In the book “It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, but It’s the Fast that Eat the Slow,” the authors revealed that the majority of executives and business owners spend less than 15 minutes a day working on their business. They devoted their time to fighting yesterday’s and today’s fires. Their attitude about the future was one of that could wait.
Think about last week and how much time you spent on small to large fires. These fires ranged from late employees to unsatisfied customers. The results were unproductive meetings to a lot of re-working or re-do’s. Stress was high and you had an occasional thought questioning your sanity in starting this business.
One question to consider is will your business grow because of yesterday’s events that cannot be changed or what actions you take tomorrow?
So how do you transform from being a firefighter to becoming a results driven, forward thinking business leader? First thing is to make an appointment with yourself each day to think about the future of the business. Take 30 minutes early in the morning to review current goals, assess your dashboard of key performance indicators and revisit the vision you established for your company.
Next, communicate the business goals clearly to all employees. In the “E-Myth,” Michael Gerber looks at how entrepreneurs need to let go and not be everything to everybody. When your goals are known and expectations are set, you are empowering your people to take responsibility and accountability for achieving these goals.
Finally, make sure your people are able to handle the fires. No employee comes to work to intentionally “mess up the business.” However, very few employees have been developed to be excellent communicators, effective decision-makers and consistent goal achievers. Human capital is the greatest asset of any business and usually the most underdeveloped.
TAKE FORWARD THINKING ACTION by establishing a 30-day goal to work at least 30 minutes each day on your business. When a fire erupts, ask yourself if one of your employees can handle the fire. If the answer is No, then ask yourself why? Remember, the choice is yours to be a firefighter or a forward thinking business leader.