Leadership and Achieving the Results You Want
Business owners and executives know that their leadership has a direct impact on the success of their business. What’s more difficult is determining what needs to be done to make their leadership be the difference in the success of their business. One successful leader is passionate, demanding and involved and another is unemotional, understanding, detached and able to see the big picture. So, what is it that truly makes the difference?
What we’ve learned in our work is that the one common characteristic in all successful leaders is their focus on setting goals and achieving the desired results. The individual characteristics of the leader become secondary. Okay, you may say, I’m setting my goals, but I’m still not where I want to be. In other words, how do I achieve my goals and the results I want as the leader in my business?
The answer to this question requires everyone in your business becoming a leader in some way. We believe there is a sure-fire way to make this happen and this is through a process of alignment and
individual goal setting/achievement.
Here are some steps to get there:
1. Create the direction for your business, by developing a strategic plan with the key leaders in the business.
2. Drive the plan down to specific goals that the leadership team is taking to accomplish the objectives of the plan.
3. Communicate the goals and the plan to everyone else in the business in a cascade fashion.
4. Have each person set their individual goals that are aligned with the plan.
When employees are engaged in a way that they see how what they do every day links to the results of the business and how achieving their own goals is helping the company to be more successful, then they are more positive and motivated.
One of my clients has followed this process for the last three years. Initially, he created a strategic plan that had goals of increasing sales, improving operational efficiencies and investing in his infrastructure. He was doing very well in growing his top line and bottom line until the recent recession caused a dramatic drop in his sales. By focusing on profitability as the primary result he desired, he reset his goals to dramatically restructure his infrastructure and operations. Through alignment of everyone in the business to the changes taking place via individual goals that they set, he has actually improved the profitability of his business in the face of sales that are some 20% lower than the previous year. Not only has he accomplished this result, but he has also sustained his high customer and employee loyalty results in the face of the changes. With his new streamlined infrastructure, he is now positioned to take advantage of a turnaround in the economy to increase his sales at an even more profitable level than before.
In these challenging times we have the opportunity to rethink our fundamentals. By making everyone a leader in the business you maximize your potential to not only survive, but also to thrive no matter what happens to the economy. Give us a call if you would like to discuss how to make a difference with your leadership.