Volume 11, Issue 1 - January/February 2009

Customer Service
tips for quality service

The Twins of Business Success
by Carl Tompkins

THE TWINS OF BUSINESS success are “management” and “leadership.” These two factors share several important attributes:

1. Both must exist within a business or the business will fail;
2. Both carry equal value; and
3. Few people have a clear understanding of what each name stands for and the marked differences between each.

Far and away, the most common missing of the twins is “leadership.”

We need to look closely at each of the twins in order to makes sure we have an exact understanding of the characteristics of each, and to assure that the proper balance of each exists within our organizations. 

Getting to Know the Twins
“Management” is defined simply as, “The act or manner of handling or controlling the direction and affairs of a business.” Breaking this definition down into more practical terms, let’s make sure to incorporate the following points:

A. To properly care for the givens of business, such as assets and liabilities;
B. To maximize efficiencies of business conduct;
C. Management refers to the supervision of an assignment; and
D. Good management is an absolute requirement to make sure nothing of value is lost.

Good management should be considered as the foundation of supporting a prosperous business. A problem arises in business when the company is limited by having only good management, and is missing the remaining twin, “leadership.” 

The simple definition of leadership is “the act to lead; to go before, to show the way, to have a principle part and to go ahead.”

As we did for management, let’s add a few more practical terms.

A. To be futuristic in thought and action;
B. To take risks;
C. To advance and grow (note that this refers to not only in terms of finance but includes the overall organization and its people.);
D. To pave the way and set the example; and
E. To demonstrate confidence and be an authority.

Is your organization healthy in terms of maintaining a proper relationship with both twins? Following are a few key components of effective business leadership.

First off, and most important: Mindset. Attitudes and beliefs make up one’s mindset and leading among these is confidence—the confidence in succeeding at all pursuits! Confidence is built upon the element of choice and experience. It’s confidence that allows for appropriate risks to be taken and it’s confidence that assures the persistence to succeed.

The second aspect of the attitude plus belief mindset is that successful business improvement is to be a constant and is your sole responsibility. It is important to be grateful, but never satisfied, in all achievements. If not advancing, you are losing! A static position simply means you’re willing to let others pass you by. The mindset of constant business improvement is what triggers the necessary thoughts and actions that will yield positive results.

To perfect what you already do, adopt a zero-defect policy. Our business culture has eroded to the point where people think that making mistakes is part of doing business. To add new business opportunities think outside the box. Take the blinders off and be creative in thinking of how to add new opportunities to your business. 

Quit Managing!
Now that you have the proper mindset in place, quit managing!

Seventy percent of your time should be spent creating new business. Only 30 percent of your time should be the review of what exists and fixing problems. Good time management skills allows you to plan on doing new things with your time. 

Networking Goals
Next, network with the experts. The greatest of business leaders are those with many tentacles out in the marketplace, attached to experts in many walks of life. It is from such constant communications with these people that opportunities arise to learn, add new customers to your existing business, identify their secrets of success and discover new services and products that you may be able to add. 

Finally, network with customers. Current and past customers provides a great resource for future business growth opportunities. Proper leadership takes charge and creates principles that encourage customer loyalty. 

Carl Tompkins
is the Western states area manager for Sika Corp. in Madison Heights, Mich. He is based in Spokane, Wash. Mr. Tompkins’ opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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