How To Avoid Failing

Logo1After one of my recent leadership tips, someone asked me my opinion of the primary causes why businesses or business units fail.

Fair question.

To clarify, ‘fail’ can mean going out of business (closing the doors) … or ‘fail’ can also mean not reaching expectations.

Although I have no shortage of opinions, and there is no one answer to this question, let me share with you my experience and provide you with my top 3 – ways to avoid failing.

Business or business units can avoid failure if:

1. They have a realistic plan. Many businesses do not have a plan and if they do, the plans are often short sighted and / or incomplete. Realistic plans have to leverage your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, maximize your opportunities (current and emerging), thoughtfully addresses your threats (current and emerging). The plans have to be born with creative thought and deliberate, mindful strategies and actions.

2. They have competent leadership. Leadership that possess the skills to establish strong employee relationships and the ability to build a focused and engaged team. Caring, creativity, consistency, communication and attention to customers are key.

3. They are efficient with time. They have established priorities, they are highly productive, they avoid fire-fighting because they solve problems before they occur, they are focused and purposeful, they think things through in advance – they plan.

My leadership tip for you this week, is to have you perform a reality gut check on how well your business or business unit(s) are doing in these 3 – critical areas.

To do this, spend a minimum of half a day with key members of your team to review your performance in each of these areas. Give everyone an assignment of assessing one or more of the components of the three points made above. Be mindful of the ‘rose colored glasses’ your team may be wearing.

You may want to assign a positive viewpoint and a critical viewpoint, or get an independent 3rd party facilitator to calibrate your perspective.

Business can be good today (this quarter) … but the question is, are you doing the things today that will assure your business will be good tomorrow.

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