As an executive, business owner, or entrepreneur, you have to be more effective. There is just no other option if you want to compete in today’s fast-moving marketplace. However, many confuse this concept of being effective with that of being efficient. Whereas efficiency allows you to do something well or quickly, it doesn’t help if your energy is focused on the wrong area of your business altogether. Instead, as Peter Drucker once put it, being effective requires “getting the right things done.” Here, Victor Mitchell lists how to do that in your business:
1. Define What Needs to Be Done (Right Now):
You can’t hit a target that you don’t define in the first place. If you want to profit more, spend less, and have workers that understand their role, you need to set quality goals and be specific about them. If you already have goals in place for your organization, you’re ahead of half of your competitors. However, this alone isn’t enough.
The second part of this principle is defining the actions you need to take right now. Nothing else matters. In five years, you may want to implement a new agenda to improve technology-enabled customer service in your company, for instance. But if your short-term goal is growing sales by 20% over the next six months, you better find ways to act on that immediately. Don’t confuse long-term planning with procrastination. They seem similar, but only one is effective while the other is deadly to your success.
2. Delegate When Possible:
Your task list is likely more extensive than you can handle in any one day. That means you have room for delegation. Resist the urge to do everything yourself. Your value as a manager or entrepreneur is in bringing higher level plans to the company.
Delegating is more than just handing off something to your employees. It’s about setting the expectations for the completion of that action. Assign deadlines, attach information to the task and let them know who else needs to be involved.
3. Schedule Fewer Meetings:
Your measure as a manager is not how many meetings you have. Instead, it is how effectively you run these meetings. With the proper agenda outlined beforehand, only the necessary people, and a specific ending time for the meeting, you should never need more than an hour to get the value out of any meeting.
4. Review Success:
Always do a post-action report. What parts of the project are essential will be up to you. The critical thing is to create this review process in the first place. When you review success, you gain confidence but also understand what areas you need to fix.
5. Weather the Storm:
Innovating and adapting to new technology is not for the faint of heart. It is why many businesses go under when a new disruptive business model overtakes them. Make sure your team is well versed in new technologies relevant to your company so you can gain an advantage early on.
When it comes to being effective, it can be a skill that takes time to learn and implement. However, with the right approach, you can hone your focus on the few things that matter in your business. Then, you’ll have a clear view of the future and how to prepare your company to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace as they come up.
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