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The First and Foremost Task of Entrepreneurial Leadership

Your resaon is the glue for BIGG SuccessWe saw an interesting article over at the Forbes site on why companies need a Chief Reason Officer. We disagree.

But we may be wrong.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show! (Duration 4:02)


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We’re wrong if you run your business like an Undercover Boss.

  • If you can’t see past the ivory tower
  • If you don’t know what’s going on in your employee’s lives
  • If they don’t even recognize you

Then you need a Chief Reason Officer.

We’re wrong if your primary focus is your next quarterly report.

  • If you, knowingly or unknowingly, sacrifice the long-term for the short run
  • If you place cost-cutting ahead of innovation
  • If you put profit over people

Then you need a Chief Reason Officer.

We’re wrong if you can’t see people.

  • If you only see markets, niches, customers, accounts or contacts
  • If you can’t see people in pain, people who want a better life, people who need help

Then you need a Chief Reason Officer.

  • If you only see employees, staff, personnel, associates, team members, human resources, human capital or human assets
  • If you can’t see people with families and friends, people with a life outside of work, people with cares, concerns and stress that may or may not be related to their work, people trying to make the most of their lives, people with emotions, people just like you

Then you need a Chief Reason Officer.

We’re wrong if you’ve buried your head in the sand.

  • If you’re too old to pay attention
  • If you’re too close to retirement to take any risk
  • If you choose to ignore the rapid changes taking place today and refuse to adapt accordingly

Then you need a Chief Reason Officer.

Your first and foremost task as an entrepreneurial leader

“Your Reason” is the first and foremost task of entrepreneurial leadership.

“Your Reason” is the glue that holds everything together.

Crafting the Reason for your firm’s existence, sharing it with your people, keeping it constantly in front of everybody inside and outside your organization, and making it the foundation for all of your business decisions is the primary focus of successful entrepreneurial leaders.

  • Your company’s culture flows out of that Reason.

    It attracts people to your firm and keeps them there, all because your Reason clearly tells them the difference you will make together.

  • Your best people – the people you want – sign on to a Reason and the culture that stems from it.

    That’s it! They must understand your Reason so they can do their best work, make the best judgments, and so you can accomplish what you set out to do.

So whose job is it to keep the Reason front and center?

YOURS! As an entrepreneurial leader who wants to be a BIGG success, you know this is far too important to delegate to someone else.

And yet, if you do it right – every single one of your people will see themselves as Reason Officers.

Customer Service shouldn’t only happen at the desk beneath the sign. Keeping your Reason at the forefront is too BIGG a job for just one person.

Make it everybody’s job for your BIGG success!

What do you think? Should companies have a Chief Reason Officer?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00844-011013.mp3

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Marketing in Tough Times: Part 1

marketing1 Today on The Bigg Success Show, we begin a discussion with John Jantsch. John is the author of the great book, Duct Tape Marketing – The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide. Forbes chose his Duct Tape Marketing blog as one of their favorites and Harvard features it on their marketing site. He also writes a monthly column and does a podcast for Entrepreneur magazine.

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marylynn
That’s a long intro and it’s not even everything!

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john
That’s good … we wouldn’t want to bore people right off the bat!

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marylynnJohn, I have to tell you. You’re the guy we wanted to come to because with everything going on with the economy, small businesses are struggling right now. A lot of the money that they might have had for advertising and marketing just isn’t there right now. So we want to talk with you about how to promote yourself on a shoestring budget.

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johnA lot of small business owners have done that. The headlines are that the Dow is down. Big companies are cutting back all kinds of jobs. The newspaper industry is in turmoil because of losing advertisers. But the typical small business owner is not putting out hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. In many cases, they have gotten to where they’ve gotten because they worked on a shoestring anyway. I wrote a column this week for a publication and talked about the natural competitive advantages of small business. I think that we can have this tendency to get in this “the sky is falling” mode and quite frankly, my experience at least is, that it’s not falling on the small business owner. The small business owner is now finding that the market momentum, sheer momentum, is perhaps not carrying them and that they have to get better at doing some of the things that maybe they should have been doing anyway. But my current soap box right now is to say, “Hey, everything is okay. Let’s just buckle in and do some things right.” So that was my long-winded intro to answer your question. Right now is the best time ever to get closer to your customer.

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george
So what are some customer-building strategies that don’t require spending a lot of money?

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johnYour customer, whether it’s a business or an individual, is feeling some of this economic pressure as well. This is a great time to huddle up and say, “What more can we be doing with you, for you? How can we get together and help each other?” Strategic partnerships have always been a great way to go for folks who are strapped for making the phone ring. Go out and find other people that have your ideal customer in mind. Find ways to co-brand some of your marketing materials, put workshops on together, or maybe just literally pass out each other’s materials. One of the greatest partnerships I ever put together was a plumbing contractor. They were going into people’s house every day. So we said to them, “Let’s find an electrical contractor, a roofing contractor, and three or four other people who treat their customers the way you like. Why don’t you all start going in and recommending each other?” You know how that happens – once you develop trust with a customer, they’ll ask you for every resource you can give them! So doing things like that – things people should be doing, good times and bad. It really does put the spotlight on them now if you haven’t been doing them.

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Thanks for reading today’s post. Next time, we’ll continue our conversation with John. He discusses ways to add value for customer loyalty. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00308-011409.mp3

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