22 min 3 sec
The company was a Goliath in its industry and Marissa had a lot of respect for it. But she also knew the company was facing hard times, and when she got the call asking her to join the team as CEO, she knew that turning things around would be no small feat. The company had an attrition rate of close to 25% - meaning 1 in 4 people were leaving. It had cycled through six CEOs in the last 5 years. The stock price was dropping and revenue losses were at an all-time high. Most news sources, investors, and business execs agreed that the company was on the way to the grave. To join the sinking ship would be crazy -- and Marissa knew it was crazy.But, of course, we wouldn’t be sharing her story if she hadn’t taken the leap. Marissa started as CEO the day her appointment was announced. But rather than jump in, take the wheel, and try to save the ship, for the first 90 days, she did… nothing. She didn’t present a strategy, she didn’t cut off hemorrhaging lines of business, she didn’t try to recruit a new team — no, she remained silent, and, for three months, all she did was listen. It’s a technique many notable CEOs have used when entering a new organization, and it’s one that Steve Murphy, CEO of Epicor Software, has relied on time and time again. What exactly helped Steve and Epicor write a new ending to their story. How did he turn Epicor into a thriving business making more than $900 million in revenue, with 20,000 customers in more than 150 countries? Find out on Business X factors.Main takeaways: Talk Less, Listen More: If you want to become a better leader of a business team, become a proactive listener. Especially when a business is going through big changes or is at an inflection point, leaders should not be tempted to rush and communicate what’s on their mind. The first step is to listen to customers and your workforce and to engage, to be able to understand. Astute leaders know that surrendering the floor is how you get to understand what is on the mind of others. The smartest person in the room is often not the one doing the talking; it is the person who is engaging and asking relevant questions and doing most of the listening. Rewind, Take Stock, Move Forward: Steve Jobs famously said at Stanford University that you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. For companies, this rearview mirror to connect the dots of past mistakes makes great sense in finding out what was broken and why it was broken. By looking back or taking a step back, you can develop a tactical tool kit that will help you to move forward. Weave the lessons you learned in the past into a future strategy and move on toward a more successful future.Putting Out Small Fires Won’t Do It: When businesses experience problems, you can examine and try to fix a range of symptoms, like missed deadlines, low morale, lack of materials or software problems or put out the small fires. A better solution is to dig deeper into the root causes of problems, diagnose the underlying issues with your team. Root cause analysis consists of defining the problem, digging below the surface for the underlying conditions that gave rise to the problem. Design and implement a solution with buy-in at all levels and evaluate the success. Managers Don’t Need to be Liked: Managers' relationships with their teams can often seem like that of a tightrope walker between too close and too distant. As a boss is often the reason why people leave a company; it is important to get it right. Friendliness and respect without friendship create balance and this balance needs to be constantly adjusted. To get the balance right: Focus on the job you have to do, it’s about delivering results; set the boundaries between you and your team, but give descriptive feedback on what has been done and the impact it had; keep emotional self-control; take responsibility if things go wrong; know your team by taking time to listen. Give respect and it will be given back.---Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland. For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to Hyland.com/insights to learn more.