“I’ll tell you what the key is,” an elderly gentleman said to me, tugging downward on my coat sleeve to incline me a little closer to the message he wanted to speak up into my ear. “I always hired people a lot smarter than me!” There was a satisfied twinkle in his eye. He was summing up, in his words and experience, the talk I had just given to the 100 men who gathered very early this past Friday morning at the Tap House Grill in Palatine, IL.
I was in the middle of speaking to four leadership groups over two days in the greater Chicago area, groups that were pulled together by my friends, Ace and Marge Mokry of Cru, Scott Beilke and Donna Brighton of Brighton Leadership Group, and Bob Schuldt of the Moody Business Network Distinguished Speaker’s Series. After each talk, there were quite a lot of sidebar conversations, and I paid very careful attention to what was on each leader’s mind.
Many organizations struggle with identifying their “secret” to success. Often, founders are insufficiently clear about their own unique approach. They can do the job themselves, but they don’t know how to describe what makes them successful. Great organizations have identified their success factors and can teach others to replicate what has taken them to their current level of success.
Be Clear About Your Success Factors
Identifying what the customer values requires great listening and questioning skills. The customers and the non-customers (those who are doing business with your competitors) can identify the Critical-to-Success factors that they value in your organization. Critical-to-Success factors are the product features, customer-supplier interactions, and other intangibles that cause customer loyalty and new customer acquisitions. Once the Critical-to-Success factors have been identified, they guide your business to increased revenue and profits.