The default position of any business is death; 95% of businesses never get past a certain point and only 4% of businesses ever get above ten staff. It’s incredible to think that with everybody trying exceptionally hard, and with instant access to an abundance of information and advice, it’s only a very, very small amount of businesses that ever get to a certain point.
Last week I spent some time with Jim Collins, one of my favourite authors and a Research Professor who compares two companies from the same industry at the same time, with the same opportunities and looks into the ones that succeed and the ones that don’t, and he measures it.
I paired this with my own experience over the last ten years working with small business owners from across 65+ different industries, as well as my former CEO days, and the good news is that there’s only ONE challenge in your business and that is all down to the Leadership. Fix this and you’ll fix A LOT of other things.
Leadership is critical, EVERYTHING stems from the leadership:
- If there’s no profit in the business, then the Leader has to understand why.
- If there are no sales, the Leader needs to understand why.
- If your product isn’t delivering on time to specification, you as a Leader must understand why.
- If your staff aren’t effective and aren’t doing the right things, that understanding why starts with Leadership.
- If you have no cash in the business to do the right things, you need to understand why. And that starts with leadership.
Now, a lot of people will turn around and say they have people doing that, but again, if they’re not doing their job effectively, that starts with leadership. What are you doing to either get them to do their job, or to remove them from doing their job to help someone else doing it?
And it’s a really key thing, everything starts with this leadership. And that starts with the word ‘responsible’ and being responsible is the ability to respond. And as soon as we realise that we have the ability to respond to anything, we take OWNERSHIP of everything going on.
This week I want you to answer me this question and I’m really interested in hearing your responses:
As from next week, you are resigning from your business and you’re going to put someone in your place, a CEO. What is the one thing you’d get them to fix for the money that you pay them?
My guesstimate is if your business is stuck or you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, then you probably don’t really know what needs fixing first, because if you did, you would fix it. If I’ve got a headache, I’ll take some tablets, go to the doctor, and I’ll fix it. I don’t sit there and focus on other things.
Now some of you may may know, but don’t know how to fix it (that’s okay but you need to reach out for some help to get focussed and momentum).
And some of you think you know that one thing, but it’s not.
Running a business and being a leader is like the body; it’s all about the Head – the knowledge and skills, the Heart – the emotion, the feeling, and the Hands – the execution, and doing. What we need to be doing is getting that moving in symbiotic process, we need to get moving together. And this is what Leadership is all about.
As I say, I’m really interested in hearing your responses so that we can focus future content and training sessions around these.
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays