There’s a quote from Stephen M.R. Covey I find really inspiring that reads “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others judge us by our actions.” This statement has huge implications for the business world. Often without realizing, companies become an insulated ivory tower disconnected from their customers. Solve this by taking time to observe your business as an outsider.

Be an undercover customer

Instead of Undercover Boss, approach your business as an undercover customer. Consider what your customers see and feel what your customers experience. Figure out what they want and how they want it. If you never step outside the role of company leader, you may never fully grasp how your customer, and their relationship with your product, evolves over time. Picture yourself as the customer, though, and you’ll have a better understanding of their perspective.

All too often leaders fall into the trap of thinking only they know the best way forward for their business. Initially, that’s right, because your ideas and inspiration are what allowed you to succeed at the beginning. But as your business grows, the ivory tower mindset won’t work. Companies exist to fill needs for their customers—not vice versa—and those needs change. What better way to understand those changes than to observe your business as an outsider?

So whenever you make a decision on a new product, an update to an existing service or implement a new marketing strategy, step back and really experience the change as a customer.

All too often leaders fall into the trap of thinking only they know the best way forward for their business.

By observing your business as an outsider, you’ll position yourself better to continue providing your customers the excellent solutions they truly want. Unbiased perspective should be holy grail of all business leaders when they want to truly succeed!

Don’t be content with “staying on the inside.” Step out of the ivory tower, and get a different perspective. Great products lead to great customers which leads to great business. So observe from the outside, take notes, and then conduct great business.

photo credit: Bigstock/Nosnibor137

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