As we approach 2020 and begin to create a vision for the new year, we have to take a clean look at our company to see if we are really delivering what we say we’re delivering. It is every leader’s responsibility in your company to challenge the team to the greatness all of you deserve. You want to spend time looking at the things that are working well. We also want you to objectively look at your business, so we offer some ideas on how to think.

1) Insanity: There’s a saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.”  What are you doing in your business expecting different results yet getting the same problem repeatedly?  Dig in and explore your assumptions and long held beliefs. We all build patterns and those patterns may not be healthy and we don’t even notice. Ask yourself, what do I need to stop doing?

2) Friend/Foe: There is a saying in The Art of War by Sun Tzu, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” In today’s competitive business landscape, are you listening to all the voices around you, both friend and foe? Are the voices helping you think or making you react? As business leaders, do you know your market differentiators compared to your top competitors? Are your differentiators driving your core customers to you? Have you defined your core customer? Have you identified your unique value proposition?  Are you paying attention to your customers’ hassles? What moves your fly wheel? If you don’t know what some of these concepts are and need help clearly and objectively thinking about them, we help leaders get clarity.

3) Iceberg: As leaders we often hear the common expression, “The tip of the iceberg”. Meaning, what a customer sees on the surface is only a small fraction of what is going on underneath.  What are the issues in your company you are aware of that you may have minimized or pushed aside? Maybe you didn’t appreciate the full problem or impact it’s having on your business? If a problem has made it to the attention of your team, it’s likely 10X worse then you think.  Maybe it’s time to look under the surface and assess the size and scope of problems and issues in your company. You may be surprised with what you find. Again, think about the patterns that you use to solve problems you’ll have to challenge yourself to another approach.

4) Bus: Every so often, leaders should stop and ask themselves a few questions. First, do you have the right people in the right seats doing the right things, right? Second, “Are your employees on the bus or throwing others under the bus?” Explore your employee performance and engagement, where are you frustrated with results? Is it a competence issue, does the employee really understand their role? Have you helped them identify their roll? Or, does the employee’s behavior not equal the behavior you expect from members of your team? Are your core values used to correct and reward behavior?

5) Pointing a Finger: In leadership circles there is a saying, “When you point the finger at someone there are 3 more pointing right back at you.” If something is not going well in your business, what are you doing or not doing that is contributing to the perceived failure? What message is the failure sending you that you don’t want to see or hear? Can the failure become an opportunity in some way? Stop finger pointing and start self-exploring. The return is always greater then blaming others. Leadership starts with you.

The answers are within you, but sometimes you need someone who knows the right questions to ask. Learn how Assured Strategy strategic business coaching can benefit your leadership and improve your 20/20 business vision through one of our free coaching sessions.