I received a new book recently and you all (loyal readers, anyway…) know how much I love getting books. Why? Because then I can help you build your business/career/personal growth library and if you have a large library then you have a lot to read all of which can help you and your colleagues become better at what you do. Phew!
Anyway, the book by Bob Prosen is provocatively titled “Kiss Theory Good Bye.” I love that. First, he’s giving us permission to focus more on the practicalities of business, the real world stuff that makes or breaks our days. Second, I like his subtitle or promise: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company. Five! We can handle that, right? Five is a great number. It’s manageable and memorable and rhymes with strive. No, I haven’t had too much coffee today, but I have a million things on my desk right now and no beds have been made in this house.
Here are Prosen’s five attributes of highly profitable companies:
- Superior Leadership—the relentless pursuit of vision and results
- Sales Effectiveness—the organization’s lifeline [Leslie’s two cents: so many people refuse to recognize this and consider sales someone else’s problem; everyone should be selling in some way or another]
- Operational Excellence— mining every last detail for extraordinary results
- Financial Management—extracting power and wisdom from the numbers
- Customer Loyalty—the win that keeps on giving
Prosen has something for everyone in this book—presidents, owners, CEOs and other leaders; managers and supervisors; high-potential leaders; leaders under siege (aren’t they all?); leaders of start-up, merged, and fast-growing companies; and board members.
One of the best features of Prosen’s book is the “Actions to Take Now” section at the end of each chapter. They’re reasonable, succinct, and will give you the momentum you need to stay on track. I guess Prosen is part professor, part coach, and part taskmaster (but in the good way). If you can’t read the entire book (and this book really lends itself to something that you can pick up and put down as needed), just read the action items and you’ll still be in good shape.
Here’s an easy one: write down and quantify your top three objectives. How do you know you are achieving them? Remember, too, that your objectives can change, especially if you’re in a high-energy, high-paced work environment. Here’s a great one though be careful you’re not accused of brown-nosing if you’re communicating with your supervisors. In fact, you might ask them first if they’d be open to receiving such a request. Here it is: Send a memo to five members of your top management team. Ask them to send you their top three objectives and the ways they know the organization is achieving them.
Next time: more about ignoring theory from Bob Prosen.