Do You Know What It Takes?

By Ann Elliott

  Do you know what it takes to position your business for success in a new landscape? Some people are defeated before they begin. The pessimist expects the worst outcome.  As Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.  The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” What personal leadership traits are essential to lead a successful business? Considering the recent business challenges worldwide, this question is important. In our recent survey, business leaders identified most often these personal leadership traits as essential:  optimism, vision and perseverance. To lead in good times, these traits are valuable.  They are vital in difficult times. dandelion Why are these personal leadership traits important?
  • Optimism is a derivative of the Latin word optimus that means best.  To expect the best outcome regardless of the circumstances is the hallmark of an optimist.  There are opportunities in every situation.   Find them or create them.  Surround yourself with people who expect to find solutions and innovations.
  • Vision is a mental picture of what you intend to create.  Vividly see the result.  The current reality is simply the starting place.  It does not predict the future.  Leaders believe in possibilities.
  • Perseverance is staying the course in spite of obstacles.  Take one-step after another in pursuit of your vision.  Recognize building a business is a marathon not a sprint.  When you hit the wall, take a lesson from runners—recognize what is happening, take a brief rest and refuel.
These three leadership traits are ways of thinking.  They have nothing to do with external factors such as number of customers, cost of goods, or interest rates, for example.  They are about choosing a perspective and acting on it. In Recovery Ready:  27 CEOs Reveal Their Strategies business leaders in Canada, United States and Panama describe the changes they made in their businesses to meet the demands of the time.  These leaders used their personal leadership traits to sustain their businesses and position them for success in a new landscape. They describe the positive, unexpected outcomes in their businesses in Recovery Ready:  27 CEOs Reveal Their Strategies. It confirms that Churchill was on target, “The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”   The leaders in our survey created stronger, leaner, smarter businesses. Annette Sharpe, founder of Growing for Success, and contributor to our survey summed it up this way:  The challenges prompted new ideas, which birthed new products and strategic alliances which I wouldn’t have explored if everything had stayed the same—we’re in a much better position now than ever before. Regardless of the size of your business, you can choose your personal leadership perspective and the action you take. Have you made the changes in your business to take advantage of the new landscape?  Is your business stronger, leaner and smarter?  You have what it takes to position your business for success. Find out more information about Recovery Ready:  27 CEOs Reveal Their Strategies. here: © 2010 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved Permission is hereby granted for you to reprint or broadcast  “Do You Know What It Takes?” with proper credit to the author.  Please include the following in its entirety: Ann Elliott is founder of The Berkana Company LLC. She is the author of “What Successful Women Know about Leadership” and “Recovery Ready–27 CEOs Reveal Their Strategies.”  An experienced facilitator, trainer and business coach, Ann works with diverse businesses throughout the US to help them run their businesses on purpose for profitability and productivity. She speaks professionally at conferences, workshops and corporate retreats.  To schedule her for your event, visit

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Ann Elliott

Ann Elliott, founder of The Berkana Company, excels at leadership strategy

An expert at helping business leaders enjoy more profits and improved productivity with less stress, she blends fun and excitement with executive coaching and training to yield results for her clients.

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