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One of the most important aspects of being a superior leader is hiring people smarter than you.
The difference between good performance and great performance is not just having smart people, but also having the right people in the right positions.
That’s why top leaders spend more time putting the right team in place to accomplish their objectives than they spend on planning, strategizing, or many other components of their job.
Often ineffective leaders have a fear of not knowing the answer to every question.
They personally want to bring all relevant facts to the table every time. That’s not only impossible but also counterproductive.
Superior leaders hire people who can provide the answers that are pertinent to their particular area of expertise.
True leaders also know how to listen to advice and move out of the way to let others do what they do best. Read more
Operating plans are tactical in nature.
They spell out the steps every organization must take to achieve the business plan.
This is where you begin to bridge the gap between planning and results.
An operating plan must be measurable and highlight key milestones to achieve throughout the year.
Your operating plan is a road map that tells you how you execute your business plan.
It’s an instrument that shows if you are staying on course.
Leaders responsible for delivering results must develop operating plans.
They can’t and won’t buy into these plans if others developed them.
Leaders have to lay out the specific programs, timelines, measurements, and resources required to achieve their objectives, which, in turn, are aligned with the company’s overall objectives.
Most leaders know what they want. The challenge is getting the company to execute with speed and efficiency to consistently deliver the desired results.
The key is to bridge the gap between planning and results by executing effectively.
Up one month, down the next.
Like it or not, this just seems to be our economic reality for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, you can’t just hit PAUSE until things improve. You’ve got a business to run!
Your job as a leader is to make the necessary adjustments to plow ahead and succeed.
So whether gas prices go up or down, the housing market improves or consumer optimism increases is all somewhat irrelevant to the small business owner.
While those factors may change the rules of the game, don’t let them alter your ability to manage a thriving business. You have to be willing to make some tough changes and ADAPT, but it doesn’t mean you can’t turn a profit.
Since it does no good to pretend conditions are better than they are, let’s first uncover the harsh realities of doing business and then look at six tangible leadership tactics to put you on the path to profitability.
With the right leadership skills, profitability for your business is not out of reach!
The Cold, Hard Facts
Along with declining employment, we also face increased gas prices, political uncertainty in Washington, as well as overseas, and overall rising costs for doing business. Oh, yes, and let’s not forget the credit situation which remains extremely tight. For small businesses in particular, the impact is draining.
On top of that, it’s simply becoming harder to compete. New businesses, created by smart, unemployed entrepreneurs, are popping up all over offering lower prices. And large companies (once competing up-market) now have moved down to go after smaller opportunities.
But enough doom and gloom, let’s focus on how you can navigate toward higher profitability by following a few simple leadership “Do’s and Don’ts.”
Last week I asked more than 1,000 small business leaders across the country to evaluate the importance of Top 10 critical business challengesand over 26% of the people responded! Take a few minutes to find out what leaders identified as their top eight challenges. Do you agree with them?
For a year that was supposed to hold such economic promise, it certainly didn’t deliver.
In fact, most small business leaders I talk to still feel the heavy weight of uncertainty and question their ability for growth in this economic recovery.
The way I see it, we have two options: become paralyzed by circumstances or adapt.
Like you, I’m also a small business owner and entrepreneur so I know the “sit and wait” approach is not even an option!
While there is much to consider in a down economy, let’s boil it down to basics.
Before you do anything else, you need to gauge your trust leadership by asking yourself, “Do my employees trust me and the company’s leaders?” To assume the answer is “yes” does you no good, so be honest. Want the truth? Look closely at your company’s culture.
So how do you know if you’ve developed leadership trust?
I’ve got something pretty cool for you today.
It’s an audio and video recording from a workshop I recently held where I hear directly from a room filled of small business owners, just like you, state the biggest challenges they’re facing in today’s world. To be precise, It’s an excerpt taken from my four hour small business leadership training program where I taught leaders how to rapidly increase profits. At the end of the day we reviewed the list and everyone agreed that the program addressed 12 of the 16 biggest challenges listed below.
Whether you are trying to survive in today’s tough economy or striving to reach new heights, the mutual goal is to progress and making money.
As someone who subscribes to the old adage, “Go as far as you can go and when you get there you can see further,” I believe that there is always room for improvement.
Especially in 2010 and 2011.
Sure it’s more difficult but not impossible. The first step is to identify the hurdles — and that’s exactly what we did in this audio recording.
Just take a listen, and you’ll quickly hear the SAME exact problems, frustrations and concerns that you have for your business – are the same problems facing other business owners as well.
I also included all the challenges I got from the participants at the end of the post.
So what do YOU think? Did they, or I, miss any? Feel free to post your thoughts below.