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Ten Essentials of Business Part 1

Proven Practices for Improving Business Management & Leadership

Davis M. Woodruff, PE, CMC

Course Outline

Essential 1:  Establish Credible and Effective Leadership
Before any organization can succeed the leaders must have credibility built on integrity and competence. Effective leaders meet nine important requirements, recognize and understand the differences leading and managing, know when they must take responsibility for actions, and are able to articulate the vision and values of the organization.

Essential 2:  Focus on People
The downsizings and “rightsizings” of past years, coupled with the pending retirements of the boomers are leading to a new generation of leaders. These folks must learn the lessons of dealing with people in a fast-paced society that expects instant results.  The challenges are numerous and require enthusiastic and dedicated people.  Hiring and keeping top performers is a critical issue in organizations today.

Essential 3:  Serve the Customer
With credible leadership and focus on people, the organization is now ready to identify, know and serve their customers. In this Essential we reveal the results of another original survey of >300 business people who say customer service has not really been improving. Serving the customer also includes understanding requirements, assessing satisfaction, dealing with complaints and understanding the seven ‘golden rules’ of customer service. The model used in this Essential is from the original “convenience store” which is the old country store with which the author has first hand experience.

Essential 4: Manage the Processes
The shift to process thinking from traditional product thinking is a major step in improving business processes and managing the business as a system of processes.  Establishing process monitoring and measurement criteria along with specific goals or targets is a key to success with process improvement (and is required in ISO 9001). This transition enables management and employees to make significant changes to improve the consistency of processes and simplify the "work to be done."

Essential 5: Insure Regulatory Compliance
Regulatory compliance is a challenge for many businesses today. The requirements generally include local, state and federal laws or regulations. Knowing all of the various requirements and any pending changes seems like an insurmountable task to many business owners. However, the lack of a formalized process for knowing, tracking changes and complying with requirements can lead to serious consequences. Fines or legal action can be a consequence of non-compliance.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

Upon completing this course participants should:

Intended Audience

Ten Essentials-Part1 is for anyone who is in or who aspires to be in position of leadership or management in a business or other organization. Many times technical personnel (and others) are not hired or promoted knowing how to lead people and manage processes. The necessary competencies can be learned. This course shows what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s fast-paced, lean-staffed, time pressured and information driven organization. The Ten Essentials will help leaders become more valuable to their organization and more marketable to others.

Benefit to Attendees

Understanding applying these essentials for business success will help you become a more effective leader, be more valuable to your organization and provide tools to help you improve your business.

Course Introduction

Leading an organization to become the low cost, high quality producer is not easy. In this course we will take a journey through the business essentials that will guide you along the path to becoming a more effective leader of your organization. These are timeless principles that will not be “here today and gone tomorrow” nor do they apply in only your current position. These are transferable principles that are applicable wherever people and processes interact to produce a product or service.

Course Content

In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course content in PDF format:

Ten Essentials of Business Part 1

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

You may need to download Acrobat Reader to view and print the document.

Course Summary

This course covers Essential 1 to 5 of Business.

Related Links and References

Read over 60 management, leadership and productivity articles by Davis:
For Davis’ book “Numbers to People” visit this web page on Amazon:


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.