Chamber Insider Blog

Your Virtual Benchmark Emulator

Written by Tracee Garner, Leadership Loudoun

As a company owner, who are the CEOs, speakers, writers and forward-thinking leaders that you truly admire? We follow their social media, read about and watch for them in the news and on TV, just to see what they’ll come up with next. Why? For inspiration and motivation to keep pressing ahead. It also expands and refreshes our thinking with novel ideas and different perspectives. How might you adapt a similar project, event, or product on a smaller scale that’s right for where you/your company is right now? This is a type of BENCHMARKING or the process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices from other companies.

Benchmarking isn’t only be for large companies with million dollar budgets. It’s as simple as watching the moves and strategies of other organizations and individuals, uncovering their tactics and then dreaming up ways in which we too can achieve results. Is there anything wrong with that? Doubtful. Those that you choose to use as benchmarks for yourself/your business are mentors that you don’t meet with personally at regular check-in sessions over coffee, but motivate you toward your own idea of success.

Here’s a SHORT assignment to find your Benchmark Emulator:

1. Evaluate three businesses or leading professionals that you feel are similar to your ideals. For a truly diverse market sample, choose people that:

    A. Have not yet “arrived” but are still ones to watch, e.g. those just starting out with futures that look promising.

    B. Are so far ahead of you that reaching their level seems impossible, which will stretch your thinking the most.

2. Read about their rise to success, watch interviews, read books they’ve written, appearances they made and decisions for their business that have both propelled them and cost them something.

3. Choose one thing from their many lists of accomplishments, goals and ideals that just might be something you can also achieve. Begin to design a course of action (and SMART goals) to make it happen.

4. Repeat! Never stop reaching new levels and new heights.

Benchmarking isn’t just for the Forbes’ top earners. It’s for everyone with something to promote, cultivate or grow, including personal growth or a stronger brand identify or placement of a consumer product in a global market place. Who will be your Benchmark Emulators?

Established in 1990, Leadership Loudoun is a nonprofit, and the only county wide focused leadership development training program that has seen over 500 graduates in our 20 plus year history. Leadership Loudoun’s network of community leaders have held public office, run top companies based in Loudoun, are leading government and nonprofit officials and are involved in Loudoun’s rich history, agricultural and economic development, all while maintaining a long-term commitment to the Loudoun region and its residents.  This blog is a compilation of the vast wealth of knowledge held by the current Leadership Loudoun Board of Directors under the direction of the 2014 – 2015 Board Chair, Ms. Tracee Garner.