Five Steps to Building a Successful
WANT TO KEEP YOUR
Yahoo! These companies share some enviable traits—they’re
all household names and they’ve all been in business for years.
Not easy to achieve in today’s frenetic marketplace. What
do leaders at these companies know that you don’t? They know
what it takes to build a sustainable business; a business that will
be around for years. According to USA Today, every year, nearly
1.5 million Americans start their own business. If they survive
the first three years, chances are they’ll stay afloat.
So how do you create an enduring business? For starters, put a ‘sustainable’
leader at the helm. That means having a leader who improves employee
morale, workplace environment and the community. Forget about boosting
profits with a no holds barred, pillage and plunder approach. Sustainable
leaders strengthen the bottom line by creating loyalty with employees,
clients and the community— the result of showing they value
their staff and taking civic responsibility according to acclaimed
executive coach and author Karlin Sloan.
“Sustainable leaders leave the people around them, their company,
clients and the greater community all better off from their service,”
says Sloan. “They build organizations that are sustainable
and can thrive for years to come beyond their individual contributions.”
In her coaching seminars and her book SMARTER, FASTER, BETTER: Strategies
for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership, Sloan encourages
casting aside the old notions of leadership and take five practical
steps to building a sustainable business:
1. Measure more than the bottom line
Think about the big picture and the impact your business has on
the community and the environment. Then take action to improve in
Practice sustainable working styles
Happy, healthy employees are more productive. Many companies offer
employees perks such as ‘movie days’ or free car washes.
They also advocate a balance between work and home life. Remember,
lower absenteeism and job turnover also save money.
Get everyone working together
Collaborate as a company to improve sustainability and generate
a sense of teamwork, excitement and ownership. Plus it enhances
your ability to attract the best people.
Give back to the community
Create employee matching programs, encourage community involvement
and corporate philanthropy. People in your community help keep you
in business—return the favor!
Reduce your carbon footprint
Take stock of your energy usage and invest in alternative ways to
power your operation or reduce your consumption. ‘Think green’
and incorporate simple changes such as reducing paper usage, recycling
and switching to energy saving light bulbs.
While those are just five simple steps that will help anyone improve
their work performance, SMARTER, FASTER, BETTER provides leaders
with even more insight that they can readily apply on a daily basis.
Sloan uses real-life business scenarios to demonstrate how the paradox
of actually slowing down, taking time to reflect and focusing on
the greater good can create a leader who is smarter, faster and
“All leaders are unique and there is no secret formula for
success, no step-by-step prescription for greatness,” says
Sloan. “However, any leader’s greatness can be measured
by how well they serve the groups whose trust they hold.”
Sloan’s message resonates loudly in an age when customers
are demanding more accountability from companies. Leaders at some
of the nation’s most recognizable brands, including Yahoo!,
Allstate and Rodale Press are taking notice and implementing Sloan’s
principles in leadership development. By asking questions, slowing
down and searching for better solutions for the workplace, customers
and beyond, business leaders can develop more than just their careers;
they can carve out an enduring legacy. And it can all start with
just five simple steps.
FASTER BETTER: Strategies for Effective, Enduring and Fulfilled
by Karlin Sloan
Publisher: Jossey-Bass/a Wiley Imprint, 2006
Available at: www.amazon.com,
Borders, Barnes & Noble
Karlin Sloan is the founder
and president of Karlin Sloan & Company. A certified executive
coach with a master’s degree in clinical psychology, Ms. Sloan’s
expertise in organization development consulting, leadership development
programs and executive coaching has served clients throughout the
U.S. , Europe, South America and Asia . She is a founding member
of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations and
has been featured in numerous publications as an expert in workplace
Fortune Small Business Magazine recognized Ms. Sloan for her consulting
work with organizations in New York City following the terrorist
attacks of September 11th.
Ms. Sloan also serves as adjunct faculty for The Wharton School
of the University of Pennsylvania .
Event Management Services, Inc.