5 ways to become a better all-rounder in business
Not every successful business person is a natural-born genius. Indeed, extensive research suggests that the difference between ‘average’ and ‘successful’ business people amounts to differences in habits. In his book Change your Habits, Change your Life, business researcher Thomas Corley studied the daily habits of 233 wealthy individuals and 128 less-well-off individuals. The biggest difference between those who’d made it and those who hadn’t was their daily habits.
Becoming successful in business is about developing a series of regular habits which will make you more effective, spot opportunities and avoid mistakes. Let’s look at five habits that can help you become a more successful all-rounder.
Becoming successful in business is about developing a series of regular habits which will make you more effective, spot opportunities and avoid mistakes.
Never stop learning
While you may have mastered your niche, it’s essential to keep learning new skills which will further enhance your effectiveness, allowing you to contribute more to your company. The business landscape is constantly being disrupted by new technology and the emergence of new markets – so only by learning about these can you really stay top of your game.
How to keep learning
There are numerous actions you can take to keep learning. These include:
- Subscribe to sector-relevant newsletters. Whatever sector you work in, make sure you stay up to date by subscribing to a range of newsletters related to your niche for insights and training
- Read widely and specifically. Consider subscribing to a high-quality business publication such as the Harvard Business Review or The Economist. You should also sign up to local news too.
- Attend training. Most UAE free zones provide regular training opportunities, which will likely be relevant to your sector.
Get up to scratch with data analysis
It’s no longer enough to be digital-literate. In an era of Big Data and machine learning, it’s going to be more important than ever to develop your digital skills and knowledge, yet employees across the GCC are simply not prepared for this digital era, according to a report from the consultancy Strategy&. While you may not need to become a software programmer yourself, you should learn basic data analysis and programming skills.
How to enhance your digital skills
There are extensive online resources, normally free or low-cost, which can teach you almost any digital skill. Popular sites include CodeAcademy, Harvard University’s free online courses, and Lynda. Spend a little time every day learning modules on these sites and you’ll soon feel confident dealing with basic programming, coding and data analysis.
It sounds simple, yet setting targets is a powerful way of improving your business and your personal effectiveness. By developing goals, you give yourself something to aim for, which motivates you to achieve that goal.
How to set targets
Spend time alone or with your team brainstorming goals you aim to achieve in the next three, six, 12 and 24 months. While these should be achievable, they should also be ambitious. Ideas for targets include:
- Double the number of employees in 24 months
- Have five new clients by the end of the quarter
- Increase revenue by 20% next year
We’ve written before about the importance of networking as a business tool. It can generate leads, build your personal brand and keep you up to date with trends in your industry. Networking allows people to put a face to a name, to get to know you on a personal level, and means you’re more than an email address. This all builds trust and confidence.
Networking allows people to put a face to a name, to get to know you on a personal level, and means you’re more than an email address.
How to begin networking
Networking can be both formal and informal, but the following tips should help wherever it happens:
- Seek out events. They may be organised by your free zone or in other locations in the emirate you’re based in. Sign up to newsletters for industry bodies and make sure you attend any relevant conferences or seminars.
- Always be prepared. Spend some time getting to know the guest list in advance to get a feel for who’s who.
- Be social – not just professional. If the people you’re talking to sense that you’re only interested in their money, it’s a quick turn-off.
- Be methodical. Every time you talk to someone or receive a business card, log it down so you can remember what you spoke about and who they work for – otherwise you just might forget when you see them next.
Learn to delegate better
As a study of 21st century business practices notes, “delegation of authority is good for the leader, the manager, and the follower as well as for the organization.” Delegating business tasks offers multiple benefits – it frees you up to focus on more pressing matters, allows you to ‘see the wood for the trees’ and lets you think more strategically.
How to delegate more effectively
Here are some simple steps to begin delegating tasks and authority more effectively:
- Decide if the task can indeed be delegated. Given the correct information and some guidance, is there anyone in your business that has the skills and experience to do this task instead of you? If so, hand over the reigns to them.
- Provide clear expectations. Let the individual know what your expected outcomes are, the time frame you need the task done in, and let them know when to come to you for help
- Be direct. If the work delivered simply doesn’t hit the mark, give constructive feedback so the individual can learn. On the other hand, if the work is done well, ensure you give the employee praise.
The habits for success
Being a better all-rounder in business is, as much as anything, about developing healthy habits which will enhance your career and make you a more effective business leader. Practice these habits every day, and you’ll be set up for success.
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