Goals, Culture, and The Company MissionSometimes the company mission is just academic. It’s less important than the company’s positioning.

Tracy Streckenbach, president and chief operating officer of Innovative Global Brands, shared some insight like the one above about how to affect change in organizations.

Tracy’s philosophy is to focus on processes and technology to effectively turn around companies. She spends two years with a company to help create the new structure and put on a track for fast growth, hand it off to someone, and move on to the next one.

Here are Five Pieces of Sound Advice in Leadership

  • Ask what makes the job difficult. Tracy emphasizes the importance of asking middle management, not just senior management, what makes their jobs difficult to accomplish. This tells a great deal about the organization and helps to identify the problem areas.
  • Culture is more than “ping pong tables and disco balls.” You want to create a culture where people don’t think about being at “work.” They love what they do, and aren’t watching the clock, leaving at the 5 p.m. whistle. Culture is about providing more than a workplace, by giving your workers something to care about; giving them a vested interest in what happens to the company. This is done through clear goals for everyone.
  • Have a positioning statement everyone in the company knows. This, according to Tracy, is more important than the mission statement. If you ask 10 different people in your organization what makes you different, how many responses do you get? Get everyone in tune with the unique positioning of your company.
  • Don’t feel like you have to be the smartest person in the room. Leadership doesn’t mean you have to know everything. It means you know when to turn to others who have more knowledge about a subject than you do. Surround yourself with good people and know when to take feedback. She also adds, decision-making isn’t a team process. One person should be in charge; they gather the information with input from the team. One person ends up being accountable for making the decision and it doesn’t always have to be by team consensus. That’s how you end up with mediocrity.
  • Check your ego at the door. Her final piece of advice is to focus on the work at hand, and not on the office politics. Focus on beating your competition and what it takes to do this. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. If you aren’t, your team won’t be honest with you. And that, above all else, is something you should strive for.

Have you ever been in position of turning around your company? What leadership advice would you add?

Image courtesy of revitalizationpartners.