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Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall of your local competitor just to see what they do behind the scenes to grow their business? What are they doing that you aren't? You might be surprised to learn that it’s not just how they get new customers or their product or service innovation offerings that make them successful.  It might as simple as how they manage their business.  Let's face it, highly successful companies, even hyper-local businesses, cannot be successful without high-quality management skills.

What Can You Learn from Your Competitors?

Take a look at a few of the most successful management styles and methods being employed today. This is what successful competition is doing. Are you?

1. Successful competitors empower their employees

You've heard about the way big companies provide flexible schedules and benefits to their employees. It may be as offbeat as letting them bring their dogs to work. Whether or not you implement benefits like this, one of the most important moves to make within management styles is empowerment. Long gone are the days when you should see your employees as pencil pushers. Now, they are more like your partners in success. Listen to the guys on the front line. Take in the ideas of those dealing with customers. By empowering your employees to share their opinions, needs, and insight, it boosts your business.

2. Successful competitors train

The most important difference in some companies is the way they train their employees. Let's say you are developing a sales team. You know the value of seeking out well-qualified candidates. But, unless you train them and give them to the tools they need to thrive, your sales numbers can only go so far. Invest in training from the ground up. And, be sure everyone from new hires to top performers view training as a key component of the job.

3. Successful competitors are willing to change

Successful companies today know they need to bend and flex. To survive the recession, many had to take some harsh steps. One of the foundations of successful management comes from a company's ability to change, grow, and learn. Being flexible and open to trying new things is key.

4. Successful competitors invest in employees, technology, and new ideas

It's easy to see the bottom line and wonder how you will ever have enough to invest in modern technology. Yet, successful competitors continue to expand and grow, realizing the value is there.

5. Successful competitors lead with passion

Are you truly passionate about your company? Many people are willing to look at their business plan, focus on the day-to-day tasks, and go about their day. If you are passionate, you are driven by a goal of making your business the very best in the industry. Your management style can come directly from this. A less-than-passionate management style may leave your employees less-than-productive or even looking for another job.

6. Successful competitors seek out leaders

No matter how many employees you have, you should always be looking for leaders within the flock. These are people who are high-performing, dedicated to the company, and interested in its success. You don't want an employee that just follows the rules. You want one that can help you change them.

7. Successful competitors show respect

The most successful management styles all come back to this element. They show respect to their customers, to their employees, and even to their competitors. If you are not operating in this way, now is the time to make that change.

So how effective is your management style? It’s important to be able to take an honest look at how you are doing things and reach out to professionals who can help you improve.

Six Ways To Be A More Effective CEO

How you approach your work not only reveals how you feel about your job, but it also establishes a baseline outlook from which your team members develop their attitudes about work and, ultimately, their work ethic. Are you enthusiastic, or do you view your work as an imposition? When facing challenges, do you look for, and find, possibilities or do you only point out limitations to overcome? It’s difficult for your people to perform at their best and go the extra distance when they perceive that your only goal is to get through another day.

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