Business success is not an accident…and it starts with ‘clarity’

1.7 min read506 words

Success in business is not an accident. It starts with being clear about where you are now, where you need to improve in every aspect of your operation…and how you’ll fix what needs fixing. In today’s hyper-competitive business environment we need to be world-class in everything we do. Mediocrity is no longer an option. Whatever product or service you sell, wherever you sell it, your market is over-served and under-differentiated.

We all have more demanding customers, more and stronger competition, increased complexity and shrinking margins. On top of that, great staff are hard to find and keep…and that problem won’t go away any time soon. To succeed, we must all manage smarter. We must work ‘ON’ our business, not just ‘IN’ it. But how do we get started? We start with ‘clarity’. In spite of what anyone tells you, as business owners, leaders or managers, our first job is clarity. That’s where we start.

Specifically, we need to be clear in our own minds about these 5 things:

  1. The compelling customer value and experiences that we commit to always deliver. Value and experiences that will ‘grab’ our target customers, clearly differentiate us from our competitors, make us ‘famous’ and grow our bottom line.
  2. What we commit to become. What our business will look like in 3 to 5 year in order to be a profitable and responsible market leader. This will be our Vision.
  3. How we’ll get to that extraordinary future. Specifically, year by year, what action must we commit to take to get us there? This will be our Mission.
  4. The extraordinary bottom line that we commit to generate.
  5. How we commit to behave along the way. What culture will we create? What will be our values and standards?

If we as leaders are not clear about these 5 things, who else in the business could possibly be? And, if we don’t know, clearly, ‘who’ we are, how will out target customers know ‘who’ we are?

Once we’ve created clarity in our own mind, our next job is to effectively and consistently communicate that clarity to everyone on our team.

  • As business owners, leaders or managers, everything we say, do and decide communicates.
  • How we treat everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, communicates.
  • Every product or service we offer communicates whether we’re committed to excellence, or to mediocrity.
  • Our standards of performance, appearance and behaviour communicate.
  • Every person we hire communicates who we think we are and where we believe we’re going. How we pay, train and coach them on an ongoing basis communicates how important their job is…and how important they are.
  • The behaviour that we reward and celebrate and how we deal with nonperformance communicates.

So, creating clarity in your own mind and in the minds and hearts of everyone on your team is your 1 st job. Success is not an accident. It starts with ‘clarity’…and that starts with you.

Shared with permission from Donald Cooper

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