Lead, but follow. Be transparent, but discreet. Be caring, but tough. Be fair, but strategic. It seems that current business philosophies change with the days of the week.\u00a0 But for me, I look to Sunday for an inspiring example in leadership. Mark Sunday, that is. As Senior Vice President and CIO at Oracle, Sunday has seen his share of shifting business trends. Where other leaders may scramble to adapt, the secret to his success is his consistent execution of five dynamic strategies day in and day out.\n1. Make sure your goals and values are aligned with those of the company\nSome claim that loyalty in the workforce is dead. In some ways, that\u2019s true. But in the process of scrambling to improve work culture, many companies discovered that a manager who is authentically loyal and receptive to the staff\u2019s needs is an essential part of company morale and staff retention. \u201cAuthentic leaders can be counted on to say what they mean and do what they say,\u201d says Harvey Deutschendorf. \u201cThey\u2019re the same person to their staff, their own superiors, their customers, and their partners.\u201d\nEarly in his career, Mark made the decision to never place his own interests before the interests of the company or his department, and he has never wavered in that commitment. Academicians call this \u201corganizational identification\u201d at its best. When he understands the motives and long-term plans designed by the CEO or president of a company, Sunday is better able to mirror and implement them.\n2. Stay connected with your customers\nInstituting customer service practices is a fundamental part of maintaining a business. But when you hold a genuine interest in the needs of your customers \u2014 well, that really makes things happen. Christopher M. Litster, a senior VP at American Express, calls it \u201ccustomer engagement\u201d rather than just providing a service. \u201cCustomer engagement is about delivering more personalized experiences based on authentic relationships with customers,\u201d he says, adding that the more business leaders know about their customers, the more personalized the customer experience will be. \u201cThis, in turn, leads to repeat sales,\u201d says Litster.\nMark maintains a real interest in his customers and makes a point to be accessible to them as much as possible. Staying in touch with customers provides valuable feedback about the company\u2019s products, services, and overall performance. Keeping contact with your customers, regardless of your management level, will tune you in to what works within your company and what may need to be adjusted.\n3. Hire employees who know more than you do\nThe ability of an entrepreneur to recognize his or her own limitations and hire people whose strengths augment the company as a whole is a rare quality \u2014 and requires a degree of humility. In a quote frequently attributed to business tycoon Richard Branson, \u201cIt\u2019s all about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business, and giving them good work. Then get out of their way, and trust them,\u201d the quote goes. \u201cYou have to get out of the way, so that you can focus on the bigger vision.\u201d Mark\u2019s team is comprised of people from several different countries, so he takes a global perspective when it comes to finding and investing in talent.\n4. Be ready when opportunity strikes\nSunday is well aware of the amazing opportunities that have come his way, and he feels a huge sense of gratitude for the career he has built and enjoyed. Much of that success comes from seizing the opportunity in all facets of one\u2019s life. In fact, Mark once stopped talking to a colleague mid-sentence to walk over and introduce himself to a beautiful woman \u2014 who became his wife. He said, \u201cI now have an incredible wife because I seized the opportunity at the right time and place.\u201d\n5. Stay focused on the big picture\nIt\u2019s tempting to get distracted by the immediate circumstances surrounding a business. Financial strains, employee relations, and an uncertain future for a company all may affect immediate business decisions. It\u2019s wise to avoid that temptation and focus instead on the big picture.\nIt means focusing on macro management. \u201cTime and effort spent on macro management enables leaders to be as clear, decisive, and disciplined at the macro level \u2014 on the big strategic questions the organization is facing \u2014 as their managers are at the micro level, i.e., about how these decisions might be implemented,\u201d says Harvard Business Review contributor Elsbeth Johnson. \nMark has been able to effectively bridge corporate silos and encourage real communication about long-term strategy. Entrepreneurs who follow suit can focus on the big picture and not be alarmed or bogged down by things that come up on a daily basis.\nMark Sunday's business practices have enabled him to be one of the most successful CIOs in the industry in addition to making him a very interesting man, overall. By staying centered on what\u2019s best for the organization, being accessible to customers, hiring the right people, demonstrating gratitude for opportunities, and remaining focused on the big picture, entrepreneurs can follow Mark\u2019s good business sense and build a productive, positive, and profitable company.