For any of you that have seen the movie ‘Flash Gordon’, you will know there are two stand out quotes. The first comes from the national treasure that is Brian Blessed with that booming voice declaring :-
The second comes from Flash Gordon’s girlfriend Dale Arden where she says :-
“Flash I love you, but we’ve only got 14 hours to save the earth”
It’s a great dinner party game to play, asking guests what they would do if they only had one day left? From experience the answers are always varied and surprising……
So what about in business? What would you concentrate on in your organisation if you metaphorically only had ’14 hours to save your business?’ And by ‘save’ we’re really talking about ensuring it’s on course to deliver what you need.
Let’s be honest, often it’s crises that drive us to deal with issues we’ve put on the back burner and, unless we’re forced to confront them, we’ll happily let them sit there! When they then burst into flame, the issue then becomes one of firefighting rather than being in control and the outcome is often less attractive and desirable than it would have been if we had addressed them proactively. We even excuse ourselves by saying we’re too busy ‘in the business’ to work ‘on the business’ and then wonder why it isn’t breaking through in the way we want or showing the growth we anticipated.
There is a quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, that states :-
“To Cut Down a Tree in Five Minutes Spend Three Minutes Sharpening Your Axe”
It’s a real challenge to us as business owners & leaders to spend quality time ‘on the business’ and ask the kind of difficult questions we are tempted to shy away from – sharpening our business axe as it were.
- Where do I want this business to be in 3 years?
- What customers do I want to deal with?
- What products & services will my customers want and pay for in the future?
- What breakthroughs do I need to see?
- What qualities & skills do my people need, to achieve these breakthroughs?
The list goes on but we’ve seen with own clients the difference investing time to do this makes in their focus, energy and results!
Let me challenge you….when was the last time you REALLY took time out to work on the business you own or run? Are you using the excuse of being too busy as a front not to address some of the medium to long term strategic issues in your company?
You see the alternative is to continue on the business treadmill but potentially not really going forward – confusing activity with achievement. Let me encourage you today to diarise some time (and stick to it) just to work on where you want your business to be. It may help to go offsite to minimise disturbances as well as stimulate thinking differently – a change of environment can help with changing our perspective.
Irrespective of the size of our business or the sector in which we operate, Stephen Covey’s quote from his classic book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People:-
“The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, ‘Wrong jungle!’ … Busy, efficient producers and managers often respond … ‘Shut up! We’re making progress!’ ”
And if you’d like help saving your business, by ensuring you’re in the right jungle, take a look at our ‘One Day Strategy & Sales’ programme. We’ve a special offer for July & August 2016 delivery dates.