The New York Times business section recently featured a success story about Maureen Beal, Chief executive of National Van Lines. Maureen gives us some great insight into her secret advantage on her road to success.
Since I was no longer the boss’s daughter, people would say things in front of me that they wouldn’t have before. At lunch with my colleagues, I would hear them talk about terrible bosses. This boss was demanding or disrespectful, that one didn’t listen, and another one never asked about anyone’s family when it had a crisis.
The Boss – A Moving Company’s 3rd-Generation Chief – NYTimes.com
Maureen also makes a strong point about the importance of spending most of your time focussing on what you do well, while surrounding yourself with others whose strong points balance out your weaknesses. If you spend most of your trying to improve your weaknesses, you lose the chance of ever really succeeding in what you do well.
I also learned that you have to surround yourself with people who have the expertise you lack, even if it makes you uncomfortable. My father was a visionary; administration was not his strong point. It’s mine, however, along with the ability to carry out a plan. If someone presents an idea to me, I can determine whether or not it will work. I can’t always define exactly what I want, but I know it when I see it.