Do you remember what life was like right before you received the message that confirmed your appointment as executive? Or before you started your own business? Or before you took over the family business?
Opportunities lay ahead like an orchard of fruit trees ripe for the picking and everything that frustrated you about your career up to that point seemed like it was finally going to change for the better. Right?
If your journey was similar to that of most business leaders, that feeling only lasted for about a year or two. Leading a business does not become easier the longer you do it, even though you become better at doing it.
New levels of complexity arise as a business matures, often forcing business leaders to work on "busyness" - or in the business - rather than working on the business.
It's easy to spend unlimited time reacting to things others highlight as urgent or important.
It's much harder to figure out how to get - and stay - on top of the things that will truly influence the sustained profitable growth of a business: purpose, products, processes and progress.
Turn PURPOSE into profit
To be able to effectively choose where to spend time, effort and resources it is of utmost importance that business leaders understand what the core purpose of their organisation is.
Running a business to sell it requires a completely different approach than growing it for long-term success. If the purpose is to grow the business then the owner or appointed executive (CEO or MD) need to be crystal clear on:
Knowing the answers to these three questions will help any business leader to make decisions based simply on the test of "will this move us towards or away from our core purpose?".
Have PRODUCTS for "now" while planning for "new"
The products and services offered by a business should not just align to its core purpose; it should also be hyper-relevant in a fast-changing world.
Business leaders have to keep an eye on developments across various markets to stay ahead of the curve. Being too busy maintaining the current offering and making no time for exploring (or assigning and monitoring) product or service innovation is a massive risk for any business.
As leader you've got to become highly skilled at making sure the business earns "now" money while simultaneously preparing to generate "new" money.
And of course, the process of buying these products and services should be as frictionless as possible for clients.
Let your PROCESSES serve them, not just you
A fantastic product that can only be bought through a cumbersome process will always be under threat. The buying process must be designed to delight the customer. Too many processes seem to serve only the convenience of the business.
In a world filled to the brim with options, customers will often buy something that might be a little bit inferior but a lot more convenient for them to buy.
Just because a buying process exists doesn't mean it should be left to carry on. Continuous process improvement must remain high on the proactive priority list of any business leader.
Chase only the PROGRESS that matters
Progress in either products/services or processes should not be allowed to just sprout and grow in any direction. It should be strategically driven by the business leader in a direction and pace that supports the financial, social and brand purpose of the business.
Progress for the sake of it often ends up just increasing the busyness of the business leader, rather than the business they need to be working on.
The approach to successfully on top of these elements for sustainable profitable growth is contained in the "Staying in the Helicopter®" programme.
It is presented across the world exclusively by Juanita Vorster and Roger Harrop and has to date enabled more than 30,000 business leaders to carve paths of success in a business world that has undergone enormous change in the last decade, with lots more change predicted to come.