Keep your eye on the ball
This last weekend, we played a Ryder Cup format tournament, and during one of the rounds my partner and I played against a high handicap golfer who historically played at or above his handicap. During our match, this guy was phenomenal, hitting great shot after great shot and making most of his putts. He played way under his handicap and just killed us.
After the match, I asked him how he had made such a huge difference in his game since last season. His response: lessons over the winter along with a lot of practice. He is one of those people who loves to practice and the time he spent over the winter ingraining the lessons had truly paid off. He also said that his game had been erratic up to the last week or so when everything seemed to click.
This story is very similar to getting results in business with new activities and changes. It requires continual practice of the new activities and over time things come together. Most of the business owners we work with get frustrated if they do not see immediate results from changes. We continually talk about keeping their focus and continuing the new direction.
Those who do keep with it see gradual improvement and then a breakthrough to the next level. Some areas you can do to stay focused on the important things in your business include:
Get the important things done
Most of us get sucked into getting the urgent activities done that are not important to driving changes in our businesses. This might include dealing with day to day activities that others in the business might also be able to handle, but because they are urgent we feel the need to step in as senior managers and handle. Delegate those activities to others in your company so you can focus on the strategic opportunities.
Schedule the important activities in your business early in the day and set aside a block of time to dedicate to those changes. It might be making sales calls, initiating a strategic partnership or working on new strategic directions for your firm.
Keep up the activity
Don't stop too early on a new action or direction. Too many of us like immediate gratification and change is not something that happens over night or in four weeks. It takes months, just like the changes made by the golfer in my story. I also see business owners that start an activity that generates some early results and then other day to day business activities diverts their attention and the activity stops. It is a change in your business habits that must be continually scheduled to keep them as a key priority.
Without having accountability for changes it is easy to "fall off the wagon". There are a number of ways to use outside resources to keep on track. There are organizations that specialize in accountability groups, such as Vistage and TAB. These companies have individuals that run peer advisory groups that help business owners stay on track with their initiatives.
You can also setup your own advisory board of people you know and trust to help identify key activities and hold you accountable. I have also seen a number of networking groups that transform into peer advisory groups, as well as finding an accountability partner to work together on keeping activities in both your businesses moving forward.
These are some areas that I have seen work. What have you experienced? I would love to hear your experiences.
Larry Turner is CEO of Roundhouse Advisors, Inc. and has over 25 years experience growing, starting up, repositioning, and revitalizing organizations. Roundhouse Advisors is a consulting practice focused on helping businesses increase enterprise value by managing pain, growth and owner exits. Larry is a consultant, public speaker, and the author of two books "Owner Exit Planning: Leave On Your Own Terms" and "Mapping Your Recovery: Grow sales in difficult times". For additional information visit www.RoundhouseAdvisors.com
"Mapping Your Recovery: Grow sales in difficult times" provides additional information on areas that can positively impact your company www.roundhouseadvisors.com/growsalesbook