This time of year it’s easy to let things drift. The weather is gorgeous, the grills are hot and… well, baseball. But if you’re leading a business it’s important to stay focused and ready — Q4 is just around the corner. Here are five tips from a CEO’s perspective.
- Prioritize. Leadership is not a static state; it’s an active role. A good leader is the tip of the spear as well as the architect of their organization. Showing up is just the beginning. If you want your business to succeed you have to put in the time, set the example, set the pace, in early and out late. Summer is great for golf (I should know) but it’s also the time to be frontloading your year-end strategy. Close the year right by pivoting now.
- People. Look around. How would you describe the activity in your office? How is your greatest resource being used? A contractor friend once told me the most beautiful sound he knew was that of hammers hitting nails — because it’s the sound of productivity. Teamwork is the cornerstone of any organization, and it’s up to you to — the quarterback — to anchor it. Involve your people. Get coaches. Don’t let your workplace be a group of independent paths that occasionally intersect. Harness your hive and watch productivity soar.
- Passion. In business it’s sometimes easier to look outward than inward. But the things we do and make are usually a reflection of what’s inside. What’s the state of your soul? Are you rooted in passion? I’m assuming you’ve got a passion for your work and that’s a good start, but what about something deeper? I’ve found one of the best ways to auger in on purpose and nurture my soul is doing service for others. It simultaneously keeps me grounded and makes a positive change in the world. I can’t recommend it enough. What’s your passion?
- Unplug. The news cycle is at an unprecedented fever pitch and it’s extremely difficult to look away — even for an instant. Yes, it’s important to stay informed. But how open does the valve of information really need to be? Closing it completely can do wonders for your focus, even if it’s for only a few minutes a day. Maybe it’s a walk alone after lunch (without your phone!) or five minutes of quiet in the morning. The best ideas come when you give them room.
- Be Proactive. How many moves ahead are you? A seasoned chess player can see twenty. It’s a competitive world and while it’s important to react quickly, the best leaders are the ones causing the reactions. Finding focus is easier when looking at your strategy top-down. This happens when you’re in the loop with your team, on message with your audience and have your plan thoroughly mapped. Don’t wait for the world to move the ball. Grab it and run.