(By Vivian Giang)
“Every great leader needs to know his or her company’s long-term vision—that is, where the company is going and where it will realistically be in the future. Without vision, the team can be disoriented; it’s difficult for everyone to understand their purpose and understand certain decisions without seeing the complete picture. The leader should not only have this vision in mind, but also communicate it effectively to the team in order to stay on track.“
Running a company is no easy feat. In this competitive world, you can be on top of the world one day, only to be trumped by a company you never saw coming the next. Today’s leaders need to look at the marketplace through different lenses. In fact, it will be disastrous if you don’t.
Billionaire Fred Mouawad knows this all too well. He comes from a long line of jewelers (his family’s international jewelry business was formed in 1890) and is best known for designing the $10 million diamond-studded bra for a Victoria Secret fashion show.
As a serial entrepreneur, Mouawad says your attention can constantly get pulled in several directions at once. “In most organizations, very seldom can one person do all the research,” he says. “The whole idea is to divide your team, have parts of your team focus on the different areas, then come together as a team to create a picture.”
According to Mouawad, there are seven views you need to have when running a company. He came up with this model for his own team when launching the app TaskWorld, which helps enterprises measure performance to manage their employees and projects. Below are the seven different views Mouawad believes you need to stay relevant in the industry:
1. The Long Eye View
Every great leader needs to know his or her company’s long-term vision—that is, where the company is going and where it will realistically be in the future. Without vision, the team can be disoriented; it’s difficult for everyone to understand their purpose and understand certain decisions without seeing the complete picture. The leader should not only have this vision in mind, but also communicate it effectively to the team in order to stay on track.
“You have to create the product knowing exactly what you’re going to achieve and how you’re going to add value for consumers,” he says.
2. The Front Eye View
Pay close attention to how customers interact with your products and what they’re saying about them. Keeping an eye on the customer allows you to have a deep understanding of what your customers think about your products and services. Use this information to continuously improve what you’re offering.
“You really need to listen to what consumers want so you can adjust,” he says. “There’s always a conflict between the front eye and long eye. It’s really important for the team to see both views; otherwise, you get lost.”
3. The Right Eye View
While keeping your team focused, you also need to monitor direct competitors. “You have to really know your competitors, look at what they’re doing, and try to understand why they’re doing it the way they’re doing it,” Mouawad says.
When you have a good sense of this view, you can understand how to pivot your move in a different direction if needed. Or if you’re skilled enough to identify your competitor’s next product or idea, you can aim to improve on whatever they’re planning on offering.
4. The Left Eye View
The left eye needs to be able to look at the overall industry, which can be time-consuming, since you need to have a handle on similar providers operating in various industries.
5. The Back Eye View
It’s wise to examine past lessons and measure past performance to see what worked, what didn’t work, and why. However, you can only provide guidance on how to best move forward if you have collected accurate data about your past actions. It’s valuable information so you don’t make the same mistakes again.
6. The Top Eye View
Small-business owners need to track the new technologies and trends. It’s better that you do the disrupting early on, rather than wait until it’s too late and a competitor disrupts your business for you.
7. The Bottom Eye View
Every business owner needs to keep a close eye on companies that are positioning themselves to enter the market. “To do this, pay close attention to periodic reviews of emerging companies and try to predict those companies’ visions and goals,” Mouawad says.
“The two most important views, in my opinion, are the long eye and front eye, because you want to listen to consumers to see how they react to the product,” he says. “However, to stay competitive, you need to be able to grasp all other views and if you can’t do it yourself, hire people who will.”