As a child, my school district recognized both Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays as holidays. These days, as adults, we limit our remembrance to one day called Presidents Day. We revere President Washington as the father of our country. Lincoln preserved the union. Other presidents are remembered for their great accomplishments. Teddy Roosevelt established national parks and Franklin Roosevelt guided us through the Great Depression.
Many entrepreneurs refer to themselves as "president," but sadly there is no day to commemorate their accomplishments. The other sad thing is few do anything worthy of commemorating. After establishing their business, they assume a daily routine and rarely deviate from a mundane existence. The rare business owners who accomplish memorable things do so purposefully. As we approach Presidents Day, consider these presidential things you can do to make a memorable business.
Share your goals. President Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk that read, "The buck stops here." It was a statement of accountability. Everyone knows that leaders set and work toward goals. Great leaders recognize that they are accountable to their goals. It is helpful to post your goals so your staff and service providers can see them. Published goals are motivating to others and those others are more apt to hold you accountable.
James Monroe said, "A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue." Regularly commend your people. If you want them to work for you, they must know you appreciate them.
If your goal is to be wealthy, consider the philosophy of John Tyler, "Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality."
While many enjoy the allure of the prospect of presidency, the office is often thankless. It seems you are everyone's servant. James Polk said, "I am heartily rejoiced that my term is so near its close. I will soon cease to be a servant and will become a sovereign."
Abraham Lincoln said, "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" The lesson here is to think of the same old thing in new and innovative ways. Great entrepreneurs are instruments of change. They make things better by approaching them from a new perspective.
President Kennedy followed the same theme by saying, "The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly."
I challenge each of us to become more presidential as we lead our businesses.
-- Russ Allred, MBA, is a business consultant and author with Sunbelt Business Brokers & Advisors. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian.