I find that often times I’ll pick up business books from the store looking for inspiration and they just end up sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Sound familiar? Sometimes it’s because I get excited about a new topic, ie. Social Media which warranted me purchasing not one but five social media marketing books! Needless to say I barely got through one and skimmed a couple others. I realized that as with any other task I hope to achieve associated with my business (Brooklyn Music Factory) I need to actually set aside the time to accomplish them. Books somehow felt different, but of course, they are not. They require time during my workday if they are in fact a priority. So, that is what has changed as of late. I now set aside some reading time a couple times during the week and, low and behold, I am starting to pull new books off that dusty shelf! This entry marks the first of a series on business books that I have discovered to be chock full of useful info. And how I see that info affecting my business operation.
The book I have been making my way through the past couple weeks is called Corner Office by Adam Bryant. Mr Bryant is a NY Times columnist who seems to have dedicated recent years to tracking down and interviewing 100s of CEOs of companies both large and small. He has a Sunday column of the same name in the Sunday Business section of the Times. From these interviews he has drawn what he believes are five key qualities required of all business leaders. They are: Passionate Curiosity, Battle-Hardened Confidence, Fearlessness, A Simple Mindset, Team Smarts.
Let’s take a look at what some quotes from each of these qualities and then I’ll share some of my translations. How I see these being implemented or not into my small business.
One CEO said it well, ” I am a student of human nature.” Using this desire to better understand both his customers and his employees, he talked of how he improved products and services as well as narrowing down the choices of what specifically they are offering. This gets to the bottom of knowing precisely what is needed. Offer less but do it better than the rest.
But this also gets at something that I believe is essential in any business with some number of employees. Know what each member of your team really brings to the table. By maintaining an ongoing relationship with each employee and asking lots of questions, I am slowly unlocking their true value as a teacher and beyond. This chapter raised a number of questions for me and my small music school:
1- How do I delegate to each expertise?
2- Then more importantly, how can I then trust their intuition while still questioning it?
3- I want to ask each faculty member to justify their curriculum choices.
4- I need to ask each faculty member to think seriously enough about the curriculum to be able to write their ideas down and present them.
Coming next week: Battle-Hardened Confidence, Fearlessness, A Simple Mindset & Team Smarts. And
In the meantime, what good business books have you been reading. What new ideas have you discovered and how does it pertain to your studio? Let me know. I’m always on the lookout for the next solid read.