International business orator Lord Digby Jones is heading to Perth to share some of his wisdom garnered throughout his illustrious career in the United Kingdom.
Join Lord Jones, who spent six years as Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry from 2000, at as special CCI-organised breakfast at the Parmelia Hilton on July 26.
As UK’s ‘Voice of Business’, Lord Jones became well-known in the public arena, particularly for his candid, forthright attitude in his many media appearances.
He campaigned relentlessly on a range of issues including the move from traditional manufacturing of commodities to value-added, innovative products and the development of globally competitive services.
He also lobbied against protectionism protesting that “it is a scourge which may well find short term popularity but inhibits growth, reduces wealth, prevents social advancement through upskilling and oppresses the weak”.
Lord Jones, who is well known for his interest in military history, offers these five tips for business:
- Preparation, preparation, preparation
People who make things look easy actually work harder, prepare more and take nothing for granted, In developing a strategy for a campaign or a battle plan commanders always prepare, prepare, prepare. People might look like they are doing it on the hoof, but those who succeed in business certainly are not.
If you look at Captain Nelson’s flag captains at Trafalgar, every one of them knew what to do and Nelson knew that and trusted them. There had been many months of preparation, but then those in command of the individual ships were left to do the job. Nelson had trained them up and trusted them. It is so important in business that you don’t have a dog and bark yourself. If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in someone else, let them get on with it. You take responsibility, but delegation is not abrogation. The commander always takes responsibility and so does the boss in business.
- So many battles are won because people do the simple things well
From the fighter pilot to the private on the battlefield, people are trained and what they do becomes second nature. That’s no different to business. Training people is adding so much to the bottom line. Of course you have to lead and direct them, but if you don’t train them, don’t expect them to deliver.
At the end of the day battles are won because people are brave. Often the people who you don’t think are brave are the bravest. In business, it does call for courage. Stand up and be counted. Communicate and make sure people really do know you are in charge and that you are there to take the rap and stand up. Your courage will filter through to them as well and they will feel empowered.
We all know the old story from the First World War. The message sent from one end of the trenches saying “send reinforcements, we’re going to advance” ended up being at the other end “send three and four-pence, we’re going to a dance” and is an example of lousy communication. Make sure people can be left in no doubt of what the leader wants. Make sure again and again that people reinforce the message. People like good news, but they prefer bad news to no news. Communicate why things are going on; what they can and can’t expect; and being there for them delivers results.
► Don’t miss your chance to hear from Lord Jones as he discusses how WA business can capitalise on the forces of globalisation – register for CCI’s breakfast here.