"Back to basics" is the theme of Profitable Growth Is Everyone's Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning (Crown Business, $22) by management consultant Ram Charan. His latest offering since co-writing 2002's Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (Crown Business, $27.50), Charan shows entrepreneurs how to grow within their current business framework-using fundamental approaches to developing new products and services, creating an effective sales force, gathering knowledge about customer needs, carefully segmenting markets and so on.
Charan downplays the value of big, audacious goals. Many ambitious entrepreneurs consider it pointless to set moderate goals, even for the interim, Charan notes. But small gains add up to big ones.
And stretching day in and day out for small growth gains can really help build a growth mentality in your business. So set modest growth goals, and reach them. That way, when a big growth opportunity does come along, your organization will already be tuned in to grow and ready to exploit it.
All Fired Up
Few leaders expect to guide their people into a burning building, but it's all in a day's work for John Salka. In First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons From the New York Fire Department (Portfolio, $25.95), the 25-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department explains how you can inspire similar loyalty and trust.
First, you must commit yourself to reality, relentlessly seeking the truth about any situation confronting you. Next, treat your people as valuable assets to be empowered rather than as annoying necessities that must be controlled. Finally, develop leaders at all levels. These three elements are like heat, oxygen and fuel, explains Salka. Supply them, and your company's performance could really catch fire.
by Ram Charan
by John Salka, Barret Neville
Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Smart Moves" columnist.