For many of you reading this blog, congrats on being named to the INC 500. You’re one of the top 500 high growth privately held businesses in America this year. Congrats to you and your team. For entrepreneurs who are looking for mid-week motivation, grab a copy of September’s INC magazine at your local newsstand and take time to read it cover to cover.
When you done reading and sharing with others on your team, begin planning how you will be on the list next year. I’ve been blessed to know many of the men and women who’ve appeared on this list. Several of my best clients and employers have appeared on the list several times. A few have had sales exceeding 250 million dollars and several have even broken the billion dollar mark in annual revenue.
This year there was an added feature. Gallup has created a new assessment tool that helps entrepreneurs better understand their strengths and capabilities. When the book comes out later this year, I will share it with you. INC had the entrepreneurs take the assessment to see how they compare to the general entrepreneurial population. It was an eye-opening and interesting addition to all the great information shared in the annual INC 500 issue.
So what skills does it take to earn a spot on the INC 500 Annual list? If the test holds true, there are several major difference between the high performers and the people who didn’t make the list. The difference on the surface would be the people on the list are more self-confident. They believe they are good at more things than other entrepreneurs. That’s one of the findings of the first group of INC 500 entrepreneurs who took Gallup’s new test included with the Entrepreneurial Strengthsfinder out at the end September, 2014.
The scores of leaders in the INC 500 show there are many traits that these leaders share but several are keys to building a forward leaning organization. You find many classic strengths defined in new ways for entrepreneurs. The one skill that defines their success long term is their ability to create breakthrough relationships with others. This is no surprise to me. But what does it mean to you, the person who aspires to make the list next year? I thought I’d share several ideas on how to become better at building stronger relationships with the right people based on my view inside the business of many of these great leaders. I will share these today and tomorrow so you can get a head start on building breakthrough relationships.
The first key to building stronger relationships is to know when to say no. Successful INC 500 leaders know how to get the most out of their time. They are very selective with who they choose to invest their most critical asset, their time. Many have in a strong BS detector, because to succeed and grow its more about no than yes to potential opportunities.
When asked how they manage their time I’ve found many avoid time wasting activities. This means they may come across as abrupt and self- serving at early stages of growth, but over a relatively short period of time they begin to develop emotional intelligence and they become better at dismissing people while still creating strong connection with others that may become more important to them as their business continues to grow. For example, this could include their relationships with partners, bankers and private equity groups. It also includes their developing relationships with key customers in their higher growth markets.
Friday, we share two additional areas where the INC 500 leaders stand apart in building relationships. See you Friday morning, when we end your week on a high note.