Why the Boss Should Never Be Happy

March 9, 2011  |  

(Entrepreneur) — Let’s say you are quite happy and content with the state of your business.  Sorry, but I’m disappointed to hear that. Not because I don’t like good news but because I know an insipient problem when I see one. The hard truth is you should never be “happy and content” with the state of your business simply because every successful enterprise must be a perpetual work in progress. You — the entrepreneur, the owner and manager in chief — must be restless in pursuit of ever-higher levels of performance.

I used to visit a client — a chief executive of a major enterprise who started out as a man with a dream and $30,000 home-equity loan and built his company into a juggernaut. On his desk was a sign that read for all to see:  The Boss Is Not Happy!

This was his way of declaring war first on himself and second on everyone who worked on his team. It was not destructive, mean spirited or evil. It was instead a perpetual battle against the cancer of complacency that can and will inevitably set in when the leader gets “happy and content” with the state of her business.  To build profitable, proud, innovative and truly productive businesses that meet the ultimate test of being scalable and sustainable, we all must declare war on ourselves now. And not let our guard down.

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