It’s pretty easy to get caught with your face buried in a computer screen and forget that the world out there is a pretty amazing place. Plus, that’s really where opportunity exists.
Sure, taking care of customers, writing sales letters and growing your business is your job, but in order to truly evolve your business, sometimes you have to work on evolving your environment.
Here’s what I mean. They say a fish or a turtle or any animal really can only grow to a size in accordance with its environment. Put a fish in a small tank and it stays small, put a fish in a big tank and it gets bigger.
One of the surest ways to grow your business, to become a leader in your marketplace, is to go to work on growing or bettering your industry as a whole.
You can apply this thinking locally, in your marketplace, or globally, depending upon where you start, but organizations that embrace this way of thinking generally show up as leaders in every category of business.
Below are five habits that market leaders embrace.
Market leaders understand that networking is a way of life, not a lead generation practice. Networking is how you uncover opportunities, solutions, employees, mentors, referrals and it’s how you build a team of “best of class” resources to bring value to every aspect of your life.
Networking employs the act of giving and receiving and does not involve scorekeeping. The first reflex in market leader networking is, “who can I help?”
Every industry on the planet has an association or group, locally, nationally and internationally whose purpose is to improve, protect and grow the interests of the industry or community.
One of the things I’ve experienced over the years is that market leaders participate in such groups. They join them, attend events and volunteer to serve on boards and committees.
This is such a strong trait of a market leader that I’ve long used it as a definable behavior to help describe what, for my organization, is an ideal client. If you sell in a B2B world, targeting individuals that participate at a high level in their industry groups is a smart play.
Successful businesses have usually figured something out that others have not. Market leaders have figured something out that others have not and they teach it.
Market leaders facilitate discussions with their peers, conduct workshops on various best practices related and unrelated to their core business and view their internal culture much more like a school than a workplace.
Here’s where I may get some push back, but in my experience market leaders view competition different than most. Market leaders believe that cooperation is far more fruitful than competition and look for ways to collaborate, educate and even help industry members that some might view as direct competitors.
Now, you may draw the line at publicly sharing the secret sauce that makes your business profitable, but you may also realize that the world is a tremendously abundant place and cooperation is a much bigger long-term leadership strategy.
Finally, market leaders understand the value of playing the role of host for their community.
They invest in spaces that allow people to come together, whether there is a valid customer generating case to be made of not. They host industry meetings and events. They look for ways to gather two or more to celebrate lunch, music, art or education.
Leadership isn’t really about being better or stronger or faster, it’s more about your gut reaction to things around you and what you do about it. Taking action, without really thinking about it, that benefits your industry, tribe or community as a whole is how you establish a market leader mindset.