Today’s advice comes from Best Buy founder and former CEO Richard Schulze, via the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
“Customers are continually evolving … failure to stay connected with them is an invitation to fail as a business.”
Schulze’s electronics superstore has grown from a million-dollar operation with 28 employees to the $52 billion business it is today, with 180,000 employees across the globe. He credits that astronomical growth to a number of things, but says the cornerstone to a successful business is listening.
It’s clearly important to keep yourself apprised of what your customer base needs and wants, he says. After all, that’s how you keep people satisfied and coming back. But beyond that, listening in-house is crucial, too.
Schulze says he learned to pay closer attention to his employees’ thoughts on company strategies, as well as about his leadership and management style. From there, he could continue doing what worked best, and retool the rest — coming out much better for it in the end, both as a business and a manager.
“Being a good listener is probably more important than anything else I do.”
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