Critical Skills for Business Success

Success imageThere are a few core skills which you need to have, not just those taught in business school, but rather those that need to be sharpened in everyday life. You can apply these skills, not only to your business but also to any other endeavor you choose to pursue.

Here are the skills deemed critical for all entrepreneurs:

 Leadership:  (not management). There is a difference between them and it is important to know what it is and how you would implement it. John Bogle , the founder of Vanguard Investments, defines leadership as knowing what is worth doing and management as knowing how to do it.

Leaders should be able to know what will impact the bottom line, what is best for everyone who has a role in the decision and knowing when to take a profit or a loss. Managers, on the other hand, only need to be able to understand how things work, like project management and tracking employee performance as an example, but may not necessarily be a good leader. Ideally, good entrepreneurs need to be able to do both.

Persistence and Patience :  Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, one of the most highly acclaimed business books, studied 11 companies who performed above average for the past 15 years, found that one factor that played a role for them was persistence and patience. He used the analogy of a flywheel.

A flywheel is a (usually) large, metallic wheel that spins around to  move an object. If the flywheel  were enormous, and you attempted to spin it, at first it would not  remain stationary, even though you are exerting as much energy as possible.  Once you get it moving, however, it gradually gains momentum and begins to move on its own, eventually to the point where it becomes more difficult to stop it.   Building your business can start the same way.  There will be struggles at first, where it seems like you aren’t going anywhere, but gradually you will gain momentum like that flywheel and it will be much easier for you. Having these two skills are important in helping to build your business.

Team and People Focus:  Bill Gates once said in a speech, “Take my 20 best people away and Microsoft becomes an average company”. In this speech, he said that hiring the best people is key to driving your success.    The type of people you hire will determine how well it performs.  The people you hire should always be smarter and more competent than you and working with you and other team members, can lead your company to better results than if you were to do it alone.

These are the most critical skills that every entrepreneur should possess. Developing these skills takes time. Anyone  with commitment can sharpen them to ensure their business success.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: