The absence of any one of these key habits can be costly, even fatal, to your company. When you become competent and capable in each of these areas, you will be able to accomplish extraordinary results far faster and far easier than
1. Plan thoroughly. The first requirement for business success is the habit of planning. The better and more detailed you plan your activities in advance, the faster and easier it will be for you to carry out your plans and get the results you desire once you start to work.
There is a “Six P” acronym that says, “proper prior planning prevents poor performance”. Very often, the first 20% of the time that you spend developing complete plans will save you 80% of the time later in achieving the business goals you have set.
You need to ask yourself very specific questions and be sure to have crystal-clear answers (see box, right). Once you have asked and answered these questions, the next stage of planning is to set specific targets for sales and profitability. You must determine the exact money, advertising, marketing, distribution, facilities, and administration and service people you will need in order to achieve your goals.
The more thoroughly you plan each stage of your business activities before you begin, the greater the probability that you will succeed when you commence operations.
2. Get organised before you get started. Once you have developed a complete plan for your business, you must then develop the habit of organising the people and resources you need before you begin. In organising, you bring together all the resources you have determined you’ll need in the planning process. In the military, there is a saying: “Amateurs talk strategy, but professionals talk logistics.”
It’s essential that you determine every ingredient you’ll need before you begin business operations and bring them together so they are ready to go when you open your doors or begin your project. The failure to provide even one important ingredient in advance can lead to the failure of the entire enterprise.
3. Find the right people. The third habit you must develop is the habit of hiring the right people to help you achieve your goals. Fully 95% of your success as an entrepreneur or executive will be determined by the quality of the people you recruit to work with you or to work on your team. The fact is, the best companies have the best people. The second-best companies have the second-best people. The third-best companies have the average or mediocre people, and they are on their way out of business.
4. Delegate wisely. The fourth habit you need to develop for business success is proper delegation. You must develop the ability to delegate the right task to the right person in the right way. The inability to delegate effectively can be the cause of failure or underperformance of the individual and can even bring about failure of the business.
When people start in business, they usually do everything themselves. As they grow and expand, the job becomes too large for one person, so they hire someone to do part of it. However, if they are not careful, they try to retain control of the task and never fully hand over authority and responsibility to the other person.
Whether you’re an executive or entrepreneur, you need to identify the two or three things that you do that contribute the most value to your company and then delegate the rest. Learn to think in terms of “getting things done through others” rather than trying to do them yourself. It’s the only way you can leverage and multiply your special skills and abilities.
5. Inspect what you expect. The fifth requirement for business success is for you to develop the habit of proper supervision. You must set up a system to monitor the task and make sure it’s being done as agreed upon. The rule is: inspect what you expect.
Once you have delegated a task to the right person in the right way, it’s essential that you monitor the performance of the task and make sure it’s done on schedule and to the required level of quality. Remember that delegation is not abdication. You are still responsible for the ultimate results of the delegated tasks. You must stay on top of it.
When you have delegated a task, set up a system of reporting so that you’re always informed about the status of the work. Be sure the other person knows what is to be done, and when, and to what standard.
Your job is then to make sure he or she has the time and resources necessary to get the job done satisfactorily. The more important the job, the more often you should check on the progress.
6. Measure what gets done. The sixth practice of successful entrepreneurs and executives is the habit of measuring performance. You must set specific, measurable standards and scorecards for the results you require. You have to set specific timelines and deadlines to make sure you “make your numbers” on schedule. Everyone who is expected to carry out a task must know with complete clarity the targets he or she is aiming at, how successful performance will be measured, and when the expected results are due. Don’t underestimate the importance of selecting and defining specific goals, measures and activities that are then used as benchmarks for performance. In his book From Good to Great, author Jim Collins refers to the importance of selecting the “economic denominator” for a company, and for individual goals and objectives within that company. Whichever number you choose, it must be clear to everyone, and it must be monitored continually to make sure everyone is on track.
7. Keep people informed. The seventh habit for businesspeople is the habit of reporting results regularly and accurately. People around you need to know what’s going on. Your bankers need to know your financial results. Your staff needs to know the status and the situation of your company. Your key people, at all levels, need to know what results are being achieved.
In a study on workplace motivation, several thousand employees said the most important factor leading to job satisfaction was “being in the know”. People in an organisation have a deep need to know and understand what is going on around them in relation to their work.
The more thoroughly and accurately you report to people the details and situation of your business, the happier they will be and the better results they will get.
To plan better, develop the habit of asking and answering the following questions:
- What exactly is my product or service?
- Who exactly is my customer?
- Why does my customer buy?
- What does my customer consider to be of value?
- What is it that makes my product or service superior to that of my competitors?
- Why is it that my prospective customer does not buy?
- Why does my prospective customer buy from my competitor?
- What value does he/she perceive in buying from my competitor?
