Essential ability that every modern entrepreneur needs
A current case of success is that of the Brazilian investment company XP Inc., with its CEO and founder Guilherme Benchimol. The success of his company has made him a source for seeking knowledge of business management. In a recent live broadcast on Instagram by Thiago Nigro (owner of the action O Primo Rico, content on the internet to teach his audience financial education and management), the founder of XP said “You need to be flexible like grass, which moves in the direction in which the wind is blowing. You can't be stiff like bamboo. You need to see what's going on out there and adapt to that environment.” This is a great lesson for business leaders since changes in both technology and society's paradigms are occurring at a much higher rate, compared to the early 2000s. Guilherme also said in his LinkedIn network “what makes a company work and turn impossible projects into possible ones? Their leaders need to be fanatics (work because they like, compulsively) and have the ability to learn fast. When these two things happen, miracles are accomplished”. These miracles, which technically have nothing of extraordinary knowledge, are the result of hard work for many years, of both personal growth and technical knowledge of the entrepreneur and his team.
This well-deserved success, both from the XP Company and its founder, further demonstrates the need for the entrepreneur to focus on his business, to be aware of these changes that we have already discussed and to be able to predict the direction that the company should take in the future.
The expression "having focus" means having an objective, establishing a plan, being organized and having the persistence to achieve the goals and achieve what is intended. In a report by Época magazine, we are shown why it is necessary to resume concentration. According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, digital technologies like cell phones and e-mails, negatively affect our ability to concentrate. We are constantly bombarded with visual and auditory stimulation, and when there is a need to produce and focus our attention on one activity at a time, more and more people are finding it difficult to play their role with quality. The psychologist, in his thesis published in the book Focus: Attention and its fundamental role for success, in 2014, says there are three types of focus. The internal focus, understanding the feelings and emotions. Focus on others, feel empathy. And focus or attention, social awareness and sensitivity. And according to the scholar, more and more people are finding it difficult to stay focused on the three types described. In the same report, it is exemplified with a study carried out in New Zealand with 1,037 children assessing their tolerance with frustration, impatience, power of concentration and persistence. And twenty years later, they revisited those studied, and those children who had better attention and self-control in the initial test became more successful and healthy adults.
The writer Renata Di Nizo in her book, Reinventing leadership: For ethics of values, “People no longer know how to choose priorities, they do not distinguish the essential. And because their values are distorted, they act and wash their hands. They use the time factor or the department's requirements as an excuse. They rule life no longer by its values; on the contrary, they are driven by the flood of routine, the dynamics of life. Their acts are performed in a tasteless, mediocre, median manner. What is missing is knowing how to choose priorities”.
According to Professor Sidnei Augusto, from the KLA business school, many entrepreneurs break down in Brazil because they have the wrong focus. When thinking only about selling, entrepreneurs forget many other aspects of the business and the main one: the focus should be on profit and not on revenue. And keeping the focus on the company's profit does not necessarily mean stop investing or making deep cuts, it is important to find, through strategic planning and high-performance teams, high productivity, quality products or services in addition to cohesion in management.
Stanford professor Charles O’Reilly, of the business school and more specifically in organizational behavior, in a video posted in November 2019 brings some reasons why good companies go bankrupt. According to Charles, changes in the business environment are faster than ever, and entrepreneurs must be prepared for the innovations that the market demands. Why have solid companies in the past 10 years, like Blockbuster, Kodak and Sears, declared bankruptcy? And according to the professor, one of the reasons for these big companies to close their doors comes from the executives' lack of capacity to deal with these rapid changes. It takes discipline to develop new ideas so that they can become real and internal processes are necessary for their growth and development. And, according to O'Reilly, it takes wisdom from executives to sacrifice some small short-term gains, if the company has financial health, to be able to adopt these innovations.