I recently had the opportunity to review a book for entrepreneurs that had some great advice, a list of seven priorities for the critical first year of business. The more I thought about this list, the more important that it seemed to me. So I have decided to create a series of posts elaborating on this theme. While “Young Guns” is targeted to a just-out-of-college-and-wondering-what-to-do market, I believe that these priorities apply to anyone starting a new venture.
In the book Robert Tuchman writes:
1. Build a culture of action and enthusiasm – During the first year, you will face a lot of questions about your experience.The best – and probably only – way to overcome them is to impress your clients with your vigor and dynamism. If you want to be perceived as youthful, forward-thinking, and results-oriented, be proactive! Reward your people for taking the initiative. You’ll have a huge competitive advantage over established companies. Many cliets will pay, and even take a bit of a risk, to get young, energetic minds on their side.
Indeed. In fact, you don’t have to be young, just have that “youthful” mind-set and a good grasp of the new tools and tactics of business and marketing. If you are here reading this you are probably involved with the “Social Media Scene” and, no matter what your age, you have something to teach older companies – by way of eating their lunch.
Action and Enthusiasm Can Be Contagious
Cultivating and maintaining a pro-active and empowered team in your business have the potential to take your business over and above your competitors, especially those that have been around for a while and may have slipped into some bad habits. A personal example: When I used to work for a Marriott hotel we were encouraged to take care of our guests in every way. One of our guiding principles was (I am paraphrasing here), “If you encounter a guest with a problem you own that problem until the guest is satisfied.”
In theory, this meant that the employee who discovered/encountered the problem was in charge of solving it to the guest’s satisfaction. In practice this meant that our staff went out of their way to make sure that guests didn’t have problems, and if they did every employee knew how far they could go to fix it, and when they would need to reach out for help. In any case, I saw many front-line employees handling guest issues that may not have been entirely within their job description, either by themselves or with the help of the staff members who were responsible for that area of service. I believe that this policy was largely responsble for the high level of morale and pride that the staff had in their jobs and workplace – and the Triple A 4-diamond rating the hotel received.
What are you doing to cultivate a culture of action and enthusiasm in your business? Please share in the comments.
(You can read the review and enter a contest to win an autographed copy of the book at this link Book Review: Young Guns by Robert Tuchman.)