October 4, 2011
The CEO and Business Leaders’ Solutions to Simplify
When conducting seminars and workshops for leaders of medium and large companies, occasionally I’ll meet a“revealer.” These are the people who will speak out about their success process without being nervous of disclosing techniques.
It’s a positive trait, and one where I can take the opportunity to further explore a leader’s strategies: “How did you do it?”, “What were your biggest challenges”, “what kept you motivated”.
For some it was the right timing, for others they brought the right team around them, and for others still they acted ‘consciously’ as much as possible, constantly refining their vision and leadership until the point of breakthrough. Without exception though every successful leader I speak to hasdeveloped methods of belief and persistence and they’ve invested time… A LOT of time.
Some talk about the early days when 16 to 20 hour days were required just to meet their objectives for the month! We’ve all touched on a bit of that madness, but sustaining this sort of time commitment is a catalyst for a breakdown. So …
How do we create sustainable success? How do we accomplish growth over short and long periodswith the least effort possible? How do we use our unique talents in the most effective way to lead and to inspire increase?
The secret … simplify!
Here’s what the “revealers”, and the more reserved leaders, say about cultivating simplicity:
- Develop deep intuition:
Don’t be guided by your impulses or by a range of opinions from others who aren’t fully invested in the vision or the outcome. Relax, sit down, and ask yourself, “how does this process / decision contribute to the big picture”, “what other choices and resources do I have available”, “Is this the most efficient& effective way to proceed?”
- Delegate efficiently:
Micro-managing is limiting. You can pioneer a new process … but then source someone who’s gifted in that area to do subsequent repetitions – a designer, administrator, presenter, team-builder or technical genius. They needn’t be in-house. Train them, empower them and trust them to do what they do best. And you? You move forward and do what you do best.
- Embrace technology:
Banking, accounting, communicating, sharing, updating, planning, storing, processing — there are some awesome technologies out there (and more cost effective and innovative than in-house teams sometimes)that aren’t taken advantage of by the biggest companies. Embracing technology may take some investment but when it streamlines your business and reduces your long-term costs – you’ll be glad you were smart and brave ‘back then’ to make the shift.
- Honour deadlines:
Put a limit on how much time you spend on marketing, financing, recruiting, innovating, delivering and conducting meetings. The goal here is to keep to a flow of innovation, development, launching, feedback and refinement. The ‘pressure’ of a deadline can expose extraordinary creativity. And I’ve seen inspired leaders ‘un-develop’ their perfectionist tendencies and create rapid growth using the mantra ‘good is good enough’.
The best strategic partnerships will shortcut the amount of time you spend looking for new customers, suppliers, vendors, networks and systems. The future of successful business is becoming less about secrecy and competition and shifting more towards rich customer relationship, service, sharing, collaborating, empathetic joint ventures and transparentshared knowledge.