The beginning of a new decade is a critical time for business leaders and executives to switch things up and enhance their leadership approach to be more successful in 2020.

As any good leader knows, success starts from within. To start off the year on a high note, executives must make adjustments that will achieve bigger and better things in 2020.

Five successful executives shared with me how they are adjusting their strategies to fuel the success of their businesses this year. Here's what they had to say: 

1. Recover from failures quickly.

"Every time you take on a challenge or make a decision, there's a chance you may come up short, and that's alright," said Aaron Meyers, President & COO of Hammer & Nails. What's not alright is to let that mistake or temporary failure define you. In fact, moving on from mistakes - and quickly - is critical to success."

2. Reverse the hierarchical pyramid.

"The very best leaders understand that they actually work for the associates as opposed to the other way around," says Larry Sutton, Founder and CEO of RNR Tire Express. "This key tenant of servant leadership suggests that reversing the roles allows businesses to develop a culture based on service and support that ultimately makes a tremendous lasting impact on an organization's success."

In 2020, CEOs and other leaders must recognize that although they may be high on the chain of command, they should not be giving off the impression that they are the 'above' everyone else at the organization.

Recognizing that your company is foundationally based on a team of people with unique skillsets and backgrounds that are coming together for the greater good of one common goal is key to the success of your brand.

When you serve your people and recognize and foster each employee's value-add, this can help foster an open and supportive community building the corporate culture needed for the success of your business.

3. Take a stand on social issues.

"In 2020, all organizations are being asked to embrace a higher standard on ethics and equality," said Dr. Chris Tomshack, Founder and CEO of HealthSource. "Customers, vendors and employees all want this, and companies that live up to these standards are rewarded."

As a leader, how do you make sure your company is living up to changing social norms?  First, conduct and audit of your policies. Then ask for feedback from all your stakeholders -- both internal and external -- to see if your company is truly in alignment.

HealthSource has championed the cause of getting people off opioids and onto holistic health treatments. To do this, it supports groups such as The Salvation Army, which is on the front line of the opioid crisis. This cause has energized the internal team, vendors, and customers.

4. Provide guidance and direction.

More than ever, leaders are being asked to be the example in time of challenges and trials that will inspire a team to push through and achieve outstanding results.

Neal Courtney, CEO of Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids shared, "As the leader, you are not the one digging the ditches and blazing the trail. You are the one providing the direction. You are the one encouraging and empowering those around you to perform optimally and find the value in the job that they do."

5. Focus on profit.

"As most entrepreneurs are hyper-focused on revenue, we have always pushed management to shift focus on profit," said James Aguayo, CEO of Sushi Sake. Financial transparency with your team can be a key indicator of a business's health. Transparency can fuel the following questions: Is it really worth the effort when revenue is XX and profit is XX? Most importantly, is it sustainable? Not really.

"Investing in employees' financial perspective has created a paradigm shift from thinking about revenue to thinking about profit. In return, this has brought employee morale up, creating the environment for them to win and remain happy." Why? Long term strategy indicates a profiting entity retains more money to invest in its team, its business and most importantly success.

When you recognize the value of giving your employees a voice and foster a transparent and collaborative work environment, you open the door to endless opportunities for your brand to reach new heights in the new year.

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Published on: Jan 21, 2020
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