What Do You See - Session 1

Welcome to my new series for business leaders entitled "What do you see?" This series focuses on helping business owners step back and take a different look at their business. From the direction of the company to company and staff performance and other aspects this two-week series will provide tools and resources that will put tools in your toolkit, to help them be more effective at their job.

Each session will break down into three areas, a concept area, a why focus and then tools for your toolkit. With that, let's get started with a question.

Concept:
In your day, how much of your time is spent working in your business versus on your business? Think about last week and how many hours were you working in your business (examples include fighting fires, being the copier repair person, running errands, shipping and receiving, plumber, or receptionist just to name a few). In the 50+ hours you probably put in, write down a number.

Now, do the same thing, but think about the work that you spent working on your business (examples include strategic planning, staffing, strategic partnerships, evaluation of the companies performance, developing staff just to name a few). Write down a number.

Finally, from the hours you put in last week, calculate the percentage you spent in each category?

Why:
You are probably asking "why is this important". Think of it another way. Imagine you are on a ship traveling across the ocean, but the captain is never in the control room steering the ship. Would this be a ship you want to be on? Most likely, you laugh and said no, but isn't this the same with our business? If you are not taking time to steer the ship, adjust for changes in the current, watching the weather, and all of the other things that a captain has to do, who is? I equate this realization to the scene out of the movie "The Matrix" where Morpheus looks at Neo during the sparring scene and ask "You think that's air your breathing now?" Who IS steering your ship? How many times did things change in the marketplace you should have been able to see but didn't have time? How many times did you put in many extra hours to get things done because you had to spend your time working on other aspects that others should be doing? If you continue to do the same, will you be where you want to be in 1, 3 or 5 years?

Toolkit:
In reality, you need to spend quality and quantity time actually focusing on the direction of the business. The goal is to move most of your time to working on the business instead of in it. Not looking at today, tomorrow, or even next week, but looking 30, 60, 90, 180, 360 days and beyond. How do you do it? Here are some great tools to put in your toolkit and start using today!

1.) Block time. Define a block of time that you are most awake and engaged where you can focus ON your business. If you are a morning person, don't try to do this a the end of the day. Same thing if you are a night person, mornings will not work well for you. This is important, plan like it is.

2.) Define the agenda for what you are going to do. What is critically important to focus on? Topics like improving your golf swing, where to eat lunch or what movie to see this weekend have no place in this block of time. Topics to consider should include reviewing and evaluating strategic plans, looking at changes to the market and what corrections do you need, what does a successful company look like to you and what are the steps needed to move you there.

3.) Begin every session/meeting with a review of mission/vision/values and the concept of why you are in business. These lay the foundation for all of the decisions you will be making so use this to baseline the decision-making process.

Tomorrow's session will continue on this focus and dive deeper into steering the ship.

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