How this day came out, let the fireworks begin!
Mark Cuban, the “Shark Tank” star and billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, always has his hands in a wide variety of businesses.
Throughout his career, he’s made over 120 investments, from large companies like Landmark Theatres to his Three Commasapparel line.
For all of the businesses he’s been a part of, he’s developed a set of “rules that have been almost infallible,” he wrote in his 2013 book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business.”
Below, Business Insider has summarized the three he’s used “religiously.”
1. Understand the difference between adding value and benefiting from a bull market
In the same way that some stock market investors think that they’re geniuses when they keep picking stocks that go up, failing to acknowledge that all stocks are doing the same thing, Cuban says, entrepreneurs can fail to recognize that a good deal of their success is because of a fad or trend.
“There is nothing wrong with going along for the ride and making money at it, but it will catch up with you if you lie to yourself and give yourself credit for the ride,” he wrote.
Cuban said that he saw this happen with professional sports leagues in the early 2000s. He explained that many team owners became enamored with rising revenues from television-rights deals, crediting it to their own “brilliance.”
He said, however, that he and his Mavericks partners recognized that revenues were actually rising because of competition among cable and satellite providers. Cuban couldn’t become complacent.
“It’s a bigger challenge to recognize that the bull market may end and our programming needs to be of sufficient value to our customers and viewers for it to maintain or continue to increase in value,” he wrote.
2. Win the battles you’re in before moving on to new ones
Cuban wrote that he had a chance to take Landmark Theatres international, but that any time spent on developing a global presence was time not spent growing its national presence, and so he decided against it.
“You do not have unlimited time and/or attention. You may work 24 hours a day, but those 24 hours spent winning your core business will pay off far more. It might cost you some longer-term upside, but it will allow you to be the best business you can be.”
3. Don’t drown in opportunity
“If you are adding new things when your core businesses are struggling rather than facing the challenge, you are either running away or giving up,” Cuban wrote. “Rarely is either good for a business.”
Melissa Carbone, president of horror-attraction company Ten Thirty One Productions, told Business Insider in 2014 that after the $2 million deal she made with Cuban on “Shark Tank” went public, she was flooded with partnership and investment offers, some of which were quite attractive.
Cuban told her to take a step back and not let emotions make her impulsive. She said that she would continually hear Cuban’s voice in her head reminding her, “Don’t drown in opportunity.”
So, you’ve got an excellent business idea that you feel fills a gap in the market, but how do you get it off its feet? And how do you know that you are ready to be an entrepreneur? There are three qualities that separate the ordinary entrepreneurs from the extraordinary ones here at Fast Trak, Inc.; you just have to make sure you’re in the right group.
Intelligence – Now you may be smart but there is a clear difference between having a high IQ and having an entrepreneurial mind. Experts believe that the latter form of intelligence combines being book smarts with street smarts. Almost like bringing together the cleverness of a salesperson and the imagination of an inventor, you just have to find the balance between the two.
Attitude – Most new businesses don’t make it through their first two years, but that doesn’t mean you should expect to fail. What you should do is prepare to fail whilst at the same time remaining positive and focused on the goals you want to achieve. There will be very tough times, but you need to make sure you have the passion to power through them.
Leadership – This doesn’t mean that you should be bossy. Leadership is all about having amazing ideas, knowing how you want to achieve them and being able to tell other people about them. That doesn’t just include your employees; you also need to be able to effectively communicate your ideas to potential clients and others who don’t work for you.
Today we’re surrounded by debates en masse. Pundits stand before us pontificating on what they have over their opponent. Ugly slurs are thrown from one side of the room to the other. No, this isn’t about the 2016 Presidential Race. This is happening in your office with your co-workers.
To say that you don’t get involved with office politics is like saying you don’t really “get” this wearing shoes thing that the kids are doing. No matter what the environment, when several personalities gather and everyone has their own opinions and motives, there will inevitably be some some controversy. There are always those people who excel and those who out of jealousy or resentment will envy them their success. There are those people who seem to have an abundance of pet peeves and want to voice their opinions to anyone who will listen. There are bullies. There are doormats. All of these intersecting personalities breed a political hotbed of good, bad, and ugly. Everybody is involved in office politics, and prior to popular belief, there are ways to use office politics to your advantage.
First, pay attention. Listen for those hot-button topics that tend to send co-workers into a rage. Listen for the conversations that everyone is passionate about. Keep an eye on who is invited to important meetings and how often that occurs. Take notice of who seems to know more faster. More difficult is paying attention to the people who aren’t so well-included. These Titanics-in-miniature are falling behind and can sometimes be the source of petty drama. You’re not running from these people so much as noticing their strengths, weaknesses and alliances and then playing the game accordingly. If you notice a group spends a lot of time having lunch with the supervisor or works on bigger projects, find ways to get to know them better.
The next thing to consider is how to form alliances around your office. Think of it like rock climbing. You want as many stable footholds as you can find. Positioning yourself with this strategy ensures that if one alliance falls through, you’ll have several other options to rely on. Having your foot in so many doors also ensures that you are seen as a reliable and flexible person who several people are willing to work with.
It’s also important to consider that timeless mantra, also known as the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Would you want others talking about you behind your back? Would you appreciate being passed over for a project or promotion based on what someone said they had seen you do? Also try to keep things in terms of win-win. Just because office politics exist, doesn’t mean someone has to always be a loser. Being the person that others can look to as a problem-solver and a fair judge will help you get ahead and avoid any negative work talk.
And unfortunately, negative talk is as commonplace as paperclips in any office. The only way to control it is to be mindful of it and avoid fanning the controversial flames. Simply standing by while a co-worker goes behind someone’s back or manipulates others is just as bad as if you were the guilty party. Speaking up is the fastest way to avoid a huge problem later.
With that strategic mindset, you want to remain goal-oriented. Keep your emotions out of your work relations as much as possible. You’ll be building bridges quickly and activities like backstabbing and manipulating burns them faster than you can reinforce them. Build strong, solid relationships with several people and you’ll really go places, so to speak.
To wrap up, office politics are cumbersome, but they are inevitable. But rather than rolling over and being another innocent bystander, using these tactics will help you navigate the worst of it and come out on top.