You are the biggest roadblock to your success. When it comes to accomplishing your big goals, it is not specific situations, circumstances, or other people that primarily get in your way. It’s you. This brutally honest realization can also be your greatest motivation. The most powerful part about acknowledging your weaknesses is that you’ll realize while you can hold yourself back, you also have the ability to get out of your own way and unlock even greater potential for yourself and your business.
How Do We Get In Our Own Way?
Lack of communication. Communication is the glue that holds your team together. Good communication helps your team feel heard and understood while creating a positive, encouraging and successful environment. Poor communication leads to ideas falling flat due to a lack of follow-through, and a decline in morale as you and your team feel frustrated, unacknowledged and misunderstood. It is a leader’s job to improve communication so your team understands what is expected of them and receives the feedback they need to succeed.
Lack of asking enough questions. If you’re not asking enough questions, you’re probably not going in the right direction. Whether it’s talking with a potential client or a leader within your organization, questions show that you’re humble, curious, and able to gain the clarity needed to know exactly what they are looking for. When you ask questions, you build a connection with the person and can engage in more meaningful dialog.
Lack of following through. A lack of follow-through and execution stalls progress and negatively impacts performance. Team members who observe a lack of follow-through from senior leaders may learn by example that follow-through is negotiable. Whether it stems from a fear of failure, the “too-busy syndrome,” or that overwhelming feeling when you don’t know where to start, there is always an excuse why you shouldn’t do something.
Lack of focus. On a day-to-day level, a lack of focus can make it hard to get work done on time. It’s easy to get pulled in multiple directions, multitasking a few projects at once while fielding employee questions and trying to avoid email and phone distractions. On an organizational level, an unfocused business can lead to scattered resources and wasted time. Focusing your time, energy and money on multiple strategies and marketing channels leads to poor execution on all fronts. All of this causes frustration and lack of progress.
Lack of consistency. Without established, consistent policies and procedures, your organization will feel disorganized, chaotic, and unproductive. The work produced by each employee will differ, and customers will have an unpredictable experience with your company. Along with making onboarding and training new employees easier, consistency increases accountability with your employees and allows for measurement of effectiveness and productivity. With your team less dependent on you to perform their daily functions, you will have more time to focus on strategy and the bigger picture.
How Do We Get Out Of Our Own Way?
Slow down to speed up. Take time each week (or even each day) to identify your current roadblocks and to think strategically about your goals. What do you need to do to get yourself there? Anticipate meeting your goals by planning out your action items and the timeframe you are going to do them in. Communicate your plans with your team, so they are also on board to help you reach your goals.
Identify your company’s ways of working, as well as your own. Systematizing your team’s activities, as well as your own daily tasks, will put much of your business on autopilot. Functions such as lead generation, lead conversion, production and fulfillment of your products/services, accounting, and hiring/training new personnel should all be systematized in a way that can be replicated. Even factors such as how you and your team make decisions and the type of experience you want your customers to have should be written down in a step-by-step plan to ensure excellence and consistency throughout all facets of your business.
Create a culture of follow-through. Like I mentioned earlier, if your employees witness a lack of follow-through from leadership, they too may get in the habit of not doing what they say they’ll do. Instill accountability right into your company culture by setting clear, quantifiable goals for each team and each employee. Too often, we develop and write down goals just to file them away, never to be discussed again (or only discussed a whole year later during an annual review). Systematically reviewing your employee’s progress toward achieving their goals is much more effective – perhaps during a weekly one-on-one meeting or a monthly/quarterly review if progress towards the goal naturally moves more slowly.
Develop your team, your executives and your personal skills (both hard and soft). You don’t know what you don’t know, but it is holding you and your team back! Lifelong learning is fundamental for long-term success. There are always new skills to learn and techniques to adopt, whether it’s from picking up a new book, listening to an educational podcast or attending industry or role-related speaking engagements. Investing in yourself and your team’s education will help bring new experiences, ideas, skills and technology to the table.
Can your team benefit from getting out of your own way? Check out my book, Pulling Profits Out of a Hat, where I share a new executive development concept called AddingZEROS, that will help you to discover and refine the potential in your business and your team. The book also identifies how to implement and follow-through with new ideas and actions. Learn how to build a business culture that ensures everyone in your business thinks in terms of growth rather than loss. Get a copy for everyone on your executive team today at HTTPS://WWW.ADDZEROSNOW.COM/STORE.