I WAS GOING HOME LATE TOO MANY NIGHTS.
The business that was supposed to bring me freedom felt like a prison sentence.
It's hard to admit but reacting to the most recent crisis was an easy pattern to fall into. Each department was its own silo, competing for resources from the organization and attention from the organization. Everyone was running a different race.
The departments were each fighting their own fires while causing fires for the other teams. The chaos of the day got the most attention. There was at least one meeting a week that I found myself saying to my wife, “Sorry I’ll be late, but the future depends on this meeting.” And it did.
I NEEDED TO TRY HARDER? NOPE.
Here’s what I tried to make things better:
I studied leadership voraciously and taught anyone who would listen the most recent tactic I was learning but it never stuck.
I used our staff meetings to get everyone excited (hyped?) about the most recent fad business magazines were writing about but that hype wasn't sustainable.
I tried to get better at influencing people to lead better but that just left my team feeling manipulated.
I went to leadership conferences and came back with pieces of insightful or inspiring information but the excitement didn't transfer to my team.
Meeting with anyone and everyone to keep people focused and motivated, which led to too many meetings for everyone but that just led to too many unproductive meetings for everyone.
While some of these helped inch things into a more unified approach, I still couldn’t keep up the daily fires and chaos. Piecemealing everything by moving from one problem to the next wasn’t working. And we did the staff parties and had the fun awards and took breaks to play pool like all the cool businesses were doing, but it wasn’t enough. Trust falls gloss over the real work that needs to be done.
How do I get in front and stop running from emergency to emergency? How do I stop chasing the next new management fad?
I needed a top-to-bottom approach that could help me organize the business and be a great boss so I could:
- Stop reacting and start pro-acting a strategy.
Stop feeling selfish when spending time on myself.
Help everyone know their part in what we were doing so they could find motivation and focus.
Stop cutting the budget and moving parts around and rob Peter to pay Paul. I needed to start aligning the budget with the strategy.
Help everyone to learn how to manage as effectively as possible and reduce unnecessary drama.
Make sure all meetings reinforced the strategy, and those that didn’t got cut from the calendar.
Make all my encounters with team members as effective as possible to build the culture I wanted our organization to have.
SYSTEMS > INTENTIONS. BINGO!
What I learned the hard way, reading dozens and dozens of business leadership books and going to conferences and meeting with every successful person I could find, is you can only react effectively as you build your business if YOU ALREADY HAVE A PLAN and SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT THAT PLAN.
Systems > Intentions
You have intentions. You intend to move your business forward. But...
You also have a ton going on. You’re building a business, supporting loved ones, and trying to scratch out some time for yourself. You don’t have the time, money, or energy to learn everything and rebuild your business system by system to be a business you love. No one is going to give you the extra space or time to do this.
That’s where we come in.
Action to take: