Thursday, June 25, 2009

Building a Winning Business Team

Anyone out there got the guts to do it? I mean, is anyone "brave" enough to create and lead a team of like-minded people towards the kind of exceptional business success that one only sees, if one is lucky, once in a career?

I've spent the last couple of weeks talking to and working with business people - I heard a lot of anecdotal evidence which proves the old adage that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Highly placed executives falsifying new business projections whilst lining their pockets based on their lies.

More highly placed executives getting massive compensation payments - once when they were unceremoniously booted out (and rightly so) from their lofty perch - and again for when the company that had sacked them was subsequently sold (because it was in their contract).

We all know about the rogue bankers, the rogue traders the realtors who sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. We all know that, given a little power, people generally look after themselves first.

I must admit that even I (and I've been around for years) was taken aback by an answer from a senior company executive to the question "What are large organizations in business for?" I expected the usual - "bottom line", "shareholder value", "profit".

But the answer I got was entirely unexpected: "The really senior guys are there to make as much money for themselves in the shortest space of time possible and then get the hell out before the wheels come off!"

And, yet, once in a while, I come across a group of people who are different and, as a result, exceptionally successful without being dishonest, untrustworthy or downright jailable! Only a couple of times throughout my career (in large organisations and as a "consultant") have I had the experience that I've recently enjoyed with a Senior Management Group who not only know how the world really works - they're actually putting it into practice.

Part of an multi-national organisation, their business is the most profitable division in over ninety countries. They hold the number one market position in their market (with more than twice the market share of the number two) - whereas their colleagues' normal market position is somewhere between number seven and eight.

And they only set up their business two years ago! These guys and girls don't just work hard - they play hard too, having the kind of fun that was squashed out of companies by bean-counters in the late 1980s.

Why are they different from any other organization I've ever come across? First of all, the CEO takes a very alternative approach to business and life. He understands that you're at your most effective and impressive when you're abnormally focused in the present moment.

He knows that, if you're worried about trying to make an impression (on his team, on customers, on the international board, on whoever) you'll never make one! He knows that if you don't find a way of truly listening to your real "gut instinct", then you'll never take the bold decisions and the bold initiatives which have taken him to where he and his team are. He knows that you don't take "No" for an answer to something that makes sense - that's why his entity has been allowed so much scope and freedom by global HQ.

He knows about the "power of now", how to focus in the present moment and how to be achieve abnormal success effortlessly. He practices what many of my clients call their "mental exercises" - for all the world very similar to age-old meditations - because those exercises develop a sharp discipline of mind that creates a single-mindedness and presence that creates effortless success.

But, more than that, he's introduced his entire senior management team to the concepts and practice of how to clear one's mind, how to discipline an otherwise wayward and distracted mind and how to fully focus in the here and now.

By Willie Horton

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