Ideas can be dime and dozen, but Leadership is all about the ‘ability to execute’. Today, the biggest differentiator between you and your competition will be your ability to execute.
We all know change is the only constant, so companies that execute well will also experience changes happening faster. Without successful execution you
When we say ‘execution’, most of us think of Service Delivery or Operations. It should reflect across your Leadership, People and Processes.
Do it first and also faster than your competition. Do not wait to finish it till deadline strikes, rather finish it well before due date. This also helps you come out with your products / services faster than your competition.
Hire right, and your battle is half won. Boarding the right people in your bus (company) is critical to your leadership. Do not outsource this critical task. You as a founder have to be involved in key hiring decisions; because it is these individuals who will act as the pillars. More than their IQ you need to look at their EQ. Assign your ‘best person’ the role that creates maximum impact!
Bringing together under a shared vision
Most often the vision stays with the founder or at best with his few direct reports. But it needs to be articulated with all the team members especially when you are a startup. If your team is aware of the bigger picture, they all can relate well to your actions and the whole engine begins works in sync, ensuring success.
Spot and address those weaknesses early
Spot your weaknesses early so that you do not go on an assumption spree, and then trying to find the causes of failure much later. Otherwise you might hit a point of no-return. Many startups fail, since they do not address their weaknesses right at an early stage itself.
Changing your DNA to step up growth:Seeing flat sales, when your product/service has great potential? It might be time to change your company’s DNA. Be specific about the change, where you are right now, and how you would like that change to be in a specific time frame.
Embrace Digital Marketing: Today digital marketing and social media is no longer a ‘tactic’ but part of the ecosystem. Get your team to address this effectively, or engage consultants to tap this potential. The mantra is ‘Attract, Engage, Win and Retain’!
Conduct Power meetings: Meetings should not be just a monologue with boring presentations. You need to have meaningful conversations so that the objective of the meeting is met. Set the agenda in advance and share it with the stakeholders. Give them time to prepare and contribute in your meetings.
Stick to time: It is not just your time of 3 hours that gets spent. If you have 8 professionals in that meeting, it is 24 work hours (3 person-days!).
Periodic reviews: Have periodic reviews and stick to a pattern. Monday’s may be great to have reviews as it sets the tone for that week. Anything that’s measured gets done!
Power of WHY? Have you ever wondered the power of ‘why’, in your meetings or discussions? When you want to identify the root of an issue, do not hesitate to ask ‘why?’ for about 4-5 times, for every answer / rebuttal, before you can arrive at the root of the problem. Finding out the crux of the issue is half the puzzle solved. Rest is to find the right solution to fix it.
Keep your inefficiencies extremely low: As a startup you cannot afford to have inefficiencies in your system. Large corporations do have buffer and withstanding capacity for this, but as a startup you cannot afford inefficiencies. Having Quality or Security Certification helps; but if your budget is a constraint, have consultants to set robust processes so that your system does not have leaks.
Goal setting, KRAs: Set goals and KRAs right at the start of the year. Have some non-negotiable factors integrated with all your employees’ KRAs, as it will make sure that their focus is razor sharp on those factors.
Motivating reward system: : I was associated with an organization that had a performance system like this; if you achieve 100% of your target, you get 100% of your variable pay (fine!), 120% achievement provides 120% variable pay (still ok), but the ‘cap’ was at 150%. Here is the point. Do you want to put a cap on your team’s performance? Do you want them to stop working and lose opportunities? Sounded weird to me! I would recommend that you have an exponential increase in rewards after their base target (set realistic) is met, as that will feed their quest to achieve more.
This article might have just scratched the surface, but if you practice these you will create a greater impact that will propel your company to achieve bigger success!