Some 90% of small businesses fail within the first five years. The ones that beat the odds do so for any number of reasons, not the least of which is luck. But in addition to issuing a rabbit’s foot (or vegetarian-friendly four-leaf clovers) to each employee, the wise executive seeks every day to bring statistic-defying value to his business.
I argue that there is a baseline of competence–a bare minimum–that you must meet to earn your paycheck. Namely, you must be damned good at your job. If you’re in sales, you better sell the hell out of your product or service. Accountants should be accurate to the penny. Marketing folks (the game I play) must be detail-oriented, cost-conscious, and have a complete understanding of their product, their customers, and their competitive landscape.
But kicking ass at your job just gets you in the door. Kick-ass executives are a dime a dozen. I’ve worked with an endless supply of smart, talented, and ambitious people in four-person startups and in FORTUNE 10 companies.
If you want to stand apart, you must be more than that. You must find a way to help your company succeed against the odds. You must have the knowledge, the insight, and the will to guide your company and your people to destinations they otherwise could not reach. This is what I seek to do.