As a busy executive, you face some extremely difficult challenges like creating and dominating new markets or finding and keeping the best people. But then, like many executives, do you find yourself spending too much time solving everyday problems (that only you can solve, right?), which prevent you from growing your ideal business?
Most managers find themselves spending 80% or more of their time “reacting” to business events and very little time in preventing those same events from occurring again. If this sounds familiar then you may be making some of these management mistakes:
1. Do you have a compelling vision for your company, that projects a remarkable future, but few of your employees have heard of it or could explain it if asked?
2. Do you have a company mission that addresses your customer needs yet your operations fail to measure your progress towards your mission?
3. Do your objectives focus on increasing revenue and profitability while your assets are performing poorly, generating negative cash flows, or encumbered by debt to create the profit?
4. Do you talk a lot about your employees (positive or negative) without noting what your employee turnover or performance metrics are for your industry?
5. Do you spend a lot of time working IN your business on tactics yet fail to spend a greater amount of time working ON your business to define your strategy, performance metrics, and real resource needs?
6. Do you have regular interactions with employees yet fail to communicate the status of objectives, financials, or metrics?
7. Do you make money available for training yet fail to measure how that training helps your company achieve its goals?
8. Do you constantly strive to improve your company’s performance yet fail to compare your performance against external benchmarks for success?
9. Do you believe that your customers, employees, and vendors all love your company yet you have no process for measuring their satisfaction on an on-going basis?
10. Do you produce forecasts and budgets yet fail to achieve the agreed upon goals or learn from the experience to improve in the future.
Daily operational issues eat up much of a manager’s time. Too much for most managers. But by reversing this trend, you will have the opportunity to correct those mistakes and build a superior organization that keeps your best people, increases revenue and increases margins.
Start by examining how to remove yourself from your business. Look at automating or outsourcing tasks you perform now. Any task that falls within the tactical operation of your business should be transferred to another person.
If automating or outsourcing is not an option then move the responsibility down the organization and train your employees to take over those tasks. Most employees are quite capable once they have been properly trained and given enough time to become proficient.
Continuous improvement beats delayed perfection.
The business is not about the founder, executive or management that has more experience, thinks they are the smartest or can do the best job. A business is about all of the people. In fact a business is the people.
Management’s job is strategic. Manager’s must focus on the vision, mission and objectives of the organization. Then deploy the resources to see the work gets done. Then measure, monitor and communicate the results so that everyone has the information they need to improve their performance.