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August 2009
Some Business Insights from Those at the Top…
By Jeff Raynor

Leaders, Learning and No Rules

     Leaders can never let their minds shut down. When you are preoccupied with the business challenges of any given moment, whether working on a business deal, meeting with staff, talking to a friend, processing the latest economic news—give learning your full attention, and keep on learning.

     Since the fourth quarter of 2008, we have learned that the “rules” of “doing business” and existing marketplace dynamics have markedly changed. Finance, banking, credit have had all their “rules” change with a continuing impact on all our businesses. Many leaders have come to understand the most traditional “rules” are now gone and that they must think in the “no rules” mode to insure that their businesses survive and thrive. Less than 12 months ago, no one you knew would have stated out loud that two of the three U.S. auto makers would be government owned/bankrupt. With “no rules,” one must continually learn and explore how to achieve success.~Jeff R., Charlotte, N.C.


Clearly Communicate with Your Clients

     It is not enough to sell clients on the benefits of doing business with you—you must also collect your money. We rarely explain their required performance and expectations!

     Make it clear to your clients after the account is sold that each of us has a responsibility to pay for the services on time (and any other requirements you may have)! Communicate the rules upfront with your clients to guarantee a great relationship. If the client doesn’t completely understand and agree with the responsibilities of each party at the beginning of your relationship, then it will be very difficult to overcome later. You get what you tolerate—communicate—make it clear up front!~Richard G., Newton, N.J.


Manage Distractions

     When focus is critical, interruptions break your concentration and cause you to lose momentum. Maintaining productivity in our office was a huge challenge, so to solve the problem we implemented “roundups”—short 15-minute meetings held twice per day allowing employees to share saved up issues or requests. The time in between these meetings is the “quiet zone” where, short of an emergency, much more work gets done. This has greatly improved the office dynamics.~Jay C., Richmond, Va.

     Jeff Raynor, Certified TAB Facilitator® and Strategic Business Leadership™ Coach, heads TAB Carolinas™, part of The Alternative Board®—a global, small business CEO-peer group and executive coaching firm. Contact him at 704-554-6200 or visit

Jeff Raynor, M.B.A., Certified TAB® Facilitator, heads The Alternative Board® - TAB Carolinas™, a global CEO peer group & executive coaching firm
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