You are a leader. In terms of delivering results to the outside consumer (or client) and investors, you have a six-fold responsibility on the inside of the organization.
- Build an “A” team.
- Set vision and goals.
- Communicate vision and goals.
- Create a solid plan.
- Execute the plan.
- Obtain results.
This six-fold responsibility is simplistic. But if not applied strategically, businesses can reach a level of complexity and failure rather quickly. The good news is, this model can also be used to identify the problem and provide the solution to get you and your business back on track for obtaining optimal results.
If you are not getting the results you, your customers, or your investors expect, quickly work your way backwards through this checklist to determine what needs to be corrected.
What results were obtained?
“We spent a fortune on a marketing and advertising campaign, but we have a dismal sales report.”
The result: dismal sales.
Many leaders would quickly point the accusatory finger at the lowest hanging fruit.
- “Those ads were not compelling enough.”
- “We needed more color in the graphics.”
- “The copywriting was weak.”
- “The social media team did not target the ads correctly.”
This leads to the second point of review, working backwards (#5 on the list).
Execute the Plan
Was the plan executed?
- Did the marketing team do their part?
- Did the ads run?
- Were social media posts made?
If ads did not run or posts failed, you have a system or implementation problem.
If, on the other hand, you can answer “yes” to these questions, the problem is not with execution. Your team executed the plan. In this case, proceed to the next level of review.
Create a Solid Plan
Was there a plan? Was it solid?
If your team executed their tasks, then review the plan itself.
First, did you have a plan? It sounds like a question of the obvious, but in the fast pace of today’s business, planning is often short-circuited.
If you did have a plan, was it well-considered?
This is where having different strengths on a team is a critical factor. Where extroverted personalities may think one sentence with an interjectory “ASAP” constitutes a plan, those on the more detailed side of the equation know that it will take much more than that one action to accomplish the objective.
You need both – the big picture and the details. Addressing both sides of the equation creates a solid plan that is both swiftly executed, and solidly completed.
Communicate vision and goals
Did you as the leader clearly communicate vision and goals?
Let’s assume you had a detailed plan, and that it was swiftly executed. It should have worked, but it didn’t. Why is this?
This usually boils down to a communication issue.
Either you as the leader did not communicate the big picture to your team, or you did not communicate it clearly. Communication is a two-way street. Saying something does not mean it is received in the same manner. Taking time to answer your team’s questions, listen to their ideas and feedback, and then review the goals together ensures you are all on the same page.
It could be they created and carried out a flawless plan, but for the wrong reasons or goals. This is not a planning problem; but, rather, a communication problem, which can and should be addressed as such.
Set vision and goals
This leads to a more fundamental question.
Did you set vision and goals?
This foundational aspect is the starting point of any organization, project, or initiative; yet there are many, many leaders who fire before aiming and certainly before making ready.
If your vision and goals are not focused and defined, you will never get the results you seek. You will waste your time in a vicious cycle of wasted time, money, and energy.
Do this long enough, and you will lose the confidence of your employees, the support of your investors, and the foundation of your organization.
Build an “A” Team
This leads to the last point of review, which is also one of the key success indicators of any organization.
Do you have an “A” Team?
An “A” team is composed of mentors and advisors, partners, implementers, and customers. Failing to achieve results can be directly tied to one or more of these critical “A” Team components.
- Do you have mentors and advisors who will hold you accountable to planning and communicating; and who will provide the outside expertise you need to get the results you want?
- Do you have partners who will collaborate with you to determine strategy?
- Do you have implementers who will help you carry the load? Or are you trying to wear the leader and implementer hat in your business, to the point of detriment to both?
- Do you have a solid customer base defined? Many business leaders spend a great deal of time of money creating a product or service, only to find out no one is interested in what they have to offer. Even the best marketing and advertising agencies have a hard time selling an undesirable product or service.
As you can see, it is easy to point the finger at the most immediately accessible target, and that is usually execution. But as you can also see, there are times you need to escalate the issue to higher levels in order to identify the real culprit.
It is only when you identify and address the true issue(s), that you can begin to realize great results.
Work the list forward. If you don’t get the results you want, work your way backward to determine why. Then it is easy…
Fix the WHY.
Is communication an issue? Click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communication Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.