I had a great meeting with a client this week. We are a couple of months into our 6 month Business MasterClass with him and were going through our second 1:1 meeting. We were covering some specific marketing tactics he will be implementing, and also reviewing the foundation strategies from earlier meetings.
His comment, “I am starting to see the realization of my dream” struck a chord with me. It represented an important part in our work together where he starts to think in the FUTURE, rather than urgent fire-fighting in the PRESENT. It is very easy to loose the vision of why you went into business in the first place when day to day pressures become almost overwhelming and you are “up to your arse in alligators” and just focusing on making payroll at the end of the week. Being able to think in the future, but act in the now is an important part of being the leader of a business. Even more important is being able to share that vision with those around you, be they employees, contractors, suppliers, investors or the bank. So, apart from being able to paint a picture of what the business will look like in the future, what other elements are important in the “future thinking” approach?
Think systems. For a business to grow bigger than just you, you will need to accomplish tasks through others. Unless you want to be there 24/7 telling everyone exactly what to do, you will need to document systems to instruct people what to do and how to do it to the required standard. Investing in systems is future thinking.
Delegate. Realise that you don’t have to do everything yourself and in fact other people can do some things BETTER than you. Also, employ people who cost less than your charge-out rate to take over some tasks, freeing up more of your time for higher value tasks: production, securing more business or looking after existing customers.
Steer the Ship. Look up and further out to the business horizon. Are you going in the right direction? Do you need to refine your focus with some minor course adjustments, or are you heading towards danger and need a major change in direction? These vital tasks will not happen if you are down in the bottom of the ship all the time shoveling coal into the engines.
Block off some time in your diary every week to spend on leadership/CEO thinking. Read books and articles on business ownership and management and consider working with an external advisor as a sort of “chairman of the board” to help you focus on the bigger picture at times. I do this with several of my clients and they find it a very liberating and empowering process, but one that also makes good economic sense. Drop me an email if you want to talk further on this issue: firstname.lastname@example.org Or phone me in Auckland on 912 -1901
Andy Burrows – The Trades Coach