It is believed that Ernest Hemingway once made a bet at a lunch meeting that he could create a complete story in six words or less. To win his bet, he was purported to have said:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
This simplified, limited language approach also lends itself to help describe what makes a software CEO or executive leadership team successful. The world is full of success strategies promulgated by PR-driven gurus and megalomaniac philosophers who discourse on and on about what you need to do to be a great leader. Yet software business leadership success is quite simple and can be described in six words.
- Strategy. A defined strategy is needed to drive your business. Who are you and why will prospects buy from you? Do you have an identified market gap? Do you know why prospects don’t buy from you? Strategy is the GPS that will guide your business.
- Execution. Strategy without execution… is just wasted thought. It’s not what you say you are going to do that drives corporate success; instead it’s what you actually do. Everyone has good intentions and good ideas, but what you actually do is what counts.
- Communication. It’s not what you say; it’s what your listeners hear. Leadership communication has to be consistent, persistent and continuous. With the right communication, prospects, customers and team members understand and absorb how they must respond based on your objectives. Most leadership communication fails when the team member, buyers and management do not succinctly understand each other’s needs and objectives.
- Collaboration. Leadership without bi-directional interaction among team members, customers and prospects results in knowledge that is has an ethnocentric point of view that is often shallow and strategically wrong. Collaboration helps software company leadership adjust their operational models to maximize the intersection of all stakeholders both inside and outside of the company.
- Metrics. Operations, software development, sales, marketing and finance can all be measured. Success can and must be managed. It’s the boring detailed minutia that drives performance.
- Humility. As a technology leader, knowing from the onset that you don’t know everything and don’t follow the “I am the king in the kingdom” syndrome leadership model will help you increase your IT company success. All technology companies need team member depth to succeed. Being humble will help you maximize your business potential and increase your valuation. (Personality driven CEOs can minimize company valuations).
These six words (Strategy, Execution, Communication, Collaboration, Metrics, and Humility) describe the story of a technology company’s success model. Read it, implement it.
To your revenue capture success!