2016, Is It Going The Way You Planned?

Have You hit your goals so far? Are your initiatives for the year on track for success?

targetIf you’re disappointed with your results so far there’s still time to make some critical changes and ensure your team is pulling in the right direction.

If you were to ask the key people on your team if they knew what you saw as the top priority for your organization this quarter what would they say?

If you asked them to rank the items on their to do lists would their number one priority match what you see as their number one priority?

And if you asked them if they felt like they received clear guidance and direction from you so that they could do their jobs well, what would they say?

Reaching your financial goals requires the work and efforts of the entire team, but frequently leaders don’t communicate with their team as well as they think they are.

No matter how great your vision is it won’t become a reality unless your team members are all pulling in the same direction with the same end goals in mind.

If they are focused on the wrong things or have different priorities than you do, well then it will take you longer to reach your goals. Picture a relay race where your team starts with one runner carrying the baton and that runner decides to keep the baton himself and run all the way with it or he does hand it off but the next runner heads off in the wrong direction taking the team off course. They may eventually finish the race but they won’t win it and it won’t be very impressive.

Entrepreneurs often take their ideas and run with them forgetting to hand off to others who can help get them to their goals, or they do hand them off but they forget to tell the next person on the team what direction the finish line is.

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“Oh, you wanted it done this year?”

A communication plan is the key to getting the right things done!

A defined communication path will set clear direction that ensures your team members understand what you want them working on and when. Team alignment is a key part of winning your race. Never underestimate the importance of communication & alignment in reaching your goals.

A communication plan will:

  • Share your vision with your team and ensure everyone knows what the company mission is
  • Deliver clear directions and expectations from you to your team.
  • Get questions answered solve issues and provide clarity and support for your team.
  • provide consistent follow up on expectations; that includes recognition as well as redirection.
  • Keep your team running for the right finish line and on schedule.

If you leverage your vision with talented people receiving clear communication from you, everyone will be racing in the same direction and crossing the finish line a lot faster.

And that is a win for everyone.

It’s not to late to design a communication plan that will put you  on track for a successful 2016!

Call or email to schedule a communication assessment and let me help you hit your goals for 2016.

Suzanne Lyon Mollerud

suzanne@lyon-sfocus.com

612.801.9320 

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Visionaries, Integrators and Investors Oh My!

 

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The release of the latest EOS book, Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, has created quite a buzz in entrepreneurial circles. Thought provoking conversations, blogs and articles regarding Visionaries and Integrators are happening all around me.

Having co-founded a business as an Integrator with my Visionary husband, I experienced firsthand the challenges and rewards of a strong V/I relationship for 18 years while we grew our business. In 2007, when Traction by Gino Wickman was released, we had been instinctively dividing and executing for 15 years. Traction was very affirming for us then and when reading Rocket Fuel last week my inner Integrator jumped up and shouted “YES!” with an enthusiastic fist pump (It just feels good to read something that self-affirming in a book that’s hitting #1 on Amazon!).

All this focus on Visionaries and Integrators led me to read an article published in Forbes this week, 5 Shortcomings Of A Visionary And How To Compensate that highlighted the shortcomings of visionaries from an investor’s perspective. The message that stood out in the article caused me to cringe a little on behalf of all the visionaries I know and love. As one visionary most eloquently put it,

“See that Forbes article today. I’ll paraphrase; I don’t want to invest in a loser visionary unless he is teamed with an integrator. Wow that’s straight.”

More than a few trips down memory lane have been inspired by all this. As I think back, none to fondly, of my Visionary and I’s experiences with investors during the 18 years we poured our “blood, sweat and tears” (cheesy quote but I assure you quite literal) into our business, it is difficult to back away from the inclination to write this article; 5 Shortcomings Of An Investor And How To Compensate. But I will, grudgingly, back away; maybe I’ve matured, maybe it’s my Fathers voice in my head or maybe I’m just saving it for another time. For now I’d like to focus on this; Visionaries, Integrators and Investors, where would any of us be without each other?

