1. Focus on increasing cash flow 2. Develop operating systems that improve sustainability of cash flows 3. Improve facility appearance 4. Pay down debt 5. Document sustainability or earnings 6. Implement a strategy to grow the company 7. Build a strong management team and groom a successor
According to a recent study by the Ken Blanchard companies, the costs associated with ineffective leadership run approximately 7% of gross revenues per year. Think about it; if the company has revenues of $3 million per year but they are not being lead and managed well they are losing approximately $210,000 per year of gross profit per year. Ouch! No small company could possibly invest more than a small percentage of that lost profitability into even the most robust leadership development program. Is your company doing anything to stop your profitability erosion?
During a recent monthly business review meeting with an executive team of a privately held company we were working through a number of important issues, one of which was succession planning for the firm, a topic people had been deferring for sometime, thinking it was important but not urgent. One of the partners looked around the room and said, "Holy ###, I am only now realizing that all eight of us are within seven years of each other in age. We are all in our late 50s and we have no younger people that we are really assessing and developing to [...]
A client of ours had done a great job of building a succession ladder for his small company. He got the idea that there would be no successess without succession. All key positions were covered in case of a death or disability, and an emergency action plan was in place. Long-term development plans were also in place so that people were becoming cross trained, active participants in the strategic planning and execution process. Succession for the long term was going great. Until Sally, the successor for the presidency, began showing derailing behaviors. She was going through a divorce and it [...]
In my work with Jim Horan, founder and chief architect of The One Page Business Plan (tm), I have become enamored with his question, "Who does the best thinking in your organization?" This question not only makes leaders think, but often act very differently. Good leaders recognize that if they are the best thinkers then their organization is ultimately weak. Great leaders want people who are great thinkers and great executors. Great leaders look for talented thinkers and operators and take great satisfaction in surrounding themselves with strong, capable people. They see leadership as a team sport or like conducting [...]
About two years ago I was asked to evaluate some up and coming executives for a client. One of the people was destined to be international sales manager on a fast track. After meeting with individual and discovering her background and career aspirations we completed a more formal assessment process including personality and intellectual testing and a 360 degree feedback process. While her testing and 360 showed a fair amount of weakness, he and the company were committed to her growth and development. Through a development program consisting of coaching from her boss, external coaching with me, and a mix [...]