Are you holding your own company back?
It’s easy to blame a stagnant or waning business on external factors, but one thing is sure: a CEO’s ability to flex with changing conditions isn’t enough.
It is important to get out ahead of the pack and remain in front. How do you do this?
First, it’s necessary to admit that things that affect your business change daily. They always have, and they always will. Disruptive technologies, a fluctuating economy, and many other factors that affect customer demand and the ability to do business surface constantly. This is not new – it’s simply uncomfortable.
The only variable is you, the CEO. Because even though the world witnesses many failed businesses, there are many others that survive and thrive.
How can you be sure you are not holding your own company back? That is a book in itself.
Here are the top three reasons CEO’s keep their businesses from flourishing, and how you can get out of your company’s way.
1. Step outside limiting biases.
Are you operating your company in the same way with the same information and taking the same approach to your business that you did just a handful of years ago? These days, companies staying in front are asking what needs to shift and change, and they do a spot-check assessment every six to nine months.
This one thing can change the entire trajectory of a business’s lifespan. If you are operating off a strategic plan that is more than 18 months old, you’re in trouble. It is time to re-evaluate. You may be meeting your objectives, but these objectives and their strategies may already be second-best in a changing marketplace. If your strategic plan isn’t being translated into correlating action, it is…
Time to review.
2. Stop limping along with that under-performing employee.
Do you have an under-performing employee who has been there for decades, but holding back the future? Are you feeling high-jacked because of the perceived loyalty this person carries by their longevity with the company?
This is a tough one, especially for family-owned businesses. If you are on the fence about someone in your own company, ask yourself how this is affecting your other employees and company outcomes. If you think about it, by holding onto this person, you are damaging not only his or her immediate area and the work, but hurting the morale of an entire employee base, the product or service your customers enjoy, and the future of what you are able to do.
Time to reassess.
3. Step ahead of the curve instead of riding with it.
If you think reading the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and trade magazines are feeding you the information you need in order to stay ahead of the competition, think again.
Reading these are great for staying on top of what is currently happening, but taking in reported information that has already occurred will not help you to develop the foresight you need in order to get out in front.
Are you ready to flex your visionary skills? Change the conversations you are having with other business owners. You may still ask the question, “What are you seeing and what are you doing about it?”
But you need to push farther in the discussion. Questions like, “What do you think might happen because of it?” are vital to stretching your ability to survey the horizon. And taking time to play this out is important.
A follow-up question is, “If we couldn’t deliver services ‘this way,’ how might delivery look to reach the end consumer?”
Time to stretch.
How might you be holding your own company back?
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.