As a business executive or entrepreneur, you’ve achieved a lot to get to your current position, but even though you've come this far, you can always find ways to improve yourself and your future prospects.

Don't Be Afraid to Fail

Trying new things will help make you a stronger, more seasoned leader. They won't all work, and that's okay. Insight can be gleaned from both successes and failures. You can become more adaptable and creative along the way, and these are both invaluable traits to have when running a business.

It's easy to learn from successes because you can often clearly see what's working, but failure can also be educational. You can see what doesn't work, and then dig in and learn why. What you find can then be applied to future endeavors.

"Failure is feedback," says bestselling author David Burkus.1 "It’s uncomfortable feedback, but it’s the most potent form of feedback when it comes to learning. In addition, failure is inevitable. Projects will fall apart or go over budget. Clients will move to competitors. People will quit. But how you respond matters. You can shift blame and try to convince others it wasn’t your failure. Or you can linger on the failure long enough to analyze what happened and improve as a result."

Continuously Seek Feedback from Customers and Employees

Don't count on coming up with all the great ideas yourself. Part of being a great leader is recognizing when others have valuable input. Listen to feedback from customers, as well as your own employees, and don't just wait for them to come to you. Continuously ask them about their experiences and ideas about how your business can improve. You may not agree with all of the feedback, but take it to heart and consider the possible benefits of the ideas you hear. Sometimes feedback can even lead to different ideas altogether, which may also be beneficial.

Keep on Reading

Read interesting articles online and read books regularly. This can help spur your creativity, keep you informed, provide new ideas, and sharpen your problem-solving skills.

"In fiction, they say no story is truly original. In business, no problem or challenge is truly original either," says Entrepreneur Store.2 "Just about any problem you may face as an entrepreneur has likely been dealt with in the past by another entrepreneur. Reading helps you find innovative solutions to those problems before they are able to derail your progress."

Stay Up on Industry Trends and Technologies

Keep up with all of the latest trends and technologies being used in your industry. Even if you aren't employing them yourself, it's good to stay informed and know what you're up against. It's important to continuously learn about your industry. If you don’t, as technology and markets evolve, you may find your business outdated and left behind.

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Try to stay abreast of what your competitors are doing. You may be able to learn valuable strategies that will help your own business remain competitive. Analyze how strategies are working for them and learn from their mistakes while giving yourself an edge. Look at how you can improve on what the competition is offering. This may help for your next marketing campaign.

Take Classes

There is always more to learn. That doesn't mean you have to go back to college, but numerous classes are available online, many of which are free. You might be able to improve your skills in management, marketing, negotiation, or strategic planning by taking classes. Webinars on very specific topics are a great way to learn while sitting at your desk.

Leaders aren't perfect, and nobody knows the right move to make every time. It's okay to sometimes feel uncomfortable, but never stop learning or thinking outside of the box because the more you push yourself, the greater success you're likely to find.



The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC