Have you ever wondered what qualities and talents uber-successful business people have that contributed to their success and whether you could leverage these qualities and talents as you build your own career and business?
I read an article in the 2015 spring version of Strategy + Business titled “What Self-Made Billionaires Do Best”. The authors of this article did some research and found that the billionaire business people they studied practiced five habits of mind that contributed directly to the success of their business ventures. The authors call these people Producers. Producers are defined as people who “look beyond an existing business or market to envision something new, develop the often divergent resources necessary to make it real, and sell it to customers who didn’t even know they wanted it.”
The Producers five habits of mind are as follows;
- Ideas: Empathetic Imagination – Producers identify a critical need in the marketplace and leverage their awareness, empathy, imagination and knowledge to develop this need into a billion dollar product or service.
- Time: Patient Urgency – Billion dollar ideas do not happen overnight. Producers know how to develop a compelling idea but have patience balanced with a sense of urgency about what they can do today to bring the properly developed product to the market in the proper timeframe.
- Action: Inventive Execution – By taking into account the customer experience, strategy and tactics, terms of the sale, ownership and distribution, Producers design a solution in executing on an imaginative idea.
- Risk: Relative, Not Absolute – Producers view risk in relative terms and look to see what options present the greatest opportunity. They then work to mitigate risks associated with this opportunity.
- Leadership: Teaming with Performers – Producers team up with Performers to deliver properly balanced results.
Note that Performers (referenced in point 5 above) are people who “manage, optimize and improve human endeavor within guidelines.” They are the people who basically turn your business into a finely tuned machine.
Based on these five habits, the questions for you as a business leader are;
- Which of the five habits of mind are strong areas for you?
- Which of the habits of mind do you need to develop further?
- What actions will you take to develop these habits?
- Who do you know that is already proficient in areas that you need development that would be willing to mentor you?
Also, it is important to understand that your business needs both Producers and Performers to be successful. Basically, the Producers set the vision and the operating parameters for the business and the Performers manage and optimize the organization and deliver on the vision. Your business needs both types of people but the Producers set the business direction and vision. The vision is critical for business success. Without it your business will be directionless.
Based on that statement, here are a few more questions for you to consider;
- Are you a Producer or a Performer?
- Do you have a clearly articulated vision for your business?
- Do you have Producers in your business acting in a Performer role?
- Do you have a Performer in a Producer role?
- What can you do to put your staff into the most productive roles to do what they do best?