Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Brent Gleeson, Founder & CEO at TakingPoint Leadership:

What does your company do?

TakingPoint Leadership is a business leadership and management consulting firm that specializes in business transformation. We help leaders and managers – and their teams at all levels – better navigate the uncertain, complex and disruptive global business landscape. With a focus on defining and managing culture, aligning culture with strategic vision and understanding the financial impact the pillars of trust and accountability have on any organization, TakingPoint Leadership has helped transform companies all over the world.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

My role is founder, CEO and lead motivational speaker and consultant. Over the past ten years after leaving the Navy SEAL teams I have had the opportunity to leverage the principles that forge Navy SEAL culture for building award-winning companies – companies repeatedly named on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in the Unites States for many consecutive years. I am passionate about building winning teams, regardless of industry, and prioritizing mission, vision, values, culture and purpose. Team engagement is the most important thing when it comes to building teams that are nimble, adaptive and embrace change. Teams hell bent to overcome adversity.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

I have had many challenges in my career as a former SEAL turned entrepreneur. The biggest challenge has been simply being faced with obstacles I didn’t have the answer to as a business leader. The world is constantly changing, becoming more diverse, more reliant on advanced technology. All industries are transforming at a faster pace than most organizations can keep up with. We are forced to grow faster and innovate better than the competition but with fewer resources. This puts great demands and stress on modern 21st century businesses. its not that dissimilar from the US military’s post-9/11 transformation. Constant change.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

My advice to me when starting out as an entrepreneur would have been to get a better handle on the foundational elements of what I was trying to create. The brand. The customer need. The culture of the team I needed to fulfill that vision. I did it all backwards. I built a “business plan” then raised millions of dollars and raced to my death. We have a saying in the SEAL teams – “Don’t run to your death.” Meaning take it slow, assess obstacles, have contingencies and use speed and aggression only when necessary. None of my businesses have failed per-say, but I had to go back and correct the foundational failures years later when the growing pains became overwhelming.

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