A lot of time and energy is spent at the beginning of the year to become a better CEO, with the focus usually being on what you should be doing. I’m going to challenge that norm today by sharing with you, mid-year, six things that you should stop doing if you want to be a better CEO and watch your company grow.
1. Do not hold on to bad relationships. Whether the relationship is internal or external, if it isn’t a pleasant one it’s probably best to consider cutting ties. If, for example, your marketing director is causing a high turnover rate with employees in the department or if you have a client that is more of an issue than a benefit, count the costs. Either resolve the issue or cut your losses.
2. Do not dwell on the bad. I’m sure you’ve realized by now, sometimes things go sour; you get bad news from product development, the market takes an unexpected dip, your lead salesman retires, the price of raw materials increases. You obviously can’t ignore these events, but you don’t have to dwell on them. Deal with them in a timely manner and move forward.
3. Do not ignore the good. On the flip side, when something good happens, you discover a way to increase productivity, you gain a huge client, your sales team significantly exceeds their goals, celebrate! You don’t need to throw a party for every sale that comes in, but when you have a reason to celebrate, do it. It doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive; simply recognize the success and reinforce to your employees that your company values their hard work.
4. Do not cut business lunches to save on expenses. By business lunches I don’t necessarily mean that you need to be making the hard sales pitch or reviewing forecasts. Utilize this time to build relationships and nurture leads – everyone needs to eat so you might as well do it together.
5. Do not try to be all things to all people. It is more common than you might think for businesses to expand past their core competencies to fill the desire to be all things to all people. Diversification and expansion can be great growth opportunities, but you are in trouble if your core competencies slip to mediocre. If you are struggling to keep some of your less prominent product lines afloat, let them go. It is better to be great at a few things and differentiate yourself than to be average at several.
6. Do not insist on doing everything. Delegation is the key for you to be able to focus on what’s really important and to function in your strengths. Set up gatekeepers and administrative help to assist with your communication. You don’t need to be reading every email that makes its way to your inbox, taking every phone call, or meeting with every person who comes through the front door. Establish a plan for what type of communication you want to address personally and allow someone else to take care of the rest.
Scratch these six things from your to-do list and watch both your ability to manage and your sales grow.
Dave Baney *Shared from the Small Business Advocacy Council blog