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Very Important People

You’ve heard, “No man is an island.” There really is no such thing as a “solo” entrepreneur. And, as you get bigger and find yourself with a couple of million dollars in sales and a dozen or more people on staff, you know first-hand that you cannot do it all yourself. If you are a project lead or a department head in a larger company, you realize the leader is not the doer. Without people to support your efforts, nothing moves forward.

Looking outside the company and the project team, first and foremost, You need a VIP customer with some pain to be eliminated or a condition to be improved. I call it a VIP customer where VIP represents the Value Improvement Proposition of the idea for a new product or a service. If it does not improve the customer in some measurable way to them, the idea won’t sell. If you are in IT in a larger company, your customers are internal to the organization, and just as important to you as an external customer is to someone else. How often have employees been dismayed by IT people making them do things that take extra time. How often do IT employees do more to cause pain and discomfort than to alleviate and ameliorate it? The best IT people know how to help their constituents get better. Sometimes, just like teaching a child not to put their fingers in an electric socket or to touch the electric range glowing red, IT (or accounting, or legal, or . . . ) needs to convince people to do something that is for the greater good of the organization. That boring class on security may be needed to avoid a multi-billion dollar breach of company assets. The accounting seminar on dinner receipts may keep the company from dealing with an IRS audit and fine of thousands of dollars.

“We are all in this boat together” is another often heard phrase. We cannot all be pulling on the oars, manning the tiller, or hoisting the sales. In business, and in life, we need to work together effectively. People really are your most important asset—teammates, customers, suppliers. Read more about coxswains at WHAT COACHES LOOK FOR IN A COXSWAIN

Increasing and Sustaining Cadence to Win