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Staying on top



Boss or leader? Which of the two do we want to be? Bosses are quite often seen as an unreachable entity in the company, set aside from the team, like some sort of an outside supervisor. Many companies fail to achieve success due to this negative view. A true leader knows how to connect with a team and most importantly, he does not order, he demonstrates by doing it himself.

A leader is responsible for taking decisions and creating strategies for improving performance and achieving results. Wrong decisions may bring down the company’s work for years, and bad strategies have the exact same result. According to A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin, there are six common varieties of strategic errors that we encounter at the basis of a company’s failure:

  • The Do-It-All strategy, meaning the lack of ability in choosing priorities.
  • The Don Quixote strategy which unwisely attacks the company’s strongest competitor first.
  • The Waterloo strategy which implies pursuing war on too many fronts at once, thus failure in gaining victory on any level.
  • The Something-For-Everyone strategy focuses on capturing any king of customers, with no selection at all (priorities lack to be selected in this case as well)
  • The Programme-Of-The-Month focuses on whatever strategy is fashionable at the moment in a particular industry.
  • The Dreams-That-Never-Come-True strategy means that no ambitious mission statement reaches accomplishment, the result being lost in the process.

A great example of what to do in a company is Mr Lafley who has been at the helm of Procter& Gamble for over ten years. In this time, he managed to revive the company, double the sales and increase the profits. The basis of these results relies on a rigorous approach on business strategy in every single department of the company, focusing on everyone’s needs and on the overall implementation process. Along with his advisor, Roger Martin, Mr Lafley has established that there are five fundamental components in every successful strategy:

  • Establishing the look of an outcome as a victory
  • Choosing markets to play in when seeking that victory
  • Figuring out the method of winning
  • Identifying  and playing to the company’s unique strengths relative to its competitors
  • Identifying the particular needs that must be taken care of in order to succeed.

The two argue that the first two components are strictly related to one another, as well as the last two, one being useless without the other.

Overall, one important aspect that needs to be taken care of is the ability to prioritize. In order to drive a company through the road of successful results it is primordial to know how to choose your priorities. Not all ideas are perfect for the company, as well as not all strategies should be implemented. The ability to make a right choice and stick to it until it reaches a desired outcome is fundamental for the functioning of a company. So as a leader, choose a strategy that best fits the needs of the company and start implementing it only after you have organized the team and made sure that you are able to put into practice yourself what you expect of others. Once you do it, everyone else will follow.


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