Over the last decade I've seen many small businesses that have stopped growing, and are slowly getting worn down by their Herculean efforts to break through to the next level.
Many companies use Dashboarding software to be more effective at tracking and managing their Key Performance Indicators, Projects and Tasks. However, research published in the Harvard Business Review showed that most companies still do a poor job of tracking and managing how we invest the most important resource of all; our time.
A couple of years back we booked a half-day pistol shooting session with a tutor at the LAX firing range in Los Angeles. One of the things he said stuck in my mind. "Remember," he said, "you have to aim for the bull's-eye if you want to hit the target. If you just aim for the target, you will be more likely to miss it." That's as true for marketing as it is for pistol shooting, but it's not an insight that comes naturally to business leaders. I've encountered several companies that seemed to think that it was best not to aim at all. A plumbing company might describe its customers as "anyone who needs plumbing services." A toy store could say its customers are "people who buy toys," while a toy manufacturer would describe its clients as "companies that sell toys." It sounds reasonable, but actually it is a huge mistake. It's like aiming in the general direction of the target: You waste a lot of ammunition. As any good shooter knows, if you want to hit the target consistently you need to aim for the bull’s-eye every time.
The same principle applies to marketing. If you identify who (or what) your bull’s-eye customer is, and take careful aim at them, you are far more likely to hit something.
While there’s much about leadership that remains constant over time, there are profound strategic changes occurring in many industries, and the pace of change is only increasing. Leaders need to display certain attributes to deal with these changes. This growth tip was inspired by an article that featured in the Management Excellence blog.
Peter Drucker shared a wealth of timeless advice for business leaders. He is often referred to as the father of modern management. Here is another summary of his business execution wisdom.
With all the articles about the importance of websites, blogs, email newsletters, and social media platforms it is easy to forget that these are just communication tools. If you don’t have a clear and focused inbound marketing strategy, no communications platform is going to save you.
One of my favorite quotes is attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius: "The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither". Many business leaders find it difficult to chase just one rabbit. They don't know how to drive businesss execution. They set too many goals, or they try to execute too many projects simultaneously. Successful business leaders know when to say NO.
In the great 1991 movie City Slickers, Jack Palance plays Curly Washburn, the weathered and wise old cowboy trying to teach the folks from the city how to drive cattle across the American west. In a memorable scene, Curly asks the main character Mitch Robbins, played by Billy Crystal, if he’d like to know the secret of life.
Since implementing the RESULTS.com software, communication between staff members regarding reaching targets and goals has improved ten-fold. (There is also healthy competition with the new “gamificiation” feature!)
Tania Young – Director – BRAVEday
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