A Shout-out to the Courageous Business
When the Apple team took the stage to announce the upcoming iPhone 7 many of the presenters resounded the same word: courage. While there’s some orbiting debate if courage is the right word to describe the decision to exclude the headphone jack, the word seems to speak to one of the core historical tenets of the Apple brand.
But, Apple alone does not have a corner on the courage market. One could argue that any business and business leader must have courage somewhere at their foundation in order to launch, grow, compete, evolve and thrive.
If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’re a business leader that puts products or services into the world. You’re making decisions everyday that will affect the future of your team, your company, your customers and the world around you. You’re often making these decisions with limited information or data that comes from spreadsheets, dashboards or analytics that are supposed to forecast the future, but it rarely does with complete accuracy.
Further, it’s likely you’re reinventing or evolving your product, your business, your brand and your market without any assurance that things will turn out as planned. Which, we know, they rarely do. You’re swinging on the high trapeze, working without a net. Always. It’s thrilling and dangerous.
Good leadership is a way of holding an authentic public and private exchange at the same time. Where the two meet, is where the leader lives. It is this space that we inhabit that requires constant courage.
Every once in a while, it’s healthy to take stock of and remind yourself what you actually do. And we’d like to give you a huge shout-out for doing what you must in your leadership role. Business leaders must do the following:
- You must confront the head-on reality of your business situation and market position.
- You must be open to both listening to your team, while leading with a combination of instinct and information.
- You must out-think, out-market, out-brand, out-innovate and outperform the competition.
- You must continue to deliver value to your customers.
- You must stand your ground based on your core beliefs: purpose, values and promise.
- You must say what needs to be said, in the face of opposing opinions and not come off like a jerk (the jerk part is optional from time to time).
- You must turn upwards, towards hard truths without turning away.
- You must take action in the face of perceived fear and constantly changing market conditions; most of which is out of your immediate control.
- You must have a vision for the future, and express it clearly and emotionally to your team and your customers.
- You must take responsibility for your entire team while still empowering them to make decisions and take action on their own.
- You must innovate; zig when others zag.
- You must take risks—personally and professionally.
- You must constantly evolve.
At Mth Degree we have the honor to work with courageous business leaders every day. Time and time again you’ve proven that you have the courage to do the above. Which is why you succeed. We’re here, courageously by your side.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.