My model for building a successful business is built on four pillars: 1) Develop and communicate your clarity of purpose; 2) Enlist the sincere commitment of everyone; 3) Skillfully execute the things that matter; and 4) Build long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with your important constituncies -- customers, suppliers, government officials etc.
All of my work with business leaders relates in some way to one or more of these four components. Today, I'd like to spend some time discussion execution.
There are five keys to effective execution.
- Focus on what's really important.
- Develop meaningful measures.
- Create SMART goals.
- Measure progress regualrly.
- Reinforce good performance, redirect poor performance.
Today, I'll discuss number 1: Focus on what's really important.
How do you determine what's really important? Simple. Look at your purpose. If you've done a good job specifying a clarity of purpose for your organization, you'll know exactly what's really important. If you have a difficult time figuring out what's important, you might want to spend some additional time developing your clarity of purpose.
Here's an example. When I started my consulting, coaching and speaking business, my purpose was to "work closely with leaders to help them enhance their performance and the performance of those they lead". This meant that I needed a lot of in person contact with my clients. It was really important for me to meet face to face -- with individual leaders and their teams; to conduct workshops, and make speeches.
Now it's "to share the wisdom I've accumulated over the past 30 years as widely as I can". This is due partially to the fact that I've gotten older and no longer enjoy traveling over 45 weeks a year, and more so because communication technology has exploded. Blogs, podcasts, webinars, print on demand publishing all make it much easier to get my message out to a very large audience.
The point here is that my original purpose requried different strategies and tactics than my current purpose. When I was focused on my orginal purpose, I worked very hard at making sure I was booked for some face to face client work every week. Now, my focus has shifted to things like writing this blog, developing internet based training and consultation, and writing more books. Of course, I still do a fair bit of client work and speaking.
In short, my purpose changed, so my focus has changed.
Here's the common sense point: If you want to run a successful business you need to do the same. You need to focus on one, two or three critical goals. By doing so, you'll know what matters. When you know what matters you are in a position to develop plans -- which you then must skillfully execute.
Pretty simple, isn't it? In my next post, I'll focus on the second key: Develop Meaningful Measures.
That's it for today. Thanks for reading. For more common sense advice about starting and running a business, log on to my website: www.BudBilanich.com.
I'll see you around the web, and at Alex's Lemonade Stand.
PS Please check out my new book: Fixing erformance Problems: Common Sense Ideas That Work. You can find it at Amazon.com, and your local bookstore.