By Catherine Lang-Cline
When we started this business we had no idea how naive we were. That is really how it is supposed to be though, right? You start a new chapter in your book of life and it is all new and exciting. Back in 2005, we knew marketing and we knew people so what else could you possibly need to know? Well…
You get the idea, but what about RECESSION and HUMAN RIGHTS and PANDEMIC and everything that goes along with that?
As business owners, how do we plow through all of this and still try and sell our product or service? How do we keep our teams engaged and feel safe? How do we predict our year? How do we keep going? We march, one step at a time.
Most business owners are familiar with Jim Collins and his book Great By Choice. In it, he talks about the 20-mile march. If you have not heard of it or would like a refresh, you can read it here. In a nutshell, when things get tough, when the job is massive, keep marching forward.
Which means every day ask yourself, what is it that you need to get done today? What is that one step forward?
For us, that means that our team meets virtually every day for 10-15 minutes to briefly go through our own to-do lists for the day. Our expectations for them for the day are discussed and they commit to getting it done. It means switching from quarterly briefings to 30-day check-ins where we discuss our history for the past 30-days and talk about our expectations for the next 30-days. These examples are all done to keep the team close, focused, and able to see where we are going.
Jim Collins wrote that the reason to do this was so, “everyone on the team knows the markers and the importance, they can stay on track” and this could not be more necessary than it is right now.
Right now everyone is feeling stressed. Everyone’s life got a lot more complicated. By simplifying your expectations, making the vision more clear, and by leading the march, your team will stay focused and productive and continue to move forward at a time when that is all we can really try to do.