What makes a business successful? More importantly, how will you know you are successful in business?
Deep down, leaders struggle to align their teams towards a well understood set of goals. They spend a lot of energy trying to close the gap between where they are today and where they want to be. Yet, many leaders first struggle to articulate exactly where they want to end up.
What’s “the top” of the mountain for your business?
Many leaders don’t know what the top looks like prior to prodding. Leaders think they will know they “made it.” They will “feel it.”
If you aim at nothing you hit it every time.
You need to be crystal clear about what the top looks like for your organization. You need to continually communicate that vision.
Most leaders aspire to lead a:
mature, financially stable, professionally managed and led company.
While it sounds like a mouthful, it’s the desire that our portfolio companies aim for, boiled down to the core. This is called a Level III company. Level III companies have reached the top of their respective mountains. They are the market leader in their niche.
“I didn’t know business could be fun again”
“Revenue and profits are predictable.”
“We have people clamoring at our door to come work here.”
“My leadership team just gets it!”
“I’m making more money and a bigger impact that I imagined!”
What does a Level III Company look like?
- Aligned executive and middle management teams are in place. They have qualified people; accountability is clear and well managed.
- The organization has an identity beyond the founder and the current leader.
- The organization has well-defined and communicated short-term and intermediate-term strategies and plans, which are being followed.
- Managerial leaders are doing more managing (working “on” the business) than technical work (working “in” the business). They’re focused on developing systems, accountability and people to scale.
- Unproductive or unprofitable products and services are phased out.
- Market research, development and planning is timely. It is competent in all areas of business. For example, products, services, customers and competition.
- Competent staff, management and leadership development processes are in place. This includes performance feedback, training and coaching.
- Managers effectively use financial and non-financial performance data. They use this data in presenting, planning, decision-making, problem-predicting and expense control.
- Profitability is strong.
- Financial health is strong and cash flow works well.
Doesn’t that sound like a company you want to lead? How will you define “the top” in your organization?