Uh-oh! Are you still solving last year’s problems?

A wise man once told me, “A good business person solved last year’s problems last year, and has moved on to new and bigger problems this year.”

This may seem obvious, but in reality, most business executives are still dragging some of the big goals and issues unresolved from last year into the new year. What does this say about our accountability as leaders?

In simplest form, it says that we can get better at goal setting, prioritizing, delegating, and managing the weekly effort to finish our goals. To spend a year and not achieve last year’s goals, we either have a focus problem and /or we have an execution and leverage problem.

What can we do, now, after the new year to ensure that by this time next year we have slayed our 2019 goals and are ready to take on new ones?

  1. Culture: Transform problem worship to empowered problem slaying! Problem Worship – Read more here…
  2. Annual Planning: The executive team needs to have a very solid and consistent planning cadence quarterly, that kicks off the new year with an annual planning meeting. This meeting needs to be focused on prioritizing and aligning goals with the vision and desired destination for the upcoming year’s efforts. I use EOS, (Entrepreneurial Operating System) as the best practice tool-set and track for these meetings.
  3. Weekly Leadership meetings: Same time, same day, mandatory attendance, start on time and end on time, 90 minute meetings. The agenda is consistent weekly and the leadership team spends this meeting actually holding each other accountable to deliverables and solving issues and the obstacles related. Sixty percent (60%) of the meeting is devoted to root issue identification, discussion and solving. To-dos are established and assigned with a one-week due date. We want to shrink our annual, quarterly and weekly goals to a bite size of one-week-bites.  Once again, executives have tool-sets and options for this infrastructure and methodology. I use EOS, and have for over six (6) years now. It is an undeniable arrow in my executive leadership quiver.
  4. Quarterly Meetings: Following the same meeting agenda as the annual meeting, the leadership team meets quarterly for a solid day to true up the annual plan, course correct and refocus. We are constantly looking to do less to get more. If most leadership teams could avoid scope creep and course drift, then they would be twice as effective. So refocusing and staying on track to hit our big goals is an effort against a current trying to take us off course. It is a never ending mental effort to focus.
  5. Now take these annual, weekly and quarterly meetings and make them happen at all major levels in your organization. The senior executive meets with his or her leadership team weekly. Each of those leaders, in turn, runs a department or part of the organization. So each should, in kind, be running an annual, weekly and quarterly meeting using the same general agenda with his or her team. Otherwise, how else does an organization create the healthy flow of information and solutions up and down?
  6. An elite culture pulls problems down turning them into solutions. Solutions and ideas flow up and create leverage for the executive team. This happens when a solid cadence of focused and consistent meetings are happening and have become muscle memory. It works.
  7. Be willing to resolve the people issues. People are leverage – for better or for worse. We will have a blog soon about the cockpit of a seasoned senior leader.

Cheers! Build a team in 2019 that puts the right leaders in the right seats and who all do the best work of their careers, together!

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