It’s a leap year, and the Olympic games have come around again. You’ve got to admire those athletes, and their commitment to excellence. So how can we apply that thinking to our business to become a ‘Gold Medal’ winner in our chosen field. You know you want to take your business to the elite level, but how to get there?
One way is to follow what is known as the strategic management process. Look at your vision, mission and goals. Articulate your values, look at your strengths and weaknesses and understand where you sit in the sandpit you’ve chosen to play in. Now just put together a great strategy, work out how to measure your success and get started.
Well if it was easy, everyone would be good at it. Here at Cube, we’ve tried to break it down into easy to follow steps that you can implement in your own business.
1. Be clear about your vision
Set yourself a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). These are the kind of goals dreams are made of-like winning gold at the Olympics.
Jim Collins described these best in his book ‘Good to Great’. “A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines,” the author explained. A BHAG engages people—it reaches out and grabs them. It is tangible, energizing, and highly focused.”
You need to share this goal with your team and those around you so everyone is clear about the end game.
2. Have a clear picture of where you’re going
If you as the business owner can’t see where you want to end up, you’ll never get there. Everyone in the business needs to share this vision and understand how their actions help the business achieve it.
Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines had a vision of affordable air travel for Australians, and he recruited people who signed up to the same vision. They challenged the status quo around service expectations, value and innovation, and the rest is history. They really shook the market up in Australia and have maintained strong market share since.
Paint a clear picture for your team.
3. Make the journey exciting
Once everyone understands where the journey is headed, keeping it interesting and exciting helps maintain motivation and enthusiasm to keep going. Breaking the BHAG down into smaller goals which can be achieved in a 12-week cycle allows regular successes to be celebrated and keeps everyone on track.
Think in terms of an athlete, setting smaller goals along the way to achieving their BHAG of Olympic gold. It’s the same thing in a different context.
4. Keep striving for your goals
High performance is a continuous journey rather than a destination. You never actually ‘arrive’ at the perfect business. It is always a work in progress, and what got you to here won’t be good enough to take you where you want to go.
When you reach your goal, reset them. Celebrate and move on. Figure out what’s going to be your next ‘gold medal’ performance.
5. Use teamwork
You can never do it all yourself. You need a great team around you, and you need to work together towards your shared vision. The entire team, including your trusted advisors, need to be pulling in the same direction to take the business forward. Together, you can achieve so much more.
6. Figure out where you are now
Be focussed on your goals and work towards them consistently. Don’t just focus on the ‘what’ and ‘how’, but put the ‘why’ into it. Your team need to buy into your ‘why’ story and have a clear understanding of why you’re trying to achieve it.
Make sure you evaluate where you are in relation to your strategic goals. Do your plans need to be adjusted? Are you measuring the right things to achieve them?
7. Live and breathe the plan
Don’t allow the strategic plan to sit in a fancy binder high on a shelf gathering dust. Live the plan in everything you do in your business. Model this behaviour to your team and it will be contagious. If the plan is important to you as the business leader, the team will figure out how important it is for your business.
Model the way.
8. Be confident and believe you can do it
No athlete, regardless of how gifted or able, will ever succeed in their chosen event without a strong sense of self belief and confidence.
It’s the same with your business. Follow the process-aim, fire and adjust; aim fire and adjust. Believe in yourself, empower your team and achieve your goals.
Go for GOLD in your business!