As a business growth coach, I have the opportunity to have really deep conversations with entrepreneurs of all sized companies. I hear words like “I want more accountability” in my organization or “I want my team to have more focus”. But when we really get to the core of things, what most entrepreneurs and leaders want the most is FREEDOM and CONTROL. How can you have freedom and be in control? What does this really mean?
Freedom comes from the ability to work ‘on’ the business vs always ‘in’ the business. Freedom is earned by creating systems, processes and organizational structure to allow you get out of the daily whirlwind and deep dive revenue driving growth initiatives that drive the top line and root causes for inefficiencies that drag the bottom line down.
Control comes from the ability to focus the organization on what is most important. It is created by having rock solid annual and quarterly planning sessions where the team is fully aligned on the right priorities and followed by a detailed plan on how to get the priorities accomplished. Control also means learning how to say no and limit the number of mission critical things the company and team will work on in the next quarter. Control comes from the discipline of focus.
Most small to mid-market leaders, especially founders, struggle at setting up an organizational structure or implementing systems and process around planning and execution. They are great at their core craft and want to grow the business, but the operations side just does not give them energy. But the ‘why’ behind getting this right is so import and does create energy. The result is FREEDOM and CONTROL, something all leaders want… especially founding entrepreneurs.
Here are 5 ways to start getting more freedom and control:
- Start reserving time on your calendar to work ‘on’ the company. If you are a company leader, you should have four to eight hours blocked off minimum.
- Start discussing strategy on a bi-weekly basis. Decide what your company is going to be great at and also discuss what your company is not going to be great at. This distinction is critical in learning control.
- Routine sets you free. What are the meeting rhythms your company has from the top down and how easy does information flow throughout the organization? Where are the bottlenecks?
- Spend time building and/or strengthening your senior leadership team. Where are you strong? Where are you weak? Do you have empty seats?
- Get fanatical about your annual and quarterly planning processes. If your team is not one hundred percent aligned, how would you know?