Running a business is a wild ride and there are a lot of surprises along the way. But I think the thing that surprises me most is that I have learned more about business and leadership in the last five years than I did in the previous 30 years.
This is part two in a two-part series of the five most surprising things about business that leadership teams need to learn. (You can read part one here.)
4) There’s No Such Thing As a “Unique” Business
I hear, “But my business is unique,” all the time, usually from people using it as an excuse for why the expert advice they asked for won’t work for them. The idea that only a specialist in your industry can help you is a limiting belief that could prevent you from making any progress, ever.
You may have an unusual product/service/business model, or cater to an obscure industry, but these things only account for 10-30% of your business. 70-90% of running a business is the same run-of-the-mill stuff for everybody. All business operations require the same fundamentals:
- A clear vision of who you are where you want to go
- The right people to help you get there
- The right data to measure your progress
- The ability to solve issues well
- Adherence to standardized processes to achieve consistent results
- Creating traction to propel your organization forward through discipline and accountability
5) Most of Us Know What to Do, We Just Don’t Do It
A client once said to me, “Some of this stuff you’re teaching us is 20 years old.” To which I replied, “Actually, it is hundreds of years old.” The principles of good leadership and successful business are timeless. They’ve always been the same, and we’ve all heard them before. (The fact that EOS® puts them all together in a cohesive system like nothing before is a topic for another post.)
But people have always been basically the same, too. We tend to want a magic wand that’s going to make all our problems disappear in an instant. If a “silver bullet” remedy doesn’t work, we look for something else that’s supposed to deliver results overnight, even though we know the problem can’t be solved in a day.
What's Next for Your Business?
One of my personal coaches once taught me, “Ken, once you turn your problem over to a proven system, that problem is solved – it’s just a matter of time before you see the results.”
With 2017 just begun, it’s a good time to think about where you want to be at the end of the year. Do you want to end 2017 with the same problems you have now? Will you be OK with just surviving for another year, or are you going to commit to embracing the real solutions that will make your business thrive?
- Download a free chapter of Traction, the book that shows you how to get what you want from your company
- Check the strength of your company with the EOS® Organizational Checkup.
This article originally appeared on the DeWitt LLC blog on December 14, 2016.