The Executive Way
When people think of an executive, they usually think of someone that’s got it all together – a leader, an innovator, and a goal-setter who’s always prepared and on top of things. Thinking and acting like an executive will help you both in your career and life in general.
Most people have a hard time planning a weekly menu, but to get ahead, you need to plan ahead. Where do you see yourself and your business next month? What about next year? How about ten years from now? Be specific. If there’s not going to be a moment in time when you can specifically say, “I’ve done this,” it’s not specific enough. If your goal is to get new customers, how many are you aiming for? If you want to offer new services, which services do you want to offer? List out everything that will be included.
Write Everything Down
The best way to track your progress is to write everything down. It doesn’t matter whether you do this electronically or on a piece of paper, but everything needs to be recorded. This way, you won’t have to assume anything. Are you consistently meeting your goals or falling flat? How many of a certain product can you expect to sell next month? What makes customers happy? What makes them unhappy? You might be surprised at these answers – sometimes you’ll find a strength or weakness you weren’t even aware you had.
Break It Down
Remember those plans you made? Remember those long-term goals? Break them down into small steps to make yourself more likely to follow through. If you run a fast-food restaurant chain and want to open up three new restaurants within the next five years, you might feel a little overwhelmed. While it’s great to look at the big picture, breaking projects down into tiny pieces makes it a lot easier to get started. Since you already know what you want to accomplish, now is the time to figure out how you’re going to get there. Maybe focus on just one restaurant for now. That’s still a big project, so break it down a little further. Where are you going to put it? To find that out, you need to figure out which locations are within your budget, which means you need to figure out how much money is available to you. Keep breaking everything down until you have something that can be completed in less than a day.
Fake It Until You Make It
Writing out lists and coming up with goals are one thing, but acting like an executive is another monster entirely. You want to have confidence. You want to be able to win people over. You want someone to take one look at you and think, “Wow, there’s a leader.” There’s just one problem. What if you don’t feel like any of that describes you? What if you’re not good with people and have low self-esteem? There are many self-help books and programs out there to help, but honestly, the best thing to do is fake it until you make. If you try to act like a good executive, you’ll feel like an impostor at first, but eventually, it will all become second nature to you.
Lead the Right Way
You’re the boss, so don’t be afraid to act like one. If an employee or personal friend suggests a new way of doing things, then yes, you should absolutely take them seriously and consider all the options, but it’s up to you in the end. If you run a small business, some of your employees might be friends or family, but don’t let this affect your business negatively. No matter who it is, someone that regularly comes in late or is insubordinate is not a good employee and needs to either turn their act around or start looking for another job. Keep in mind, though, that bosses can be strict and nice at the same time. Stay upbeat and positive, and remember to praise your employees for doing good work. Letting them know you appreciate them goes a long way.
Thinking and acting like an executive isn’t as hard as it seems. Stay organized, act confident, and build good relationships to succeed. Whether you own your own business or are working at an entry-level job, trying to keep an executive mindset will help you become the person you’ve always wanted to be. And if you’d really like to reach out and get an executive job, why not try an executive recruitment agency?