Early in my career, there were many times I didn’t have a handle on the true state of business. As information makes its way to leaders, it gets filtered. You don’t receive the bad news you need to properly course correct. Especially if culture is out of line. To accurately monitor the health of your business, you can’t rely on internal reports. You'll need to get intentional about tracking down the truth.
One way to improve your understanding of business health is to grow in self-awareness as a leader. This can take place through reading leadership books, investing in coaching calls, and completing self-assessments.
To help you pursue health, my team and I created a free tool called the Business Health Assessment. It’s built around seven pillars. I recently recorded a live coaching call with a business owner from Chattanooga, Tenn. We discussed his Business Health Assessment results and zoomed in on key areas needing improvement. To apply those coaching lessons to your own work, listen to our call here.
For a quick overview on the Business Health Assessment, view the 7 pillars of business health below.
Many people spend too much time trying to distill a vision into a clever tagline when what they really need is a clear statement. Your vision should be concrete and specific. State it as though it already exists. This adds power and intensity. Then keep the vision visible. You’re the voice of the vision. If you don’t give voice to it, no one will.
Focus is the application of vision. This may require pruning. Some leaders view this as a step back, but in reality, it helps you leap forward. Focus is as much about choosing what not to do as it is about choosing what you’ll pursue.
Recruit team players based on character, competence, chemistry, and conviction. As a leader, it’s your job to call out greatness in others. Show them what they can’t see. Set standards. When they miss the mark, acknowledge their underperformance and remind them they are capable of more. High standards attract A-players. Expect results and get results.
Bad culture destroys business. Get serious about culture by writing down a set of core values. Let these values drive what you reward. Get clear about what’s not tolerated. Then make sure you follow your own rules. Leaders’ commitment to company values will trickle down the org chart. Build trust and engage employees by investing in your culture.
Bad clients can take you out of focus and off vision. During slow seasons, you may take on demanding or unprofitable clients. Until your client list is full of highly profitable and low-maintenance brand evangelists, segment your list and give the bulk of your time and attention to your best clients.
Data is essential to strategic planning. Good data not only tells the history of your business but also lights a path forward. This should be collected on a regular basis. Set up regular financial reports and forecasts. Then build a dashboard of key metrics so you can head off trouble before it even begins.
The best way to measure You is to review how you delegate. If you don’t scale yourself through delegation, your business will stop when you walk out the door. This is a difficult area for many leaders because much of their early success comes from their own contributions. To improve delegation, consider your Desire Zone. This is where your greatest passion and greatest proficiency intersect. This area should drive the most critical results for the business. It may involve three to five activities. Any activity outside of this area is a candidate for elimination or delegation.
Chances are you haven’t had a business checkup in a while. Click here to take the 5-minute Business Health Assessment.
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