Aaagh! Surely not yet another piece on the mysteries of leadership. Thankfully, no. However there is one thing that the leader of a successful high growth company must do – spend time with customers. Meet them, listen to them, understand what they want. If you think this isn’t your job – “what do I employ a Sales Manager for?” I hear you say – then think again. The instincts and intuition of the founder of the business are crucial – and that means being engaged with customers. For us this is real leadership – setting the right example and sending out a clear message to everyone in the business about what really matters – your customers.
By involving yourself with customers you:-
- stay in touch with the market
- strengthen your relationships with key customers. They like it when the ‘top man’ comes to visit
- keep your people honest. It’s harder for them to pull the wool over your eyes (“the market’s very tight at present”, “nobody seems to want to buy”) if you are out there talking to customers
- spot new opportunities and stay ahead of the game
- If the Chief Executive of an ambitious business has a more important task, we have yet to see it!