Last week, I shared how my father lost one million dollars and was forced to bankrupt his corporation – all due to the absence of one critical conversation.
If you haven’t seen that part of the story, click here.
Of course, that chapter is a just a snippet of a much larger success story, because the devastation of the loss of funds and ensuing fire sale of Dan Cotton’s business is not the end of this tale.
In fact, my father has always a knack not only for landing on his feet (sometimes literally!), but also for creating abundance that has made a significant impact in the world.
At age 32, he developed the beginnings of a healthcare empire by applying three critical components to create the system that thrives, today.
Most people apply one or two to generate some success, but rarely does someone pull off all three to actually create a legacy of great impact.
Vision, strategy, and execution.
Sound simple? Think, again.
Dan Cotton started with a vision. He envisioned a retirement and convalescent home that would provide not only healthcare, but the love and warm feeling of family. He had always appreciated and respected the elderly, and saw an opportunity to support them with dignity and care.
It is here that a majority of professionals in leadership positions fall short. In fact, many company CEOs do not lead; they are secretly glorified project managers. Their focus is inward and they get stuck in minutia – a state which is ultimately fatal to business health. Leaders, on the other hand, are outward-thinking. They watch for trends, anticipating needs and making powerful connections in order to keep the business vibrant and sustainable. Yet, keeping the vision in front while managing the daily requisites of business is no small feat.
What is your vision for your business? How does your healthy, thriving business make an impact and contribute to the world?
Try to get funding at age 32 to develop such a healthcare complex – to manage builders and permits, recruit physicians and staff, market for clients, learn about compliance, and about a million other things! Dad had been a university theology professor prior to this endeavor. So he had to perform diligent research, lay out all the pieces and assemble them into some kind of plan, network, exert influence to get things done, and find funding without a firm business track record.
At any point, the enormity of this project could have pressured him to fold and return to the university, where his future was safe and sound. But my father is a calculated risk-taker and full of drive. Combined with his strategic eye, he hung in there; and because of this, he met with success – and it paid off.
How is your “strategy quotient?”
This is your ability to see all the pieces that need to come into place, and how to place them so the plan works. Are you relying on others to come up with strategies and direction? What needs to change?
Here is where the rubber meets the road. Many business leaders are stuck in visioning and planning, and successful execution eludes them. Dad knew how to orchestrate the complex pieces that were required to develop and operate the healthcare system. There were many nights when he dragged home wearily, yet he would continue to work in his study before falling to sleep for a short time, only to do it, again. Perseverance, tenacity, grit – this was him. And it paid off. In a world where most new businesses fail, he pushed through. And succeeded on a major scale.
How high is your “execution quotient?”
This is your ability to get things done. Are you making effective decisions and taking timely actions? Is any part of your business lagging or waiting on you, due to inaction on your part? What needs to change?
In sum, there are just three simple steps to creating a legacy of impact: vision, strategy, and execution.
Where are you in this process?
And what do you need next in order to succeed?
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive coaching, leadership development, succession planning, change, and conflict management. She is also a Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.