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Don’t Chase Everything that Shines

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In the New York Times article Don’t Chase Everything that Shines, Adam Bryant interviews Sandra Kurtzig, CEO of the software management firm Kenandy. Sandra discusses her leadership style and how it has evolved since she first went into business. Here are a few ways that entrepreneurs can learn from Sandra’s approach to leadership:
Identify Silver Bullets
Don’t get distracted when something comes along that shifts your focus away from your core strategy. As Sandra has grown older, she is better able to identify a silver bullet as a proposition that’s simply too good to be true. When somebody tells you that they have a product or service that’s going to make you a millionaire overnight, they are probably trying to sell you something so hard that they don’t really care about who you are. Don’t fall victim to someone who teaches you how to hype up or pitch your product. That’s not a sustainable mission.

Talk to People
Embrace people who are willing to talk and discuss ideas with you rather than sell you on an idea. People who will debate with you and tell you what they really think are the people who you want to seek out when making decisions. Sandra became more confident in her assessments when she realized the importance of having two-way conversations and interacting with people face-to-face, not just on computers. You will make better decisions by talking to other people before executing an idea, but don’t aggressively challenge someone who you disagree with. People should feel comfortable talking to you.

Less is More
Be conservative in hiring. You can get more work done with fewer people when duties are clearly assigned and everyone is maximizing their capacity to accomplish tasks. Not only can you accomplish more done with less, but businesses will benefit from establishing a more tight-knit group of people who easily interact with each other in a collaborative environment. In the same way, it’s important that you choose your employees and work with people who you like. Don’t chase someone who doesn’t want to do business with you. Work with the people that want to work with you.

Published: July 29, 2013
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