Without the Visionary’s “unusual energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks” there would be huge gaping holes in place of Apple, Starbucks and Disney.  It’s true that “every organization [also] needs a steady counter-force that is focused on directional clarity”, (another fist pump for all the Integrators out there!). It is also true that many visions succumb to a harsh reality when under-capitalized because “blood, sweat and tears” aren’t enough to turn great visions into great companies. It requires a trifecta of new ideas, execution and capital to make a success out of any startup.

I too am a proponent of capitalizing on your strengths, which requires recognizing them, as well as your weaknesses, so that you can value the strengths others bring to the table. To quote one of our key advisors “Each of you on your own is great at what you do, but together you are unstoppable!”

Visionaries need Integrators and capital to complete their vision, Integrators need a well-funded vision to execute on and Investors need startups created so there is a business plan to execute. Some molds must be broken in order to provide a return on investment that out performs an IRA.

If your strength is being an Investor, use that capital to attract a complementary Visionary and Integrator team that can create the vision and make it happen; then get out of the way and let them create a win-win-win opportunity for all of you. No new start up can succeed without a dose of unrealistic optimism.

Investment without vision is just a tax write off in the making.

Why a Focus Plan?

There are millions of planning tools available to help the overly busy Entrepreneur get organized and help you be more productive. Project management, time management, alert systems, task lists and on and on. And for every new tool that comes on the market there are 10 others that have been tried, used and discarded. Not usually discarded intentionally but more likely slowly forgotten as it became boring & tedious. Or it may simply be that you are just to busy to think through your goals clearly let alone organize yourself.

I’ve had several conversations lately regarding which organizational system or tool an overwhelmed Entrepreneur is using and the responses range from “I found this great tool on line…it has all these great features…” to  “I just make lists”. It seems that no matter who I talk to they “already have a system I’m using”, And then the follow-up question I ask is, “So how is that working for you?”, which gets answered with a hesitation, a blank stare, a “well I haven’t really been keeping it up lately” or an out right “It’s not, I never use it.” There’s also the “I just don’t have time to get organized”. And so the search for the “right tool” continues.

The truth is there is no “right tool” all tools are only as effective as the person using them and let’s face it, we Entrepreneurs are not known for our ability to stick with anything once it becomes boring and tedious. Have you ever met an organizational tool that excites you? Makes you want to get up in the morning and log on just so you can start working on it? Well if you have chances are pretty good that once you got it all figured out, knew all the bells and whistles attached you quickly lost interest in  it, and it joined the other similar tools in the discarded pile.

But we all keep looking and we all keep trying, because at the root of this search for organization is the desire to be more productive, more effective and to reach those big goals we’ve set for ourselves. Let’s face it, if we could only get more of  the right things done we would hit our goals a lot faster and a lot more frequently. Being busy is not the same as being effective. Being effective makes us feel great about ourselves and improves our financial performance. Being busy leaves us tired and feeling like we didn’t get anything accomplished.

Which brings me to my point, you don’t need the perfect organizational tool, what you need is a “Focus Plan”. A “Focus Plan” includes a tool to keep track of it all but what makes it work is the ongoing strategic guidance and support provided. It is not just one more “tool” it is a service designed to provide the missing ingredient most Entrepreneurs lack, someone to follow-up with you! Someone whose there to help you clarify your goals, increase your productivity and improve your financial performance.

This is what I do, I help you to sort out what your goals are and what might be getting in your way, I work with you to create your “Focus Plan”. My skill set combined with my experiences building a company with 150 employees and 3 layers of management, give me a unique perspective and ability to be your guide to focus & success. Through ongoing  follow ups and discussions we work together to track your progress. I provide helpful nudges or reminders and I’m available for brainstorming when needed. I help you stay focused on your top priorities. And I’m there to witness and celebrate your achievements along the way!

If you’d like to learn more about  the “Focus Plan” and how it works please contact me at:

suzanne@lyon-sfocus.com

Hope to hear from you!

Suzanne, Lyon~S Focus, LLC