- How can I offset that perception and get my competitor’s customers to buy from me?
- What one thing must my customer be convinced of to buy from me, rather than from someone else?
Become Your Best In Business
How can you streamline the actions you take in your business?
A few of the primary keys to becoming successful in business include having a clear intent or purpose, a truly inspiring vision, a grand message to share, a genuine social calling and a targeted niche to serve. From these initial basics arise the primary strategic objectives you would love to accomplish or achieve and a plan for their implementation. But before these objectives can be met, the mastery of the mind is to be initiated.
True business leaders are those who are congruent and integrated and who can organise and lead their inner parts purposefully. Once leaders govern themselves, they can govern others.
Time Is Life
When you loaf about, your mind starts thinking about all kinds of doubts, insecurities, fears, other people’s beliefs and worries about what’s happening and what isn’t happening. Such dead time can zap your energy and confidence levels and distract your mind from your purpose. Any time or space that’s not filled with high priorities often automatically becomes filled with low priorities.
Have you noticed that when you’re busy, you often accomplish and create much more? The more intensely you’re focused and active and the longer you maintain such a focus, the faster your accomplishments (time x intensity = results). Time spent on doubt, fear, or low-priority actions slows down your accomplishment process.
When you take your mind off your focus, all you see are obstacles. When your mind is focused on your dreams, you don’t have time for the many self-doubts that block them.
Raise Your Standard
Anything you do consumes time. To maximise the value of your time, prioritise your interactions. People who seem less busy and want to consume your time may think you’re being rude when you say no to their invitations, but busy people understand immediately that you’re just choosing to prioritise and wisely manage your time.
People who don’t value their own time want to take up yours with small talk, and if you keep associating with people who talk small, you could end up with a small life. You’ll find out what kind of people they are by putting a fee on your time and raising that fee regularly. If people really value your skills and time, they’ll pay for it.
“A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Efficiency and Effectiveness
Often when you perform a service for less than you feel you deserve, you lower your worth and enthusiasm and slow down your business. Even though you may be working like a ‘dog’, it’s neither efficient nor effective.
Any aspect of your work that pays less than you truly feel you deserve can become the weak link of your business. In addition to undermining your motivation, inefficiency and ineffectiveness can also reduce profit margins. When you or your employees perform effective actions in an inefficient way, ineffective actions in an efficient way or ineffective actions in an inefficient way, your business becomes undermined. Your worth can be determined by how efficient and effective you are at performing high-priority actions. Business masters are those who love what they do, do what they love, and work efficiently and effectively. They delegate everything else to those who desire to do the same.
How can you streamline the actions you take in your business? Ask yourself, “What can I delegate?” You’ll be far more productive, energised, and inspired at the end of the day when you can stick to actions you deem to be high-priority. Unless you value your time, neither will the world.
For more information on Dr Demartini’s teachings, visit www.drdemartini.com
How To Be A Leader
Lead by example and you’ll win the respect and loyalty of your staff.
Being a successful entrepreneur is not about locking yourself away in your workshop and bringing a great innovation to life. Certainly, you need a must-have product that will have customers beating a path to your door. But you also need the business skills to ensure you can scale up production – and the leadership skills to motivate the staff you have employed to help you make this happen.
It is rare to find these three key skills balanced equally in an entrepreneur. Most have more of one quality than another – but there is one of these qualities that we tend to fool ourselves about.
Most of us know whether we have creative skills that can produce great innovations or whether we need to improve our business skills. Almost all of us assume we can be leaders if circumstances mean we have to step up to the plate. However, almost all of us are wrong about that.
Leadership skills are something that you develop and hone as your career progresses. You might think that being head girl at school, rugby captain or president of your Toastmasters’ branch means that you have got leadership nailed.
You would be right that you have some leadership experience. But you are wrong because so much about leadership depends on context. Just as what works on the rugby field and what works in the debating chamber are not the same, so what works in business is different.
In part, it can depend on the size and sector of your business. That in turn is partly because your understanding of the context – your business savvy as opposed to your business skills – is as important as your credibility as a leader.
But there are some common traits in leaders that work in all business contexts. Once you have these nailed, you will find that you can reuse them in different businesses as you expand your entrepreneurial interests.
Here are three starter principles to put into practice today:
1. Be first
Get to work first and leave last. As an entrepreneur, one of the prime qualities you need is energy. You need to put mental and physical energy into knowing the detail of what is going on in your business. Listen to the insights of your staff as to how your systems are taking strain or could be streamlined. If you are serious about growing your business, you cannot expect to achieve this as a sleeping partner who drops by the business premises at best once a week.
2. Be a team player
Make it clear that you are not giving yourself privileges just because you are the boss. If your business involves any kind of production line, whether actual or virtual, you should be able to pitch in and help out if there is a rush of demand or an unusual number of staff hit by the virus that is going round. This is also an opportunity to check personally on the effectiveness of the systems you have set up and make tweaks where you see bottlenecks or downtime occurring.
