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Rising above the crowd



WHEN you run a business, you feel like you are in a perpetual war zone. Your company is always competing with another company for customers.
The market is like a war zone as each day you have to face mild and hyper-competition.
You therefore need to do something extraordinary to rise above the crowd.
As a manager, you might find such a situation very exhausting, discouraging and unbearable.
But what you need is audacity and courage to take risks in situations.

If your organisation has to stand out in the pack, you need to have an organisation that is adaptable. There is a Chinese Proverb that says, “A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it”.
As the environment changes an organisation should be able to adapt.
Flexibility to change ensures survivability. Nothing is constant except change. The economic environment is in a constant state of flux. It’s important that you embrace and welcome change, but you should also be driving that change.

As a leader, you should observe what is happening in the world and be prepared to learn new things. An organisation that is not open to new ideas or new inventions will be consigned to the dustbin of failed businesses. The change can come in many different forms.
The great electronics company Sony failed to adapt the Walkman to new technology until the iPod dominated the market of MP3 players. Your organisation needs to monitor changes in technology and quickly move with the next phase of change.

Microsoft did this when it used Internet Explorer to leapfrog its competitors. IBM lost its mainframe computer market to personal computer manufacturers because it did not heed to new technology or developments in its industry.
Be inquisitive, ask questions. Be determined to know why something is behaving the way it’s behaving. Don’t think, as a leader or organisation, that you know it all.
Your organisation should have that urge or desire to go out there to conquer and win.

Every opportunity that comes your way should be seized without delay. A window of opportunity appears once and quickly disappears if you don’t take advantage of it. Be prepared to clinch any valuable opportunity.
You don’t become number one overnight. You need to set a goal to be number one and desire to achieve that goal.
You need patience and hard work.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “He that can have patience can have what he will.”
As a leader, have the patience and continue doing those activities that will move the company to the top.

Delay in achieving your objective might cause discouragement. When you feel discouraged, just fan the passion to achieve. Don’t let any negative talk pull you and your organisation down. The climb to the top is fraught with challenges.
If your organisation has to be ahead of competition it should have that culture of facing challenges and coming out with incredible solutions. This demands great teamwork among the employees where everyone is pulling together in the right direction with same zeal.
So as a leader you should trust your abilities, be confident but also trust in the abilities of the people around you because you are operating as a team. This team will be the one to solve any problems that the company might be facing.

Leaders that want to see their organisations operating exceptionally well should think differently from everyone else. They should not always flow with the current but should be willing to risk their reputation by flowing at times against the tide. In this way, you are able to introduce new ideas within your industry which will catapult your organisation to the top.
It’s very important that an organisation that wants to fly remains very creative. You can create your future by being innovative. As a leader you need to inculcate a spirit of creativity in which you keep on looking at how things can be done differently.

You keep on challenging your team to examine every process and explore if there is no other better way of doing the current operations. Dale Carnegie, once said, “The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”
Whatever you do as an organisation should be focused at the customer. Develop a very strong customer/consumer focus, so that you are ahead. You need to understand your customers’ needs at a deep level so that the company can meet them before the customers consciously acknowledge having them.

Anticipate what the customer needs and create that need in customers and satisfy it.
Develop an internal culture that is capable to take advantage of change, resulting from new technology, new regulations or development of new channels of distributions.
For a company to profit from change or take advantage of change it should therefore encourage and reward curiosity. Employees will understand that they will be rewarded for exploring new ways of doing things and therefore can be creative.

Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy, advanced performance management and entrepreneurship.
He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.
For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts:, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062.

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