Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, in their book entitled The Secret, What Great Leaders Know and Do, has a lot to teach each of us who is looking to build a business or a professional practice. I wish it were a simple formula, but as we know nothing in life worth doing is really simple. In my practice I work with a number of clients in many industries and one issue they all struggle with is this idea of leadership and how necessary it is to grow a successful business. In this article I will walk you through the highlights that I learned from studying this work plus other thoughts around building a business, joining a business or building your own practice.
Leadership starts with Vision. What is the vision for your company? A compelling vision will stir the passion in yourself as well as your employees. Is your vision of the future compelling enough for people to get out of bed and embrace it every day? People will often join an organization because it is a job, but they will stay and grow because they buy into the vision. If you are recruiting for top talent then you need a vision they can grab onto from the very beginning.
The second task of a great leader is to engage and develop others. Any team is only as strong as its weakest member. First how developed is your recruiting process? Are you hiring warm bodies or are you finding the optimal people for your company to fulfill the vision. Once these people are on board, what are you doing to make sure they have the skills and competencies required for success? Each employee should have a development plan in place to help guide them to a higher level of success in the organization.
The third area is execution, which Chris McChesney (co-author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution) sums up best. Do you focus on what is most important to your success? There are many things we can do to grow the business but have you identified the most important to be worked on NOW? Have you developed leading indicators that you can control and will directly point you to success? Once you have the leading indicators in place how are you keeping score? Having a visual scorecard of how you are doing is a strong motivator to success. We all know that we are much more involved and effective in a sports endeavor or even a card game if we begin to keep score. It is no different in business. And lastly do you have the appropriate level of accountability in place? We all have good intentions but how do you plan to stay on track? If you do not have accountability in place you will find that over time your focus will shift.
To summarize, to be successful you need to have a clear vision of the future, you need to find, develop and care for your employees, then you need to execute. Strategies fail because of poor execution. If you would like help with this, then let me know. I offer a free discovery analysis that will help pinpoint where you are today, identify where you want to be and provide a plan of action to get you there.