Reasons leaders fail

Our businesses are well beyond start-up; they are grown-up! No matter how grown-up your business is, stay focused and nimble. Or fail.

Focused & Nimble

In my first book, I dedicated a chapter to what it means to be both focused and nimble, and how critical this is to the organization’s readiness to change whenever change will lead to a better future.

Focus on what needs to get done today. Give it your all, with minimal distraction.

Be nimble before you start tomorrow. Based on the direction the organization is headed, and what this means for your role, what is the best way to do what you do? Is there something better to do in order to make progress? And how shall you be (behave/show up) as you do what you do? Once choices are made, and tomorrow is today, it’s time to focus again.

The process may feel unnatural at first, but over time will feel natural, and wanted.

What happens if you don’t do this?

As the chart above points out:

You can find out too late that you do not have the right team with which to realize the better future you envisioned.

You’ve lost focus on what matters most to the customers you want to serve, and you (and your service or product) at losing relevance little by little.

Your passion has waned or you’re burned out or you fail to pivot – often due to just doing over and over what you did before, and missing the “nimble” part of this process.

A simple way to start.

A simple way to start flexing your “focused & nimble” muscle is to have regular start-stop-continue check-ins. Make sure the space is safe – free of judgement and robust in candid collaboration. This means that anyone can ask a question or suggest doing something differently, without judgment or blame.

The questions are simple:

  • What are we not doing that we should start doing (that is, give it an all-in fully committed try for at least 90 days, with clear progress metrics)
  • What are we doing that we should stop doing?
  • What are we doing well and we will continue doing?

Often each person in the group speaks up for themselves in their role and then the team collaborates. Often the process includes reaching out to other team leads that could influence or be impacted by the choices.

Your best next step

For “Your 1 Best Next Step,” try Start-Stop-Continue if you haven’t before. If you have, let me know what process has worked best to keep you and your teams focused & nimble!

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