in Career Development, Improvement & Development, Leadership, Leading People, Process Improvement, Quality Improvement

The Rubber Meets The Road 15

The rubber meets the road when you, as a business leader…

  1. deliver real business results to customers (not just deliver an excellent pitch with an impressive powerpoint)
  2. start executing relentlessly (not just define your strategy on paper at an off site planning retreat)
  3. implement improvements in your processes (not when you create that good looking document with improvement areas)
  4. pick up the phone and talk to that frustrated customer (and not get into a chain of email exchange)
  5. lead by example and live your values (not just pass instructions for others to follow. Not just document your values on the website)
  6. act on your customer’s feedback (not just collect it through your customer feedback program!)
  7. start treating your people like “humans” (and not just “resources” or “capital”)
  8. “do” equal to or more than what you “say” (and not the reverse)
  9. start thinking about “preventing” problems (not just “correcting” them after they happen)
  10. work “on” your business (not just “in” it – easy to get consumed working “in” the business)
  11. communicate and share feedbacks often with your people (not just in their quarterly performance review)
  12. start looking at ways to solve problems (rather than finding someone else to blame)
  13. stay lean, flat and accountable (and not let your growth turn you into a bureaucratic, heavy top-down structure)
  14. understand that excellence is everybody’s job (not just a single department or a few people in the team)
  15. only speak when you completely, totally mean it (and not just throw clichés to please them now)

P.S: “Where the rubber meets the road” is an idiom that refers to the tyre of a vehicle on the surface of a road, meaning “where it really counts.” It is used to represent the defining moments or focus on real actions.

Bonus: My post “15 ideas To Ensure That Trainings Effectively Deliver Value” was featured in HR Carnival over at  i4cp PRoductivity Blog – along with a host of other brilliant posts on talent management, general HR, managerial advice and career advice. If you are a people manager or HR professional, this carnival edition is a MUST READ!

Also download (PDF) 100 fantastic insights that will help you become “BRILLIANT At The Basics of Business” – from none other than NICHOLAS BATE. Visit him for this and tonnes of other great resources – I am sure you will admire his generosity as much as I do.

  1. Thanks for bringing this very useful 15 pointer.

    I would like to comment on the 7th point ‘start treating your people like “humans” (and not just “resources” or “capital”)’. I have heard a saying that “Don’t love your organization(company), love your job”. But if people are treated like humans in an organization then people will definitely start loving their organization.

    Congratulations for your post was featured in the HR Carnival .Also thanks for sharing the fantastic PDF from Nicholas Bate.

    Have a wonderful day 🙂

    • @Amit – Thanks for expressing yourself Amit. According to Abraham MAslow, one of the deepest needs of human beings is respect and esteem. Leaders who understand this keep their people happy and motivated to deliver greater results. You too have a great weekend!

      @Sudev – Thanks Sudev and glad you liked those specific pointers. Have a good weekend!

  2. I like how you titled it. “rubber meets the road”.. didnt know the phrase before.
    and I seriously agree with #4, speaking with frustrated clients or customer works always better then the best e mail.
    I even agree with problem solving part.. as per my uncle, it is the most important part of any business manager – Problem Solving Skills.

    • @Ajay – Thanks Ajay for adding your views. I have always believed that what you can do one on one or over the phone, you should avoid using emails.

      Someone on blogosphere also mentioned that emails should be used for communication that does not involve any emotion. For others, nothing can beat one to one communication. For #4 – when customer is frustrated, you need to be human to understand their problems, demonstrate empathy and work towards a solution. Email communication at best may only aggravate the whole thing.


  3. Hey TV,

    great points! it is not about pitch or nice slides;-) it is about “shipping” and spark in one’s eye as a sign: “i walk my talk” 😉

    When I have worked in consulting it was all about shiny PPT’s and pretending to “know it all”. geez it was so exhausting to pretend who you are not…

    but i believe more and more people can now recognize if nicely presented pitch can truly help to solve their problems or not 😉

    i could go on and on on this topic,but TV – excellent job, with 15 points summary!
    Thank you for doing it!

    have a super cool Friday, folks.
    cheers from Slovakia
    .-= Ivana Sendecka´s last blog ..[Video] How To Become The Future =-.

    • @Ivana: Thanks for the comment. I am awe-struck by the whole idea of shipping stuff – specially after reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin. I am also amazed at how much energy we loose in all those un-neccessary planning (when nothing is meant to be implemented / improved.

      With clients getting more mature, it is difficult to impress them with only shiny PPT’s – they look for substance and how effectively you (as a consultant) can map your solutions to their actual needs. That is where rubber actually meets the road.

      I am so glad you liked the pointers and have a great weekend!


  4. Totally agree with you.
    thanks for adding those valuable thoughts, and as our business required a lot of communication with clients, I think this is very important part for my job too.
    Thank you. 🙂

    • @Wally Bock Thank you so much for the inclusion Wally – it is always a great honor (and even a greater inspiration) to have my posts selected in your Top 5 Independent Business Blogs.


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