The last 60 days have been amazing. In this short span of time, I have shared personal discussions with over 60 CEOs and business owners not to mention the many folks that make up their executive teams. From small enterprises to those doing tens of millions of dollars annually. Their insights, ideas and frankly indecision are most telling about our current economic environment.
Fundamentally, all are thinking deeply about how to best build their businesses over the near and longer-term. For many, their magnificent money machine is sputtering, or, at the very least, changing in the face of the “new” economic environment.
Here are the key themes echoed through the hallowed halls of the C-Suite.
- Sales are Slowing
- Alignment and Accountability is Absent
- Talent Needed for the Next Level is Lacking
Unfortunately there is not a single solution for every organization. Each company is facing its unique crossroad. Yet, nearly every business owner has asked, what might they do to address these key issues. The answers are simple but not simplistic.
Create a Strong Strategic Plan
Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland said it well.
“Alice came to a fork in the road. “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
I don’t know, Alice answered.
“Then” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
Too many organizations are operating without a clear plan to take them from where they are to where they want to go. Some have created the plan yet aimlessly slip back into the daily discourse of dysfunctional fire fighting.
Being intentional requires reflection and interpersonal honesty. There are many paths we might choose. What is most important is to purposefully pick a path and begin walking.
Building a strong sustainable business takes a lot of hard work. Climbing the metaphorical mountain of success is wrought with slippery slopes and big boulders just waiting to crush the unprepared. To ensure optimal performance, business leaders must empower its members to support each other on the climb.
As executives, we must work to inspire individuals and groups to operate at their full potential. Telling others what to do is easy. Engaging, empowering and energizing others to work collaboratively is much more challenging, yet is inevitably the optimal way to ensure success.
The most common reason for under performance is not the lack of knowledge but the lack of commitment when things are not working out.
Malcolm Gladwell popularized the concept of 10,000 hours. According to Gladwell, expertise is reached only after we’ve committed 10,000 hours of practice to that which we elect to perfect. For many, dedicating ten hours towards a new goal before slipping back to the comfortable and well-worn path is challenging. Yet, those who wildly succeed don’t count on pixy dust but rather fully commit to consistently move forward regardless of the obstacles in their way.
Are times changing? Yes.
Is the business climate challenging? Yes.
Can the Magnificent Money Machine crank out desired cash flow again? Yes.
All it takes is a well-created strategic plan, collaboration and a commitment to consistency.
Do you and your team have what it takes?Share