If there is one change you should make in your leadership today, it’s this: Stop seeking consensus. Make a decision and move on. Many of us have a tendency to avoid making a decision by continuing to talk about it. We think we can make more decisions if we just get everyone “on the same page” and have more meetings. I’ve sat in these meetings, and the truth is, they’re not helping you. It’s time to stop. But how? What’s the alternative? Leadership.
Let’s pretend a stranger walked up to you, handed you $1,000, and said, “All you have to do is give me $200 back.”
Would you do it?
On paper, it makes perfect sense. You’d make $800 instant profit. Why wouldn’t you do that?
The fact is, though, most of us would NOT go through with it. We’d look at the cash in our hand and question it. We’d challenge it, because deep down, we’re all innately afraid of money.
Growth is not linear. Profit is not one for one. Life is uncertain.
This is why small companies stagnate.
As small businesses grow, owners continually encounter new challenges. Some are solved by getting the next sale: cash flow, paying the bills, payroll – things that represent survival. Other problems can only solved by taking on more risk: operational capacity, more employees, increasing profit – the things that represent progress.
I read a post recently that said a CEO has only three indelible roles:
Choose the direction of the business,
Get the right people on board, and
Keep the cash flowing.
I struggle to find anything wrong with this simplification. Let me break it down.
In small business, Merger & Acquisition activity is typically more about emotion than math. Negotiations are messy and valuations are lean. We hear about the success stories, but most of the time the results are disappointing.
If your small business is also your retirement plan, read on.
Leaders tend to find what they are looking for. Good leaders find good things. Bad leaders find bad behavior.
Bad leadership is incredibly easy to implement. Once you start, it has a way of perpetuating itself. Keep looking: you will find more mistakes.
In my consulting practice, I hope to find a few process mistakes that are easy to fix: Do this, not that. There, isn’t that better?
Company makeovers have become a mainstay of my consulting practice, but not all makeovers are created equal. Ignorance may be bliss, but not understanding where your company is in its progress can lead to critical failures.
As a young manager, I made all the best mistakes.
It seemed perfectly natural to blame people who made errors or exercised poor judgment and ‘hold them accountable.’ It rarely worked. The mistakes kept happening.
When you operate a growing business, you quickly learn how important it is to hire really great people. In fact, next to cash flow, that is probably the most important job you have as an owner.
Where do you find awesome employees?
If you are like me, you want to hire the first person that presents themselves reasonably well and get back to work. The real “interview” is on-the-job.