3. Be last
As well as leaving work last, you should also pay yourself last. Consider this part of your investment in your business – and also an investment that will pay dividends in consolidating staff loyalty.
Peak Performance – How To Become A Strong And Legendary Business Leader
The starting point is to consistently and constantly build and mould an unshakeable character and add a clear strategy for your personal life and your business.
‘Leadership is a potent combination of Character and strategy’
– General Norman Schwarzkopf
Leadership has long fallen into the category of the enigmatic. It is no longer the case considering the ‘deep dive’ neuroscientists, psychologists and industrial psychologists have taken into understanding the brain and human behaviour in general.
For those that have a deep and driving desire to understand themselves better volumes of highly beneficial research are available to you. How willing you are to seek for and apply the infinite amount of knowledge out there is dependent upon your priorities, your ‘grit’ and your level of desire to personally transform and be impactful in this world.
Most of all a strong belief in your own abilities to become a legendary business leader is a basic requirement for the alchemy from follower to leader to take place.
The human nature guru Robert Greene describes a strong character as follows:
“Strong character has a tensile quality like a good piece of metal – it can give and bend but still retains its overall shape and never breaks”
Character is who you really are, not what you want others to think of you. Who you truly are is especially revealed under the most challenging circumstances. How your investors, co-founders, employees and clients view you is highly dependent upon your actions during times of business crisis, failure or when you as an entrepreneur are faced with turbulent personal circumstances.
The ability to authentically and empathetically (towards yourself and others) take a stand for your beliefs, admit (to yourself most of all) to your mistakes, rectify them (the highest and truest form of an apology) within times of strife and difficulty leads to a strong and un-breakable character.
Through this writing you are strongly urged to reflect on the fact that a strong character will not fall from the sky and simply be bestowed upon you, instead a strong character, akin to steel, is moulded and shaped by fire meaning that your character is mostly shaped by challenging times.
As the late master poet Leonard Cohen said –
‘There is a crack in everything that is where the light seeps in’
Nothing is perfect and when you truly learn from failures and mistakes your wounds can become blessings, your tests can become testimonies and you can lead others to achieve the same.
Those that have a slight and very determined smile on their face and maintain belief and even dramatically increase their levels of performance the moment they recognise that they have arrived within a highly challenging space are the ones that have trained for that exact moment.
The Navy Seals say:
“You do not rise to the challenge you fall to your level of training”
All external information gathered within each moment enters the brain and is processed through the Amygdala first – that part of the brain that provides housing for the ‘fight or flight’ response. Information is first filtered through your very own doubts, fears and insecurities.
If you have not worked on your own fears diligently and instilled habitual mechanisms of effective action triggered by fear your re-actions of lack of action (procrastination) will not be optimal at all. ‘Grit’ is born at the intersection of passion and perseverance and can be trained. Bravery can be trained. Leadership can be trained. Character although influenced by genetics can be trained.
All tools to succeed at the aforementioned subjects are within us all, in a lot of cases lying dormant and anxiously awaiting your increased levels of awareness which will empower you to use the tools required effectively.
As a practical example I coach my ‘Peak Performance’ clients to train for Grit in the following way – Choose a day of the week when you are especially tired and not in the greatest of moods force yourself to the gym and train the toughest muscle group for you (usually legs) and where you normally do three sets of squats do seven and make those sets harder than before in every way.
Or again choose a day of the week again where you are very tired and instead of taking a plunge onto the couch to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ or whatever it is, go and hike, a long tough hike that will really test you.
It does sound harsh but you will thank yourself when the tough times occur and they will, that you have willingly trained yourself for grit.
On to the subject of Strategy which forms a potent combination with character and results in Leadership.
Dictionary.com defines strategy as:
A plan, method, or series of manoeuvres or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.
For a strategy to be effective a basic requirement of many requirements is that a clear and highly specific end vision and/or goal, and/or result must be defined. Visions, goals or desired results are often vaguely defined because the often subconscious fear of clearly defining our failures by setting clear and measurable goals plagues us.
The mind struggles with finding solutions, answers and strategies when vague goals are set. It is also very hard to retain focus on anything that is very vague. As the importance of an effective plan to achieve your well defined Vision and goals cannot be overstated I strongly recommend getting expert help to facilitate a future session.
Once the desired end result, goals and vision is crystal clear we can ‘reverse engineer’ an effective plan that can actualise our dreams. We need to create a metric system that constantly, consistently and visibly measures our progress and success of our plan. The metrics will notify us of challenges and will signal a need for adjustments within our strategy.
The very good news emanating from this article is that anyone can be a legendary leader should they not only sincerely wish to be a leader but also take effective action on becoming one. The starting point is to consistently and constantly build and mould an unshakeable character and add a clear strategy for your personal life and your business.
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