Lead for results: getting back to business basics.

Whether you manage a company, business unit, or sales and service team—these are tough times to be a leader. A global economic slowdown, intense competition, and dropping levels of employee commitment are just a few of the challenges facing managers.

Business Leadership

Today’s managers need to focus on one thing—growing a healthy, sustainable company. There are six business basics that define leadership practices in high performing companies:

Knowing your business. Today’s managers must have sharp business acumen and be in touch with rapid changes in the marketplace. This means really knowing your business—the variables the drive your success and how to quickly adapt to take advantage of new opportunities.

Creating the right team. In world where most products are a commodity, your people are what set your company apart. Getting the right people onboard and getting them productive quickly needs to be a key focus of your leadership team.

Using predictive metrics. Too often, managers use financial outcomes to drive management decisions. While important, this can be a bit like looking in the rear mirror to drive. By expanding your view of business metrics, you’ll have a clearer picture of your business—and what you can do to impact future performance.

Engaging employees. The new workforce is more diverse, more demanding, and less inclined to take orders. And yet, they want and need to be connected to the mission of your company. By tapping into the unique talents of your employees, you’ll create a competitive advantage that can’t be matched.

Managing performance. It sounds so obvious: managers need to manage performance. Yet the reality is many managers don’t have a clear understanding of the contributions each of their employees is making to the bottom line. By having the right systems and tools in place, you’ll be able to measure and make immediate improvements in company productivity.

Focusing on execution. With the complexities of today’s business environment, it’s easy to loose your focus. Leaders that are delivering results today have their head in the daily details of the business. They work with employees every day to drive incremental results. By getting each person to perform at their best and highest level, you’ll see dramatic leaps in overall performance.

One thing is clear in today’s shifting market: leading for results is not an optional assignment. Companies with management teams that are focused on daily business optimization will emerge as the clear market leaders.