Last night I heard Laurie Ann Goldman speak at the TiECon event. She’s a baller. She was recently the CEO of Spanx where she took the company to $250 million in revenue and over $1 billion in market value.
Lauria Ann said a bunch of awesome stuff last night, but this simple statement made me think about how we all can win with our businesses:
Whoever Cares the Most Wins
It got me thinking. How can I (and our team) care more than our competitors and therefore win? Here’s what I came up with:
Empathy for the customer
Caring about customer objectives more than our competitors is vital. What are the things that limit them from their full potential? What makes them smile? What makes them productive? What makes them look great to their friends, bosses, clients? If we really dive in to their world and care the most about what makes them a hero, we’ll win.
Empathy for the company culture
Caring the most about our culture means guarding it heavily. It means communicating our core values frequently and even calling each-other out when they are being risked. How can we stay positive when 99% of the world would complain? Do we take that extra step to help a team member when 99% of outsiders would focus on themselves? Do we take the extra step to summit the mountain when 99% of the world would stop and rest?
Honing our craft
I read a book by Tony Hawk (the famous skateboarder) once. He said he wanted to be the ‘thought leader of the thought leaders’…the one who inspired the experts, not just the everyday skateboarders. Caring the most means doing this ourselves. How can we be the leader of the leaders? Do we care the most about being the best at our roles? How can we motivate ourselves to have the discipline and exhibit the behavior that breeds excellence?
Life’s too short to not love what we’re doing. Do we not only work hard but play hard as well? How do we keep our environment light-hearted and welcoming? We spend more time at work than anywhere else. Are we focused on making that time fun and enjoyable? When we wake up happier to come in the office in the morning than others, we win.
Under this theory of leadership, we’re asking more from ourselves than expected. Laurie Ann quipped that her employees have a love / hate relationship with her. They “hated” on the fact that she always asked and pushed them to do more than they had ever done before…to care more than everyone else. In the end however, the love prevails as her people are able to accomplish things they never thought possible…things they only could imagine in their dreams. To be more, to do more, and to become more.
And to therefore, win.