Focus on less to achieve more: a secret to winning in business!
Let us imagine that you have just updated your strategic plan at the end of the quarter, and are about to dive into your next 90 day sprint with a handful of key projects to be implemented by your team before the end of the coming quarter.
You probably have a desire to accomplish many things, but experience has shown us time and time again that “less is more” when it comes to successful business execution. Ideally, you choose no more than 3 key projects to focus on for the quarter. It is better to do less and do it well, than to take on too many things and spread yourself too thin. Your mantra for success should be: Focus on less to achieve more.
If you are a business leader, your aim is for everyone in your team to finish the quarter with a sense of satisfaction and achievement. You want everyone being able to say “We nailed our key milestones” - rather than having a whole lot of projects still up in the air, with your people still grinding away day after day, and never feeling the thrill of victory. You want the team to be able to pop the cork and celebrate their achievements at the end of every quarter, not feel like failures.
Even if you have carefully whittled your wish list down to a 3 projects to focus on this quarter, the key to business execution success is to ensure your people are taking the right actions each and every week to move the company’s goals forward.
It’s all about the 1 Thing.
Everyone has a huge “to do” list of things they could be doing each week, but what is the “1 thing”? What is the 1 tangible, bite-sized Task they can complete this week that will move each of their individual Goals forward? If each person can just get that “1 thing” done every week for each of their Goals, that is the secret to successful business execution. Capture that Task in writing and make sure it gets checked off by the end of the week.
Any other Tasks that get accomplished during the week are a bonus, but everyone must know their “1 thing” relating to each Goal and focus on that above everything else. In many cases this requires being able to say “No” to anything else that comes up, and protecting your people from other distractions.
Successful business execution is not about working hard or being busy. It is about everyone taking the right actions - each and every week – and nailing that “1 thing”.
But (and it’s a big BUT), business execution doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Leaders must follow up at every weekly meeting and hold each of their team members firmly accountable, “Did you complete the Task you said you were going to do last week to move this Goal forward?” Business Execution Software makes this process easy.
If these key Tasks are getting done, leaders must make the effort to praise, acknowledge, and thank those people who honor their commitments in order to reinforce these behaviors. Every small win adds up to meaningful results over time.
However, if you let one person off the hook for not getting their “1 Thing” done this week, it lowers the performance bar for everyone else. It means that people are allowed to break their promises. It can also mean that entire projects get held up by one person who does not play their part. When the whole team experiences a preventable failure because the leader did not hold their people accountable, this is a failure of leadership. When you are the leader your job is to get things done through others, and you only win as a leader when your team wins.
What are you going to do differently to make sure you and your team “win” this week?