13.4 Next Right Steps for the CEO
Show Notes written by Wendy Dickinson, Catalytic Conversation$.
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This is the last episode of Catalytic Conversations on IBGR Radio. I’m taking a break, and hope to be back soon.
This last show is dedicated to those Owner/Founders who have created the Ultimate Owner Experience (O)X - evolving into the wise sage who has created a legacy.
You and I know that change is hard. But, we also know that it is necessary for us to change or we don’t grow and develop. That growth and development doesn’t come easily for most people. However, I believe we can all agree that it’s worth it in the end.
I’ve spent the past few seasons giving you the data, recommendations and the steps to build a business that is a viable, sustainable company that can be leveraged to create both a legacy and personal wealth. Today I distill it down. I will give each of you the vision for what the ultimate (O)X means for today’s business owner.
SHOW OBJECTIVES: THE WHY- each builds value within your business!
KEY ISSUES: Problems You May Encounter:
In my experience, these are the obstacles that owners don’t prepare for, lead through, or navigate successfully, during the life of the business.
1. Owners don’t prepare themselves or others in their business for changes & challenges. No one springs fully formed into position. As a leader it’s up to you to know the WHY, so that you can communicate it. Then, get into the what and the how.
2. Owners don’t think about how their time is spent. Ideally, 80% of the O/F’s time should be spent working ON the business, not IN it.
3. Owners don’t really know what their priorities are when they start the business. Many start their business to give themselves a job. Decide what your ideal growth trajectory is and where you want to end up with this company.
4. Owners have built the entire business around the owner. No prospective buyer can see themselves as able to replace the original owner. To create a viable business, you have to build value within the business BEYOND what YOU might find valuable. Learn to look at the business from the perspective of a future buyer.
5. Owners have failed to build out a dashboard of metrics that allows that owner to quickly course correct.
6. Owners don’t know their numbers, pay themselves, or have an emergency recovery fund.
7. Owners don’t get the timing right for cash flow.
8. Owners don’t have the right advisors. Many try to save money by using a friend or family member. This is stepping on dollars to reach out for dimes. Give your business a good accountant, attorney and banker.
What You Need To Know - THE WHAT:
At any given time in your company, it is vitally important to know what the vision is for the future. From there, you need to know the company’s mission, values, and purpose. Who, what and how does the company serve?
Next, you need to be walking AND talking that Vision, mission, values and purpose on an hourly basis to every employee. I can imagine some of you shaking your heads at me, but I can tell you from my work with clients, how much easier it is to lead when you know where you are going.
Decisions, problem solving and business continuity planning is faster and easier with the leader who is able to share the company vision, values, mission and purpose. You have little control over the future and prediction may not be your gift. Get ahead of challenges by planning for the future.
Consider the issue of friction. How easy is it for your customers and clients to make a purchase from you? Keep this question top of mind. Expand your awareness to include market trends, innovations and disruptors that are on the horizon for your clients and customers.
One of the weaknesses that can break your business is a lack of diversity. This lack can show up on your Board, in your company and market segments. As the company leader, you lead self, others, ideas and results. If your product or service is intended as something that a majority of consumers could use, ask yourself why that isn’t happening. Diversity leads to profitability, IF you as the leader create a safe place for your people to show up and contribute.
As a leader, know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, your business, yourself and your team. Blind spots, knowledge gaps and a fixed mindset are the antithesis of building value within the company or creating a legacy.
What You Need To Do - THE HOW
Here are my rec’s:
Ultimate (O)Xs have a vision that aligns with their mission, values and purpose.
As the (O), know your own vision, values, mission and purpose. Ask yourself if they align with those of the company. It helps if they do. Adopt a growth mindset, an expanded sense of awareness (self and others), a sense of readiness and build resilience within yourself and the company.
Use the vision, mission, values and purpose to build value within the business. Look at systems, processes, supply chains, cash flow and build out a dashboard that allows you, the (O) to course correct in real time, not after the fact with the monthly PnL, Balance Sheets and Income Statement.
Have a talent optimization strategy. Diagnose what types of people and types of skills your strategy needs to realize the results you are after. Then, design the job description to line up with those needs and expectations. Get all of the stakeholders involved in the design process. It may be that you need to make do with the people that you have rather than hire.
Hire to retain and to inspire people. Turnover is expensive. Having the right people in the right seats saves you, the (O) time and energy. The Preditive Index surveyed 600 CEOs who reported that 61% of their time was spent on “people problems”. That same group attributes 72% of the value of their companies to their employees.
Help your employees navigate change. At this point, you would do well to recall each person’s gifts, strengths, skills, weaknesses, blind spots, and knowledge gaps. Transitional objects help. Ask Victoria M. Grady’s 3 questions:
Stay attuned to trends. I know, you don’t like new for the sake of new. I get it. But, be aware of innovations, disruptions and other trends on the horizon and prepare.
Use the opportunities you have to build value within the company. Imagine that the company is for sale every day and build value accordingly.
The Ultimate (O)X then uses that vision to design the ideal exit. Then, reverse engineer that exit to make it happen.
If that exit includes selling the company, develop relationships with brokers or investment bankers who will hold your priorities as sacred.
Consider hiring a business coach to partner with you through each stage of growth and development.
You can connect with Wendy Dickinson on FB, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
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