LearnChair Radio Host Bob Dragone interviews the CEO of the Business Thinking Institute, Ram V. Iyer. Ram was invited to the podcast because of his innovative approach as to why businesses fail. As he notes, over 70 percent of businesses fail but not usually for the reasons owners believe. Ram subjected this issue to one of his annual “hard thinking projects.” and after much time and effort came up with his conclusions. Most owners think they fail because they lack something – funding, marketing or some other external reason. Ram discovered that the main reasons for failure are internal. In a recent article in businessthinking.com Ram lists 9 internal reasons for failure. For instance, people think that because it is easy to start a business it is easy to obtain success. Ram also notes that people have what he terms internal thermostats – the level at which they will be satisfied with the money they obtain. Exceeding this level causes them to lose what they have made. In such cases, Ram states that 80 percent of owners would have gotten better returns if they had invested their money rather than using it to start a business. Ram believes that leaders fail for the same reasons businesses do. The reasons are internal. People start businesses, call themselves a CEO and believe they are leaders. True leaders, Ram says, must work at being a leader every day. True leaders are aware of both their strengths and weaknesses, and work at improving both. Education is key, and true education is taking what you have been taught and adapting it to the needs of your daily life. Ram lists three characteristics of good leadership. Again, it is being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is having an open mindset. Third, always being teachable. His final lesson is when you stop learning you start dying. This is a novel approach to business success and well worth a listen.