Growth is one of the things that makes any endeavor worth embarking upon. The experience of progress is one of the most exhilarating and life giving experiences anyone could ever have especially when that experience is in one’s own business.
Most times when talking about growth, the conversation is typically around what you should do about it. People give you all sorts of ideas and suggestions as to what is required to grow and some of them go as far as presenting data to back up their ideas and suggestions – and there’s really nothing wrong with that.
However, with so much to do already, it’s refreshing to think about things you shouldn’t do in order to grow. Here are three things I recommend you stop doing:
Stop focusing on action – as a business owner, there is a strong tendency to focus on what your team is doing instead of on the results they are getting. Think about a company with several sales representatives on the field. If care is not taken, everything becomes about the number of calls made, the number of prospects in the pipeline etc. and little attention gets paid to whether or not the sale is closed.
While I agree that the activity may be required for the sale to happen, the reality is that everything else you do in a business costs you money until a sale is made. We’re in business to get results and not to engage in an activity – never forget that.
Stop getting buried in the present – strategic business leaders avoid the trap of being caught up with their present realities. They are constantly sifting through what is important versus what is urgent. They are aware that doing what is urgent is an ineffective way to work and that it is more expedient to do what is important but may not be urgent.
I believe that the number one reason why people’s dreams go unfulfilled is the trap of getting caught in the present. You may be caught in the present if you’re unsure of where the business opportunities for the next three to nine months will come from.
Stop doing operations – while this may sound similar to the earlier point, they are actually different. A growth oriented business needs to have smart people handling its operations while the CEO does what only he does best – inspire the staff to remain fully engaged in the organization’s mission and strategy. The CEO is a leader not necessarily a “do-er”. Doing operations is not a good use of his or her time.
The CEO should be having alignment meetings to ensure everyone who directly reports to him has their team aligned with the corporate goal. The CEO is also the officer in charge of taking out the bottlenecks from people’s path i.e. whatever stops them from doing their job well is the CEO’s responsibility – that’s why he needs more than just operational knowledge.
Mastering the art of stopping these three things will keep you on the growth track.
P.S. Remember that just like there are things to do to grow, there are also things to stop doing to grow. Share your thoughts with me, I’m always happy to help.