What you need to do in February

Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal

It’s the start of the second month of 2020. Hopefully, you’ve nailed down your business plans for the year, and assignments to key result areas are known and both responsibilities and resources for achievement allocated. 

If you want a great year, it helps to have an atmosphere of optimism and positive feelings with a strong start.

Now that everyone is back to work, here are some assignments for you, the top executive, to complete to help your team continue the efforts throughout the year on the right track.

Answer this: What specific results am I being paid to achieve as the leader of this company? Review how much time you spend on each desired result and compare it to the total time you spend at work. How do you narrow the gap?

List 10 tasks you could eliminate doing. List 10 tasks that you currently do that would be better off delegated. Take action on these two lists at once.

Reach out to 12 customers this month. Ask how they see your organization, what they think of it, what kind of company they believe it is and what they want from it. Share this feedback with all your employees.

Ask yourself: “Am I a leader who treats all my employees as my helpers?” List 10 ways your company could be more profitable and efficient when every employee is encouraged to assume greater responsibility.

Ask all the individuals with manager and supervisor titles to be prepared to answer the question “What should my contribution as a leader be to the company?” at an upcoming staff meeting. Give time for everyone to think about this.  

When holding this staff meeting, get answers from each person. If someone comes without an answer, or with an answer that is not serious, excuse them from the meeting. Why? Some with management titles might not sincere about their role, regardless of their age; blood or marriage relations or how long they have been on the payroll. Having a better 2020 means your managers must step up to the responsibilities of managing. You must set the tone.

You already know who your most capable people are. The question is: are your best people addressing the biggest opportunities or the biggest problems? What and when will you make the necessary changes for continued growth?

Make your list of the top-10 reasons why your company is an attractive place of employment. Add this to the agenda for the next staff meeting and share your list. Have each manager create their own list of at least three new, additional reasons at the meeting. Take the entire list and have each employee rank the reasons so management will know what employees really value. 

At the end of the month, conduct a reality check. Pick the most critical functions in your business and review with the appropriate managers whether so far in the new year, the most important things are being measured. In sales, for example, companies offer measure closed deals and volume. Those are trailing indicators to sales effectiveness. Exceptional companies look up the sales funnel to uncover (and measure) the leading indicators, such as prospecting efforts, daily sales calls made and pending proposals. If you want a different result in 2020 change what is measured.

Make sure that every employee understands what it means to “own” a key result area. This can only be done when you take the time to sit down with managers and ask unpleasant questions to insure understanding and acceptance at the management level. Your managers can’t teach their employees what they don’t know and do themselves. 

Here’s wishing that your 2020 is the best year ever for you and your company!

Ken Keller is an executive coach who works with small and midsize B2B company owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs. He facilitates formal top executive peer groups for business expansion, including revenue growth, improved internal efficiencies and greater profitability. Email:[email protected]. Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of the SCVBJ

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