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Edition 172 – Winning Lessons

Against all the odds, Scott Morrison led the Liberal National Coalition to a stunning victory in the 2019 Federal Election last Saturday. For three years, the opinion polls have consistently pointed to the Labor Party in front. The revolving doors of the Prime Ministership have continued throughout the last term of the Parliament. In actual fact, when ScoMo won the job last August, it’s fair to say he was the leader of a smouldering political wreck and a damaged brand. Yet, as he said on Election night, miracles happen.

Except, it’s more than a miracle. Being an avid political watcher for most of my life, I’ve observed with close interest these past 9 months and there are some big lessons for family business owners out of what took place. 

  1. Never, ever give up. Keep fighting until the job is done. The PM was unorthodox and spent Saturday morning campaigning in Tasmania rather than in his own seat, in his own state. There was still a job to do. Too many times in business, I’ve seen owners start a new product or service, then not follow it through to the end.
  2. Be authentic – you are who you are, so embrace it and play to the strengths of it. Don’t try to be, as an individual or as a business, something that you’re not – the market will see through it.
  3. Know your product and push it tirelessly. It might be boring to you. It might be what your customers have seen before. However, if they like it and want it, they’ll buy it.
  4. Exude energy – this guy has been everywhere, right from that Friday he won the top job. His energy levels have been amazing and he has always looked like someone who loves what he’s doing. Every day, in your family business, do you love what you’re doing?
  5. Use technology to change the game – the Virtual Town Hall story that popped up on Nine’s Election Night coverage showed an incredibly smart and powerful way to use technology to reach a wider audience. Some family business owners continue to struggle with sub-par websites, let alone any other use of technology.
  6. Keep marketing constantly – prior to entering politics, one of Scott Morrison’s roles was as the head of Tourism Australia. He was instrumental in building marketing campaigns to attract international tourists to Australia. You’ve heard me say it here previously – too many family business owners aren’t out there enough sprouting the message of their business.
  7. You need the strong support of those that are closest to you. The PM talked about the fact he’s still in love today with the woman he met in his teens. When Jenny Morrison was interviewed on Election night, she spoke buoyantly and candidly of her belief in her husband and his abilities. In family business, your success will be limited without the support of your family.

These are all messages I convey to my clients when I’m working with them to help them build better family businesses and the type of life they want for their families. There’s one that was missed, however, and perhaps understandably – taking time out. The PM might need to put his feet up in the next month or two and ponder. It’s an important tool for problem solving and idea creation.

Energy – enthusiasm – authenticity – customer awareness – technology – constant marketing – strong family support – time to think – all important in driving success in your family business