those involved in the commercial connection.
You can encapsulate this community however broadly you choose. The additional win, for instance, could benefit your friends, your neighborhood, your church, your city, your state, your country, or, if you’re really ambitious, the entire globe. So how can we master the art of the win-win-win scenario?
Try asking yourself, “Is anyone losing in this proposal?” or “Does anyone regard themselves as getting the short end of the stick?” before making a decision in business. If one of these questions has a “yes” response, consider how you and your team might work together to find a solution.
These inquiries force you to uncover any gaps in your plan and come up with improved and better alternatives, which clarifies it. Iceland was experiencing a boom-and-bust cycle in the years before to the financial crisis of 2008. Here, economic growth is exponential, resulting in a surplus of jobs and great market returns for investors. Then it contracts, costing both workers’ jobs and investors’ money.
This Icelandic bust occurred for a number of reasons. To begin with, everyone was desperate to become wealthy quickly. Businesses borrowed cheap money and acquired other businesses to fuel their expansion rather than considering the long-term financial health of their operations.
Then, when the economy collapsed, this strategy of going after quick, short-term profit put corporations in a terrible situation. Businesses must make long-term investments if they want to succeed. A particularly crucial lesson for conscientious leaders can be learned from the tale of Iceland’s boom-and-bust period: promoting long-term value creation is preferable than pursuing quick financial gains.
Business leaders must look to the future, comprehend the processes of change, and invest with a multi-year, if not multi-decade, schedule if they want to build sustainable success over the long term. Ron Shaich, the creator of the wildly popular restaurant chain Panera, has always supported this strategy. Panera has experienced impressive expansion by the late 2000s, making it a formidable rival to businesses like Chipotle and Starbucks.
The key to this success was Schaich’s willingness to invest in and make radical changes that, while difficult in the short term, kept the business growing over the long term. Panera used a variety of strategies to accomplish this, including embracing technology, building a solid customer loyalty program, and providing healthier food products.
Therefore, it is crucial for conscious leaders to resist the urge to maximize short-term gains and instead make investments in the future. But how can you learn to think critically over the long term? Well, one approach is to perform a “premortem”, a technique Schaich himself employs. The goal is to visualize yourself on your deathbed, reflecting on the current version of yourself. Consider this question: “What matters most? What dangers should one take? And what needs to be developed to improve the world?
You may clarify your company’s future goals and aspirations by going through this activity. And if you approach it honestly, your leadership style will reflect this long-term, constructive outlook.
We frequently presume that the most prominent corporate figures of our day, such Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, accomplished amazing things on their own. But these brilliant businesspeople are supported by amazing teams who both strengthen their leader’s areas of strength and make up for their deficiencies.
For the success of any firm and its executives, it is essential to hire the greatest workers and foster an environment where they can grow and succeed. Talented individuals must be attracted, hired, and retained in order to create a conscientious workplace culture.
Steve Hall, the creator of the wildly popular auto dealership business driversselect, personally learned this. Only a few months after starting his company did he recognize that hiring was the key to developing a successful organizational culture. That required hiring the best staff right away and doing all in his power to retain them.
Hall looks for candidates who will eventually be able to perform tasks that are two or three places up on the corporate ladder when he conducts interviews for entry-level roles. As a result, when selecting a receptionist, for instance, he looks for someone who has the potential to go to office manager.
Once a new employee is on board, Hall makes an investment in leadership training to aid in their growth and development. Thus, Hall’s personnel turnover rate is one-third lower than the industry standard.
Other businesses recognize the value of selecting and keeping quality staff. For instance, Amazon promised to spend $700 million over the next six years to train 100,000 team members in new skills.
Putting great people together in a room does not, however, automatically result in the creation of a strong corporate culture. To make sure that everyone on your team gets along and works well together, you must frequently do “chemistry checks” as a leader.
It’s a good idea to regularly meet with your staff to resolve any potential conflicts. Ask queries such as, “How are things going? How high is the level of trust on the team? Is there someone causing a morale lapse? Is there anything I can do about it, if so?
A conscious culture requires hard work, as well as the creation of a safe, trustworthy, and enjoyable workplace. If you want to keep your business moving forward, it’s your responsibility as a leader to ensure that your team is prospering.
In the end, developing into a conscious leader requires starting a journey of ongoing learning and development. You must not only be dedicated to discovering your purpose, but you must also live it out in all facets of your business. This entails emphasizing value creation for all parties involved, including yourself, your clients, your staff, and the larger community.
Therefore, make an effort to take a break. Being a mindful leader who works relentlessly to fulfill their purpose is great and all. But if you’re exhausted, nobody can use you. Take a break if you’re feeling drained and uninspired. Go spend some time in nature without your phone. Your body, mind, and business will all appreciate it.
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