In most cases, when entrepreneurs first launch their businesses they have to do everything. Not because they want to, but because they HAVE to. There is simply not enough cash flow to hire all the people needed. If you were not a control freak to start with, you eventually became one. Your livelihood depended on the success of your company and control turned into habit. Some habits, as we all know, can be bad.
Habits are natural phenomena of human behavior. We develop habits because we learn that certain behaviors produce rewards. If we like the instant gratification of the reward, we repeat the behavior, even if the repeated behavior will not produce a long-term positive outcome. Why else would people smoke, use drugs or drink excessively? Or run their business in a reactionary, short-sighted way?
A strategy we recommend to break bad business habits is to develop a Performance Culture System, which I created for Cornerstone Business Advisors. Developing a Performance Culture that produces long-term benefit takes discipline and commitment -- the essential elements required to create good habits. However, before you implement the Performance Culture System, it’s important to recognize the bad habits your company may have, as well as understand how you can develop good habits.
Examples of Bad Behaviors (Habits)
• Micromanagement/Lack of Delegation -- Business owners or leaders who are overly involved in too many aspects of the business because they are worried about failure
• Constant Fire Drills -- Managers focused on solving immediate challenges instead of strategic planning and continuous process improvement
• Immediate Gratification -- Employees focused on immediate personal benefit versus mid- to long-term strategic results (what’s in it for me today); owners who spend all the profits instead of investing in future growth
• Directing Versus Motivating -- Leading by force versus developing employees to be their best
• Silo Mentality/Mavericks -- Focusing on individual effort over the team’s performance; lack of trust inside the organization or office politics
• Lack of Accountability -- Allowing employees to get away with bad performance -- “It’s too much work to coach the employee, he’ll do better next time” but he never does
• Hiring Too Quickly and Firing Too Slowly - Putting off hiring until it’s absolutely needed and ending up with a subpar employee, or not firing soon enough and being stuck with an undesirable employee or behavior
• Lack of Communication -- Leaders who view meetings as a waste of time. Of course, meetings can be a waste of time if not facilitated correctly, but they also are a way to build team rapport and ensure alignment with company priorities
• Opportunism -- Chasing everything versus focusing on what you can do best; pursuing “strategies of the month” versus management discipline
If you can relate to one or more of these negative behaviors or have noticed unhealthy habits inside your company, you are not alone. Performance Culture will help you change these behaviors and develop positive habits that will increase profit and lead to long-term sustainability.
In the book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business author Charles Duhigg explains how business leaders achieve success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives. The Performance Culture System will show you a set of patterns to achieve success for you and your company. These patterns include:
• Effective Leadership -- Three rules to become a great leader
• Niche Strategy -- Tips on how to create a compelling value proposition and competitive advantage
• People Management -- Simple Human Resource management methods to hire right and motivate employees to do their best
• Process Excellence -- A simplified framework to create a scalable operation that delivers consistency and quality.
Cornerstone Business Advisors provides access to experts in business strategy, management, process and finance. The Cornerstone team includes former C-Level executives, successful entrepreneurs and advisors who offer unmatched experience in delivering advanced, custom-tailored, results-oriented solutions for business leaders. Cornerstone has worked with hundreds of companies that range from fast-growth start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. It developed the Performance Culture System™ to help clients implement best practices and drive high performance throughout their organization. For more information, visit www.launchgrowexit.com, call 910-681-1420, or email [email protected].
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