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Leadership Thought #425 – 10 Ways To Ensure Your Business Success As A Leader


I often tell my clients that business is simple but people complicate it.  There are a few basic things every leader can do which will increase his/her effectiveness right away.  If you practice disciple on the following items 10 items, I guarantee you will see improved business results rather quickly:

  1. You mission statement and core values should be easy to read and understandable and revisited in every leadership/management meeting before you get started. This information also should be posted in as many locations as possible;
  2. Make sure your organization manages to a dashboard of key performance indicators (no more than 5-7) and that this information is made public and the topic of ongoing management discussions;
  3. The organization should go through a strategic planning process every 3-5 years where you establish a strategic direction for the company with supporting goals and major action items;
  4. Make sure you don’t make big decisions in an ad hoc or gut level fashion. Create and use a formal decision making filtering process aligned with the previous three points (it doesn’t have to be complicated) and stick to it;
  5. Make sure each of your direct reports has a succinct position description with crystal clear responsibilities and definitions of success.  Individual definitions of success should easily track back to your mission, values, goals and organization-wide key performance indicators;
  6. Have regular 1-1 meetings with your direct reports (at least monthly) where you discuss their individual progress in their position, obstacles to their continued success, balancing of shifting priorities, check-in on major action items and discuss training/support needs. I highly encourage you to create a 1-1 culture throughout all levels of your company;
  7. Have all of your direct reports meet together as a leadership team at least monthly where you discuss progress against key performance indicators and goals, balance organization-wide priorities and coordinate performance efforts;
  8. Make sure you have an HR approach that hires people carefully and also screens individual employees for basic leadership/management competencies (there are a large number of tools out there) before you promote them into a supervisory position.  Once the move is made then ensure there is ongoing training/support to maximize individual growth and development;
  9. Create the infrastructure within your company to regularly solicit customer feedback and reward success and make  adjustments based on this information;
  10. Make sure every employee has at least some variable pay built into their compensation package. The higher an individual goes in your organization the more of their pay should fluctuate based on performance (consequences should be deemed both positive and negative).

Leadership isn’t rocket science.  Creating the conditions for business success is actually pretty basic: be clear about where you are going and why; define what success looks like and track performance; make sure all of your key people on the same page; don’t “wing it” when it comes to important decisions; ensure that every single employee knows how they fit in the big picture and what they are supposed to be doing;  create a process for providing on-going performance feedback; hold people  accountable for results (including yourself); be careful about who you hire and put in supervisory roles;  provide extensive training and support; never stop communicating with your customers; and make sure everyone shares in the success of the business but also feels the pinch of nonperformance.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the mention!

  2. […] Leadership Thought #425 – 10 Ways To Ensure Your Business Success As A Leader (edrobinson.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] 10 Ways To Ensure Your Business Success As A Leader from Ed Robinson’s blog is a no-nonsense look at how to be a leader:  “I often tell my clients that business is simple but people complicate it.  There are a few basic things every leader can do which will increase his/her effectiveness right away.”  I am glad to see some of my old friends here (mission statement, strategic planning, careful hiring practices) but there are other things in his list of 10 I don’t always think of. […]

  4. […] Leadership Thought #425 – 10 Ways To Ensure Your Business Success As A Leader (edrobinson.wordpress.com) […]

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