Mike and Jim have been friends for over a decade, and in fact, Mike’s company helped him find an amazing leadership position with Doran Manufacturing. And now, Jim has some things to teach Mike about how he’s succeeded in the Vice President and General Manager position. He shares his ideas of the most critical success factors that have made him a superb leader, how he creates a strong company culture, and how he keeps himself balanced while doing it.
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- When Jim was in school, he figured the fastest way to learn about business would be through sales. He did that for 12 years before moving over to product development. He followed that trend of learning all facets of business and earned an MBA, all with the intention of setting himself up to lead a business. Not just to lead, however. Jim wanted to lead well.
- With Jim’s expansive work experience, he’s learned quite a lot about leading and being led. There are several factors he considers critical for success, not least among those actually listening to people. Jim shares some of the other secrets that have made him such a great leader.
- Jim strives to create a culture of success, and not all of that success is focused inward. When it comes to product development, he believes you should treat your customers’ problems like they are your own, and Jim shares his theories on how that works for the good of all. In short, listening is key.
- You know that every great leader has a vision. They are the driving force of a company, but what happens when the leader is the only one who sees that vision? How can people follow when they don’t know where you’re going? Jim talks about how to create a shared vision, one that everyone in your company can get behind. Ask yourself this: do your employees work FOR the company or are your employees THE company?
- Everyone is talking about culture, and there are plenty of empty platitudes about it. But Jim has created a culture at Doran that is centered around the way people share energy. He explains the most important thing to get right and how it’s translated to everyday work-life with his team.
- Remember, handwritten thank you notes matter. Jim shares the story that makes that one thing so meaningful to him, and it has to do with collegiate baseball.
- Jim shares what he learned about celebrating successes and learning from losses because you won’t always win in business. You won’t always get everything right, and if you don’t learn how to deal with it and how to not make the mistakes again, you’ll never grow as a person or a company. One of the best lessons Jim shares is the concept of ‘no for now.’
- It’s not easy being a leader. Your decisions affect a lot of people, and you have their best interests in mind. It’s no different for Jim. He reveals some of his personal checkpoints and tactics to keep himself in balance under the pressures of leadership. One of his biggest supporters is his wife.
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