When I look back over the years and consider the more successful companies I have been associated with, particularly those who have been pro-active in securing a future, there has been a strong controlling influence. Leadership over management.

Managers are usually good at controlling the tasks their employees perform and how they go about them.

Leaders are those who change how employees think over how they behave. These innovative leaders influence the thinking patterns to include the here-and-now, the future, market opportunities and the changes needed to embrace all of this to achieve the desired outcomes for future success.

Leaders are usually people who employees want to follow and they have an ability to inspire confidence in the team which also includes an attitude of not resting on past successes because these will not necessarily guarantee a successful future.

Leaders are able to change based on the external and internal circumstances around them and have an ability to be responsive to market and economic challenges affecting their business.

We all live in an accelerating environment of change which can disrupt business outcomes, and by being so immersed in your company may lead you to lose track of innovations around you that would benefit forward strategic plans.

Leaders will always be looking outside of their individual businesses and get a larger view of new ideas by benchmarking local and international trends. There is no competitive advantage in being the same as those around you. Leaders look to set their business apart from competition. They look to give their business the WOW factor.

Leaders will not wait for the future to unfold before them or wait for a competitor to deliver some new idea.

Leaders are certain about what they can do and inspire others to come along with them.

When I look back over history and at some of the world’s best achievers, they are those who have fallen over in failure not once but many times. They are people who have not necessarily gained great academic success yet have gone on to achieve their places among the world’s great successes.

All of these people have universally admitted their final successes have been underpinned by their failures.

In other words, we can all be buoyed by the knowledge and history of failure being a pre-cursor to meeting with future success.

I have certainly taken on board that failure is not something to be afraid of, but something to be part of my future strategic risk mitigation plan.

Anyone who wants to grow must not only embrace failure but learn from it. If the reasons for failure are always forgotten and/or overlooked, this is waste that will never be able to add substantial value to any forward strategic business plans.

I have also been able to differentiate between failures caused by negligence and those caused by unique circumstances where I have made a decision based on innovation and/or new process introduction. Whatever the circumstances of my failures, I have strategised to explore them skilfully, identify their root causes and learn what is needed to not allow this to recur.

In other words, the extent to which I use these failures will depend entirely on the root causes. This then allows me to turn my failures into successes.

As a business turnaround specialist, I have been able to use my past as part of the due-diligence process and quickly get across were companies are currently, where they have come from, were they can go, and how they will reach a sustainable future objective.

When I am commissioned to assist a business move forward, I approach this as a mentor whose experience and skill set become a partnership/relationship in which I have equal status with the CEO but with implicit obligations to the client business.

As a mentor/business advisor, I am acutely aware of my obligations to my client company and I take these situations seriously with a view to working closely with all personnel to see the positive outcomes of success. I do not treat my involvement as merely a consultant, but as an involved mentor who assists in the management of any recommendations to see ultimate success for all key stakeholders.

Your success is ultimately my success.

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