Jonathan Escobar Marin is CEO and Partner of Actio Global Consulting, co-founder and Partner of the firm High-Performance Organization Global Alliance, co-founder and CEO of Inn—Be, a start-up dedicated to High-Performance Education, and member of the advisory board of the OpEx Society and the AXIOM Groupe. Know more
During my career I’ve been inspired by leaders like A.G Lafley, Akio Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno, David Hanna and Jeffrey Liker. Their insights have helped me to improve my own leadership practice, which is based on the folowing beliefs…
Throughout your career, people don’t listen to you. They are too busy observing what you do.
In life and in business, actions speak louder than words. Never negotiate your values. Preserve them while being willing to change everything else to stay in the lead.
A company must seek to win in a particular place and in a particular way. If it doesn’t seek to win, it is wasting the time of its people and the investments of its capital providers.
When a company sets out to participate, rather than win, it will inevitably fail to make the tough choices and the significant investments that would make winning even a remote possibility. Therefore, to play merely to participate is self-defeating. It is a recipe for mediocrity. It’s the recipe to lose.
Winning with your customers and against your competitors is what matters—and it is the ultimate criterion of a successful business strategy.
The customer can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.
To win, you need to make the customer the boss: understanding them, uncovering their unmet needs, and designing solutions for them better than any competitor can.
Change is the only constant in life and business. One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it.
Those who resist change will not survive; those who adapt to change may survive but they will not lead; and those who shape change will lead and win decisively and disproportionately.
Shaping change is the only way to play to win.
Hope is not strategy, waiting is not an action, and luck is not a method. To deliver what is needed, execution must follow commitment as the night follows the day.
To win, activity must deliver results. Your customers don’t reward your effort or your past achievements, they only reward the smiles you put in their life every day.
When you and your teams spend too much time buried on spreadsheets, you spend too much time showing customers your behind.
Go and see is our prior responsibility as leaders. This means being able to understand, together with our teams, the customer requirements where the value is created, where the customer experience is delivered, and where the customer expectations are satisfied.
The more deeply you understand your business, people and customers, the more capable and empowered you are to make the choices to win.
High performance leaders are those who have the ability to balance strategy and execution. They hover at +10,000 feet to see the full picture that gives the direction. They also dive to -500 feet to understand the details and be able to help to execute with excellence.
Strategic choices provide direction, but it’s execution that delivers results. After all, execution is the strategy that your customers ever see.
Make diversity a business strategy. You won’t win in the market unless you make your organization understand, value and reflect the diversity of the customers you serve.
The learning rate of an organization depends on how much is fueled by different ideas and experiences.
Diverse organizations will out-think, out-innovate, and out-perform homogenous organizations every single time.
All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get. Goals, strategies and values without work and organization design to support them are empty promises.
Greatness is not a function of circumstance; greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.
To deliver superior results you need to learn to assess and design holistically your organization—the work processes, and management systems that enable your teams to contribute to their full potential, outpace your competitors and win.
If you want corn, plant corn. Live your life and perform your job with the mindset that whatever you leave behind will come back to you sometime in the future. The reality is that your legacy will always come back to you at some point and in some way.
Don’t forget that, as a leader, you are in the unique position to develop the next generation of leaders. Leaders who deserve the trust of the teams, families and communities they serve.
The greatest enemy of excellence is not mediocrity. It is the tolerance of mediocrity. Be intolerant with it. Choose to push boundaries and go further after each accomplishment.
Recognize the people who do the hard things, the things that are the easiest to avoid. Reward those who are ahead of change, those who embrace new experiences and challenges in the search for greater achievements.
These actions will fight against complacency and will create the culture of courage to continuously shape the future and win.