“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
“… So long as I get somewhere.” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that”, said the Cat, “if only you walk long enough.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Clarity, communication, laying out the path and accountability.
These are four key ingredients to running a successful business. A business that ends up giving you a lifestyle rather than just creating yourself another job.
Ironically though, one or more of these ingredients are often in short supply with most of the businesses we come across.
As a leader it’s your clarity which will ultimately determine your path to success.
What is it you really want? How will you go about it? Who do you need to help you on the journey.
It is commercially smart to have a plan and a roadmap. When working with our clients we define 6 components.
Business Destination – Where you want to be in 3 years. Could be scaling your operation. And/or looking at a future exit strategy.
Goals: Where need to be in 1 year. Make them specific, achievable and tangible.
Projects: What needs to be done to accomplish your goals. Break these into 90 day chunks with regular review. Anything over 90 days tends to drift.
Focus Hours: Make the time DAILY to focus on important but not urgent work which moves you forward. This is akin to working ON your business.
Core Values: How you believe business should be done. What you expect from yourself, your people and your clients. What you will and equally importantly, not tolerate.
Some key questions to ask yourself:
- Have you defined your core values and does everyone involved adhere to them?
- How well do you communicate your vision and have buy-in from your people?
- Are they aligned with your goals?
- Are projects well defined, with clear accountabilities and deadlines?
- You expect to hold your people accountable. Are you accountable both to yourself and them? i.e. Do you do what you’ll say you do? Or take the easy way out – “I’m the boss, so it doesn’t apply to me.”
Leadership starts with you. What you do speaks far louder than what you say.