When you think of where you want to take your business 5-10 years from now, is the picture clear? Or are there challenges, obstacles and hardships that blur the image?
In 20 years of working with hundreds of business owners, I’ve met only a few who have a clear, unobstructed view of where they’re going AND how they’re going to get there. Most have trouble seeing that picture clearly because they’re focused on one (or more) of the following ailments:
- Lack of control – over time, the market, or the company
- People – employees, customers, vendors, and partners just don’t seem to listen, understand or follow through
- Profit – simply put, there’s not enough of it
- Growth – the company just can’t seem to break through and get to the next level.
- Magic Pills – that don’t work. Dozens of remedies and quick fixes have come and gone; the wheels are still spinning
It doesn’t have to be this way. Doing a few things differently will help you get a grip on your business, gain better traction, and eliminate all of your frustrations. To make the picture clearer, however, you must realize that the only thing you can really change is yourself.
Start by accepting responsibility for the world you’ve created. It’s not the market; it’s not your people; it’s not your customers; it’s you. When you achieve that shift in your thinking, you can then move forward to solve your problems and experience success. You can let go of your frustrations with things you can’t control to focus 100% of your energy on creating the organization you imagine.
Once you accept responsibility, give yourself a three question test. Grade the company in these critical areas:
- Vision – Everyone in the company knows where we’re going and exactly how we’re going to get there
- Traction – Everyone is disciplined and accountable for making progress towards achieving the vision
- Healthy – the leadership team is open, honest, cohesive and functional
If you have to grade on the curve to earn a “B” average, it may be time to get some help. Unless your vision is crystal clear, your team is 100% on the same page – happy, healthy and working together towards achieving your vision – long-term success is probably just a mirage. Thankfully, bringing that picture into focus isn’t very difficult.
The key is organizing the many moving parts of your business into a single, complete system – followed faithfully by everyone in the company – that efficiently delivers your product or service and delights your customers. You won’t make that happen with silver bullets or magic pills designed to fix a small part of the larger problem.
The answer isn’t easy, but it IS simple. Working with your team to become strong in the Six Key Components™ of a well-run business will clarify your vision, simplify the mission, and get everyone working together to achieve your vision. Look for more information about those components – Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction – in future issues. For now, you can rest easier knowing that you’ve begun the process of developing a single, effective operating system for your business. A new way of life for you and your leadership team that will remove obstacles and frustrations, make everything start to work harmoniously, and bring that blurry picture of your ideal future into clear focus.
About the Author Mike Paton has been helping entrepreneurs get more of what they want from their companies for more than 20 years. He works with owners and leadership teams to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), a proven process for clarifying, simplifying and achieving success in growth-oriented organizations. Learn more at www.eosworldwide.com or contact Mike directly.