Crystal clear purpose
The most common reason companies run into trouble is losing sight of the customer and their needs. Having a crystal clear purpose helps keep the focus from becoming too internally fixated, instead articulating why the business exists from the customer’s perspective. A clear and inspiring purpose will also give your employees a reason to be connected with their hearts, not just their minds.
Sometimes this is an unpopular topic, but it is critical. Discipline means having a sharp and constant focus on your objectives, whether they be growth, profits or customer objectives. Successful businesses build continual monitoring into their processes, constantly aware of the gap between where they are and where they should be.
Goals that compel action
Most people are motivated to work for a cause of some sort. The business must continually paint a picture of what the future may hold. And it needs to be more compelling than ‘surviving’ or ‘selling lots more’. Goals that challenge without being unrealistic, and that inspire people to go above and beyond, will reinforce a culture of innovation, effort and excitement.
Prepare for several futures
Successful businesses are rarely taken by surprise. They spend time thinking about “what if” scenarios, and planning their responses. It’s a fact that most business owners don’t think beyond the next quarter or six month period. This can lead to sticking with products and services for too long and failing to identify shifts in the market – making change and innovation almost impossible.
The leader’s job is not only to inspire effort and provide direction. They also carry the task of meeting the psychological needs of their employees while they are at work. Leaders that are emotionally mature, energetic and future oriented are an absolute necessity, if the business is to thrive rather than plateau.
Excellence in everything
Companies will not survive long today if they are “just average”. What does it take to foster a culture of excellence? High standards, accountability, a willingness to learn and a continual focus on creating value for customers. If these things are in place, excellence becomes a by-product.