As the UK enters, what could be, the most turbulent economic instability since the banking crisis of 2008 your business will need to be fit for purpose if it is to prosper. It’s a time for leaders to thrive and demonstrate drive, determination and passion – we call these characteristics the ‘Leader’s Energy’ and successful owner and directors constantly apply that energy with ‘Ruthless Focus’ . Based on over 40 years of experience in helping business and their leaders we believe that there are just three questions that you must ruthlessly focus on if you are to be successful and your business is to achieve its potential? Try asking yourself:
- Are you very clear what the short-term challenges are?Underpinning this question is absolute and shared clarity of direction/destination and what will you see, hear and feel when you “get there” (see this case study). And we don’t mean a glossy document gathering dust on some shelf. We mean stuff that is real, dynamic well used and understood by all. All too often we meet owners who are ‘panic reacting’ to external pressure to ‘deliver’ because they have no context in which to decide what they want to happen over the 3 or 6 months.
- Do you know what strengths need to be amplified and weaknesses suppressed if the short-term challenges are to be met? There is no time to acquire new skills, no time to introduce new processes, no time to find new markets or suppliers. You are going to have to use what you have got (see this case study). If you don’t know what your strengths are then you need to go back to question 1 and reset your short-term challenges!
- Are you clear what the ‘blockers for success” are? Blockers can be internal or external. Is investment or cash flow a blocker; common for entrepreneurs, is lack of trust and doing too much yourself (see this case study). Perhaps it’s your commitment, the behavior of fellow directors, supply chain or machinery or………whatever. What is going to get in the way that can be managed and removed? If you cannot (or will not) remove it then you need to go back to question 1 and reset your short-term challenges!
We have watched far too many leaders get all excited about answering question 1 (evidenced by works of fiction -wonderful strategy documents and five-year plans) but then fail time and time again to fully answer questions 2 and fully implement the action required. They are even more lamentable in getting to grips with question 3. We have met business owners who have known about their “blockers for success” for years. They have done nothing about them, and then wondered why the business has, at best, not achieved its potential potential or, at worst, failed.
Why is this so? In or experience it comes back to evidence of drive, determination and passion (Leaders Energy) and the constant application of that energy with Ruthless Focus. There are no guarantees in life or business success because there are so many factors we can’t control. However, we have yet to meet a successful business owner or director who does not have the drive, determination to apply ruthless focus to succeeding. To focus—ruthlessly—in the midst of chaos is what separates the companies that grow steadily and successfully from the ones that get distracted, trot down the wrong path, and find themselves lost in the forest – Tom Hall ) If you cant or wont then stop reading stuff like this and watching TED.com and continue to ‘trot down the wrong path’.