I once had a mentor tell me that I needed to slow down to speed up. Now that sounds like an oxymoron, right? Something like hurry up and wait. He was right, I was trying to do too much all at once, and as a result I couldn’t do anything. I was just being pulled in too many directions to focus and concentrate on anything. Over the years I have noticed a lot of people that could benefit from slowing down to speed up. Are you one?
Slowing Down to Speed Up
As a business leader you are not accustomed to going slow. By nature, you are a person that likes to take on a challenge and get things done. If anything, your success has made you take on even more and more risks, so you can grow your business. I have met many business owners like this, but the trouble is the end up taking on one too many things and it drags them down. Often, you try to expand your product line or enter a new market only to find that you can no longer sell like you used to and your profits are eroding. You might even find yourself in danger of losing your business. Why does this happen and what can YOU do about it?
What are the core competencies of your business? I started my business to help companies transform cultures to improve employee performance, productivity and profits. Because I help with developing cultures and I work with business leaders, I am often asked if I do 1:1 coaching. I usually decline the 1:1 coaching, because that isn’t my core competency.
Business leaders, especially when they start seeing success, will often seek what else they can do to expand their company. When they get past their core competencies, they struggle, and the money and energy needed to expand their market place drains their resources and their core business begins to suffer. I see this all the time on The Profit (which is one of my favorite shows). Stick with your core competency and expand from there. Taking on too much will spread your energy too thin and often lead to disaster.
What is even more dangerous than straying outside your core competency is changing direction once you’ve started an initiative. You sit down with your colleagues and decide that this year you are going to accomplish a certain goal. You had a great idea for a market expansion or new product line. However, before you finish your initial initiative, you find another good idea to pursue, so you shift focus. As a result, nothing gets done.
My friend Ross Foca, founder of the Power 6 Group, consults clients on the Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS) and advises his clients to focus on just a few things each quarter. He calls them rocks. This extra focus helps his clients accomplish more than they had in the past and gives them the flexibility to shift focus after the quarter ends. Remember, if your idea was a good idea, it’s worth following through.
This Week’s Challenge
By nature, entrepreneurs are always looking for the next thing. You see a need and you’re eager to solve it. After starting a successful business, it’s natural to think you can resolve anything. Put a system in place for making these types of decisions. The system shouldn’t be dependent on one individual (usually the founder) but include a team with several functions represented. Once a decision is made, it is also important to follow through. If you don’t you run the risk of nothing being done.
To learn more about how to improve the chances of successful decision making and implementation please contact us to learn how we can help!