As we just enter a new financial year – and put one of the most turbulent years behind us – it’s a great time to stop, take a breath and reflect for a moment.
I encourage you to reflect on your “why”. Why are you running a business in the first place? Why do you choose to deal with all the extra stress, responsibility and financial commitment to own a business, rather than just collect a paycheque?
As we all know, being a business owner is not easy. It requires grit, determination and stamina – and we do it because we have a vision we want to achieve.
Though if we’re not careful, it can be easy to lose sight of that vision. Which is why it’s important to regularly take time to reflect on your vision – and what you’re doing every day that will actually help you achieve it.
Think about the word vision. What does it mean? A vision is something you can’t touch or feel. It’s something you have a picture of in your head. Many people say they have a vision for their business.
What is this vision worth? Absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch. The only way you can create value from a vision is to turn it into reality, and this is done through execution.
Vision is the dream that gets you fired up, but execution is what makes the reality. This is a crucial challenge in business today. The number of un-delivered visions far outweighs the dreams that have been delivered. Why?
Because the skills required to create the vision are very different to the skills required to execute and turn it into reality.
Creating the reality is about getting your hands dirty day to day, week to week and year to year, with consistency.
This will lead to exponential growth. What are the necessary activities, steps and tasks that must be executed that will drive you closer and closer to something you can touch and feel?
The only way you can turn your vision into reality is by moving forward with passion and the ethos of let’s make this work. It takes determination and persistence, especially in the early days when the mountain is biggest.
Many business people and business owners operate via strategy on the go. They roll the dice and hope to win, but they are not prepared to do the hardest work that gives the best chance to get there.
It takes becoming brilliant at the basics, but this is not what most people think.
The basics are about going deeper. It’s about understanding what is required and having a plan B approach. Your vision is never complete, never finished. It’s a moving target. Your vision truly will actually never become reality, because any time you get close to achieving it your vision will evolve and grow more.
It therefore remains forever unattainable, always giving you something to strive for. The minute you feel as if your vision has been achieved, you and your business will start to go backwards because you will have nothing pushing you to bigger and better things. Your business is either moving forward or it’s dying.
There is no in-between. The stamina and continuing chase required to do this is beyond most business leaders.
Your aim must be that at some point you will be passing the baton. When this happens, your vision turns into a legacy. Good businesses continue to thrive and grow after the founders or leaders have left.
What legacy are you leaving from your productive work in this business or organisation? If what you have built collapses two months after you leave you can hardly look back and say you have been productive.
Many business leaders are still too focused on the day to day. At some point you must consider what will happen when you are not there.
Who will be your successor? What’s your legacy? Have you created a structure for somebody else to pick up where you left off and produce bigger and better results in the future? What culture and systems have you developed?
Driving your business forward every day will quickly start to produce tangible results. Having a vision for the next five years doesn’t mean you have to wait five years to see the results.
Thinking about where the business will be in five years also makes the next six months better. Your ability to know whether you have created value – or not – will also improve. It is so much more relevant when you are thinking strategically and you are open and honest with your team.
This work is not just for today – it’s about making this the DNA of the business and cementing a culture, now and for the future.
Why is it that in many teams only five out of ten people are productive? It’s not that they are smarter or harder working – it’s about the vision and culture you are creating.
If you want your vision to become real, you have to constantly ask yourself, how am I investing in the culture of this organisation to make us more productive? You need to create that underlying ethos of we will, we can and we are going to. You need the right people in the right roles, executing the right responsibilities and producing the right outcomes.
Power to you!
Founder, CEO – Business Benchmark Group