Maxim Behar: The real business fundamentals are honesty, integrity, loyalty
Maxim Behar shares a first-person story in the seventh edition Almanac 2021 of "your BUSINESS" magazine under the special project "Managers share - successful cases in Bulgarian business". Behar writes about the great changes in the business sector as a result of the pandemic, the challenges leaders are facing and what underlies the foundations of a successful business development.
As Soon As Possible ...
I thought for a long time about the Bulgarian title of my recently published book and I couldn't resist the idea of “The Morning After”, although at the risk of explaining to anyone who hasn't read it yet what lies behind it. The book is almost sold out and for the last three months it can be hardly found in any bookstore in Bulgaria. Despite that, the more time passes, the more I am convinced that this title is the new replacement of the well-known abbreviation ASAP (as soon as possible) or - as faster as it can.
We are used to writing almost every day, mainly in our e-mail correspondence - "answer me asap", "go there asap", "contact the client asap" ...
Like a devastating and unexpected tornado, the COVID-19 pandemic really swept away any possibility of leaving our uncompleted business tasks for the next day or the day after that.
Of course, this is probably the smallest change the pandemic has brought to our lives.
It was clear to all of us that sooner or later this could happen - we would not have even a minute to delay making any decisions, because then it would be too late. Sighs and excuses like "wait and think", "let's not make hasty decisions" already sound so old-fashioned that if one day I write a book about forbidden phrases in business communication, they will probably be among the first. Surely you know one of my key rules in business, which I have been preaching in university lectures, business presentations and speeches at forums around the world for years.
"The worst decision is better than no decision."
Ten years ago, there was a lot of disagreement with this prophetic law, but in the last year I have not heard a single word against it. A very important part of business is to make decisions - fast, adequate, reasoned, accurate. But there are many details for consideration behind this process, in order to make it less risky. The most important element is that each manager needs to have a strong and well-prepared team with which to conduct quick consulting meetings online, and when we return to our offices months or years later – to manage understanding each other in seconds from a first glance.
Another important element is to put a lot of knowledge and experience in the decision-making, which is a prerequisite for effective, accurate decisions. At least now there is already a considerable amount of information and knowledge available and there’s no place for making excuses. Nowadays we frequently face information overload from a wide variety of sources, and the great advantage is that we can all sift through this news, giving us the opportunity to learn something new, not always positive, but in the end - always useful.
The Business Pyramid
In fact, the feeling is amazing to watch the business pyramid on my laptop screen every day, the same way I imagined it twenty years ago. There are always two important elements required for the development of any business - the number of customers and the previous experience. Of course, I've often argued with colleagues who have told me, " Max, one client is enough if he's big and pays well." Of course, this is a big misconception. This is why companies often go bankrupt - they rely on one big customer, who immediately cuts their budgets for external services, whatever they may be, if a small crisis or problem occurs in the business. Therefore, this part of the pyramid must always be very carefully and very proportionally arranged, and just as proportionally builds the other - the experience. And with each passing day, it is becoming more and more important - and not only for the decision-making process, but also because of the fact that the dynamics of change in business are already with the speed of light.
Every day, even every hour, we generate new ideas on how to make our business more competitive and more profitable, and if we are not always In the right place and at the right time, then we have certainly "missed" the train.
In that case we would need a lot of patience and consistency to catch up.
And of course - at the top of the pyramid is the profit, the one that allow us to invest in a team or in technology, to develop the business and improve our work performance for our clients. But remember - without this important foundation, our customers and our experience, we would not be able to reach the very top of the pyramid.
As important as this pyramid is, it alone is not enough for us to successfully understand the rapid movement of business these days, and also in the future.
The most recent law in crisis management precisely states: "First react, then polish!".
I accept it with no doubt and it is completely in line with my concept of making quick decisions.
Or in short:
- 24/7 online,
- 24/7 ready for a good reaction,
another 24/7 available to accept new fresh ideas to evaluate through the prism of our businesses.
Additionally - no matter how fast the business moves or the information, concepts and visions for success change, the real fundamentals are honesty, integrity, loyalty - to the business, to customers, to the team. And for all these things, for their changes, new laws and dynamics, over the years the minutes "until tomorrow" will go faster and faster...
Then one morning a new laws of life will dawn again...