How Great Leaders Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

Woman walking upstairs

Surprise!

You just lost a key client or employee. An important project goes sour. Something or somebody failed to come through at a crucial time. Your sales, profit, and cash are not meeting expectations.

If you run a business, you know that surprises come in many forms, but did you ever experience a surprise in your business that you felt somebody should have seen coming? That maddening sense of “How the heck could this have happened?”

In entrepreneurial companies, surprises can be fatal. As they grow, it’s up to their leaders to insulate the company from surprises that could threaten their survival. This essential leadership ability is the power to predict.

How to Implement the Power to Predict

As a Certified EOS Implementer®, I help entrepreneurial leaders become better at predicting by helping them implement practical tools to keep them focused on the future. Think of it like climbing to the top of a tree, where you get a better view and can see things coming from a long way off. When you’re mired in the day-to-day, it’s important to “climb the tree” to gain a better view. The EOS Tools help teams start thinking about what needs to happen next to guide the organization toward a shared vision of the future in both the long term and short term.

For long-term prediction (90 days and beyond) we use the Vision/Traction Organizer™ (V/TO™) to constantly recalibrate the organization’s vision of the future. The Core Focus™, 10-Year Target™, 3-Year Picture™, and 1-Year Plan form the essence of predictive planning. These tools are focused on converting our shared vision into concrete intentions and plans.

For short-term prediction (up to 90 days), we implement quarterly Rocks, Scorecards, Issues Lists, and the discipline of Level 10 Meetings™ with to-dos and the IDS™ issues-solving track. These tools are focused on results. They turn our plans into commitments and our commitments into activity (Traction®!).

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Bringing It All Together

Finally, all the tools come together in our Meeting Pulse™: the discipline of integrating our tactical weekly meetings with quarterly and annual planning sessions to set priorities and hold each other accountable to commitments.

Helping my clients implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System® gives their entire team the ability to become expert predictors. The EOS Tools cultivate their ability to envision the future, map direction, monitor their progress, and achieve results.

Best of all, with fewer surprises, running your business becomes a lot more peaceful, and also, a lot more fun.

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