More By This Author

Current Issue

Current Issue

Posted: November 15, 2013

Top 10 easiest ways to transform your business

If you need to be loved -- adopt a dog

Todd Ordal

Dr. Alan Weiss has a saying: “If you improve your operation by 1 percent each day, in 70 days, you are twice as good.” I hope one of these might be your 1 percent for the day:

  1. Work faster. If you use the same assets (for example, time, talent, physical resources and money) and work more quickly, your return is much higher. Longer is not often better.
  2. Speaking of longer… cancel the long meetings. Instead, have daily stand-up meetings with your team.
  3. Every year, spend a day with your senior team reviewing your “operating system” and ask, “What can we get rid of?” Just like the federal government, companies tend to layer on more and more.
  4. No one’s perfect, but when someone on your team is consistently causing more stress than adding value, it’s time for that person to go.
  5. You don’t have a work like, a family life, a personal life. You have a life! Find a way to make it work together. If you have the flexibility to do so, put it in the mixing bowl in a way that works and still accomplishes your business objectives. (I’m writing this in my slippers with a glass of wine.)
  6. The only extremely effective executives I’ve seen are exceptionally disciplined with their calendar. That doesn’t mean they schedule every minute, but it means they “calenderize” priorities.
  7. Learn how to ask great questions. They’re more important than looking for answers. If you ask the wrong question, the answer is always incorrect.
  8. If you need to be loved, adopt a dog. Kind leaders who speak the truth are highly effective. Nice leaders who always try to please produce less than optimal results.
  9. Leadership requires content (e.g. vision and strategy), but don’t forget about the process of leadership (such as meetings, quarterly business reviews, wandering the hallways, etc.), which you can “calenderize” (see No. 6).
  10. Don’t breathe your own exhaust. Get out of your office. Find a coach or advisor who speaks the truth. Expose yourself to ideas that make you think!

My advice to you? Pick one of these, develop some action items and then review No. 6.

Todd Ordal is President of Applied Strategy LLC. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He speaks, writes, consults and advises on issues of strategy and leadership. Todd is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Follow Todd on Twitter here. You can also find Todd at http://www.appliedstrategy.info,  303-527-0417 or todd@appliedstrategy.info

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Hi Tammi- Good to hear from you. I like to eat my frogs early in the day and you're right; if they don't get on the calendar they seem to... hop away! By Todd Ordal on 2013 11 18
Hi Todd! Great to see you here! And a great list of important reminders. I especially like #6. I'm also a fan of Brian Tracy's "Eat the Frog" concept. I "calenderize" frog eating. By Tammi DeVille Merrell on 2013 11 17
Thanks Dom! I'm a fan of Occam's Razor principle--try the simple solutions before the complex! We often look for complex solutions when it is simple (but not easy) behaviors that need to change. By Todd Ordal on 2013 11 17
Todd, thnx for reminding all of us of some pretty basic leadership skills too often forgotten. DDD By dom didia on 2013 11 16
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

ColoradoBiz TV

Loading the player ...

Featured Video