As we near the end of the 3rd quarter and make the turn into the home stretch, most of us are charging towards achieving all our goals for 2011 - right? If that's not what it looks like for you and your team, here's a tip.
To become better achievers, most advisors would have us start with planning. Make your plan ... work your plan. I've heard it for over 30 years, but if that's all there is to it, if it's that simple, why do so many individuals and companies fail to achieve what they want? I can assure you, it isn't for the lack of planning.
We gravitate towards envisioning first because it's exciting to dream and make plans. The problem is, most of us tend to be very weak at execution - working our plans. After failing to execute time and again, we stop envisioning and planning. What's the point if we aren't going to follow through to achieve what we envision?
Quoting from TRACTION, Get a Grip On Your Business, "Vision without traction is merely hallucination." Seeing what we want without achieving it is disheartening to everyone. For that reason, we need to lay a foundation to create better execution, and then do our planning.
Four disciplines need to be in place to make us better achievers.
- We need clear accountability. We first clarify what we need to do - the functions of our business. For each unique function, we define a "seat" in our organization. We then clarify the specific roles or responsibilities for each seat so each person knows exactly what will be expected of them if they take the seat. Finally, we place the right person into each seat based upon their passion for the seat and their capacity to excel at doing what the seat requires. Unclear expectations and wrong people lead to poor execution.
- We need to prioritize. We can't do everything we want to do, and we certainly can't do everything everyone else wants us to do. If we are going to succeed, we have to be comfortable saying no to many things. Less is more. To become better executers, we create and maintain a 90-day world where we choose the 3 to 7 most important things to do to move us towards abundance. Each week within the 90 days, we choose the few actions we will take to advance towards completing each of our 90-day priorities (rocks). This is where most of us fail. We have to say no to doing the things that are less important. That means we even say no to good things, because we are focused on better things.
- We need to meet to stay focused on execution - same day each week, same time, same agenda, starting on time and ending on time. It's a discipline that keeps us working on our priorities and resolving all issues that might impede our progress.
- We need to track our progress. We put all our subjective feelings and egos aside and monitor a handful of activity-based measurables to objectively track our progress every week. This keeps us honest, clear and accountable.
EOS veterans know I have just described 4 of the 5 EOS Foundational Tools: Accountability Chart, Rocks, Meeting Pulse and Scorecard. Using these 4 tools will make us great executers. We can then define a shared vision with the confidence we will actually achieve it.
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