The Strategist

All is Fair in War and Business: the Art of Being a Successful Leader

10/05/2015 - 17:35

World expert in the psychology of success Brian Tracy, author of " How the Best Leaders Lead" says: the principles of military strategy are applicable to business. Their observance is necessary for success in a high-competitive market. Here are six of them
1. Assign a Task

When planning any military operation, it is important to set clear objectives in advance and explain the role in their implementation to each participant. Like military commanders, business leaders need to set transparent goal and be clear when performing any operations in the business.

The tasks are interim targets for short and medium terms, which eventually will lead you to the overall company’s goal. However, the construction of an overall strategy begins with deciding what should be achieved in the long term; with the clarity required. What goals the organization itself has set?

Deliberate a strategy (a specific way to perform different tasks), and do not forget about the plan with everything you need to take to complete the task. Another important point: leaders must not only set common goals for the organization, but also effectively bring them to the knowledge of subordinates.

2. Kick-off

Napoleon said: "None of the great battle is not won on the defensive." Your company is also not able to win if it is cautious, retreats or simply reduces costs. Thus, the following principle of victory is the attack, aggressive actions against the enemy to achieve the goal.  

You have to seize the initiative to succeed in any field in the competition. One should always attack, go ahead, continuously innovate and apply new and improved methods of marketing.

In business, marketing and sales are the equivalent of a military attack. To succeed, you need to be actively engaged in sales and results. Success requires advertising and promotion of the product to customers, bringing them in, effective sales strategy and turning leads into buyers.

3. Concentration

This principle is the commander's ability to concentrate their forces on one point - the most vulnerable spot of the enemy. In the language of war, look for the most vulnerable points of your main rival opponent.

However, the principle of concentration is not only to weaken the enemy, but also to strengthen the defense capability of the company. With regard to the business, ability to concentrate limited resources and the strength of the company in the most favorable opportunities is a guarantee of success.

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, effectively helps to focus on those activities in which you have the greatest opportunities for growth. Try to identify:

20 percent of customers, who account for 80 percent of orders; 20 percent of your products and services, which provide 80 percent of the company's sales; 20 percent work in sales and marketing, accounting for 80 percent of sales; 20 percent of the sales and marketing methods, which attract 80 percent of new customers; 20 percent of products, services and operations in the business, which generate 80 percent of the profits.

The answer to each of these questions reveals on what the strength, available to the company, should be mustered: employees, cash and competence.

4. Scouting

This principle is the need to obtain high-quality information about the actions and movements of the enemy. If you go back to the analogy with the war, the more we know about the commander of the enemy forces, their number and location, the better he can plan a winning strategy.

With regard to the business it can be said: the better you know and understand your competition and the market, the more successful you will act. The more carefully you study the market, the main competitors of your company and the most attractive of their products, the better you will understand the intricacies of the market, and this will allow you to organize sales in a challenging economic environment.

Alone, you are not able to obtain such information. And for some reason your employees can hide from you the correct answers. Do you punish them for the bad news? You prefer to point fingers rather than solving the problems? You refuse to believe the information received, if you do not want them to know? By rejecting bad news or too sharply reacting to them, you will not receive the data that you need to make good decisions.

After you honestly and realistic evaluate the competition on the basis of authentic information, think about how you get around them with the intelligence and talents.

5. Security

In business, the most important duty of the leader - to ensure the company's survival. Funds are at the forefront. Therefore, you should receive from your financial department precise predictions about the cash for 6-12 months in advance. Keep track of the flow of money and run it on a weekly basis. The company should do everything possible to accumulate a financial reserve and take measures in the event of unexpected failures.

6. Securing success

The winner’s army is obliged to take full advantage of the victory. Having received a breakthrough or force advantage, warlords are trying to consolidate its success. They throw their whole army to break or seize as much territory as they can. In business, this principle means that in the event of any success in the market or in attracting a new customer, it is necessary to take measures to develop and consolidate this success.

The leader of the company encourages employees to never stop on the first victory. If a new product is a success, people should immediately start looking for a next great product.

A company can increase sales and profits in three ways:

Selling the product or service to more customers. This requires effective marketing, acceleration, expansion of trading activities and improved sales training.

Selling to each customer more. To do this, you need to sell customers more expensive version of the product, or provide discounts on additional purchases, or recommending add-ons to what has already been bought.

You can get frequent purchases from each customer with special offers, targeted advertising and special promotions.

The latter two ways are the most effective to increase sales and earnings – with this, you can benefit from existing customers.

based upon 'How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Yourself and Others' by Brian Tracy

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