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Give Me Clarity Or Give Me Death!
Give Me Clarity Or Give Me Death!
Take a look at Brand Launcher member Dave, the CEO of a successful real estate company.*
The work atmosphere in his business was like a two-year-old in a never-ending temper tantrum. The personal dynamics of his employees were bleeding into the workplace with a few toxic individuals who were infusing the office with negativity. The wrong people were being accommodated, while the valuable employees suffered.
But that wasn’t the worst part.
Clarity and decision-making were sorely missing.
Like many busy business owners, Dave struggled with understanding and working in his HABUT (Highest And Best Use of Time). Like you, he’s a really responsible guy. That’s a great quality in a CEO.
But if you’re not channeling your sense of responsibility right, and taking on your employees’ tasks in addition to your own, you’re depleting your own precious time and energy. It’s like drawing water with a bucket full of holes!
And in Dave’s case, he was inadvertently clouding up his team’s clarity about where their responsibility ended and his began.
When we took a deeper look, we discovered that Dave and his exec team were monitoring the calls. The CEO of a multi-million dollar company was spending his precious time training the customer support team!
That’s not an org chart — that’s a death sentence!
What got them out of this mess?
Dave and his team worked together with their Brand Launcher mentor to bring clarity, accountability, and productivity back into the company.
Here are 4 strategies we implemented with Dave to get more clarity and move his company forward:
1. “He who makes the most decisions wins.”
Good, bad, whatever — just make a decision and celebrate it!
At Brand Launcher, we literally have a bell that we ring when someone makes a decision. Taking a proactive step to move forward and get unstuck is something to be celebrated.
Dave and his team had to rediscover the power of small wins and small decisions. When you’re stuck, the best way to move forward is “ooching” with small decisions.
Here’s an actual quote:
“Accomplishments are now tracked and celebrated each week. In fact, at our strategic planning session this year we listed all the accomplishments since we started… it was a long list! This was important as there was so much going on and we had not realized all the good we had achieved.”
Success is attracted to momentum. Win after win after win builds up and before you know it you’re in a dramatically different place. Yes, you may make a wrong decision occasionally. You’ll learn and grow, but the momentum of all the small wins will propel you forward.
To get instant access to the 8 real-world quick tips to make more and better decisions, click here. (No opt-in required.)
2. “Manage them in or manage them out, but manage them!”
One of the most difficult decisions Dave had to make was in regard to his employees - whom to fire or whom to keep, whom to demote and whom to promote. Most leaders understandably run away from these decisions out of fear of confrontation.
Dave and his leadership team made the uncomfortable decision to get the wrong people off the bus and the right ones on. Some toxic employees were let go, others voluntarily followed. And check this out — after one manager left, a junior level employee rose up to the position, much to everyone’s surprise. He ended up being the perfect man for the job.
3. “Give over control while increasing competency.”
Before, every single decision was funneled through Dave.
Buying a $1200 replacement computer for an employee had to be approved by Dave.
Committing to a $1 hourly raise had to be approved by Dave.
But increasing a sense of accountability and ownership can’t happen in a vacuum. If you just give over control without increasing competency, you’re a fool.
So what did we do?
We created a clear budget within which the management team could operate.
We outlined the “why,” not just the “how” of good decision making so the team could learn the art, not just the science behind what they do.
Not only did that give them a sense of empowerment and ownership, but it freed up Dave to switch the macro-vision and deal with the most important parts of the company.
4. Courageous Conversations
Achieving clarity involves the willingness to being vulnerable and honest. And it starts with you, the leader.
Dave put his cards on the table with each of his employees, and that involved having some pretty uncomfortable conversations. It meant talking about his weaknesses, and where he needed his team to step up to the plate.
It also meant talking to the employees - privately and with kindness - about their weaknesses, and whether they have something valuable to offer his company or not. Everyone who stayed, including Dave, had to get real about each other’s weaknesses and compensate for them by playing to their strengths.
Dave and his team accomplished a pretty impressive 180-degree change from where they were to where they are today.
Now, Dave spends more time making CEO-level decisions. They have a dashboard that measures and tracks success. Dave is surrounded by leaders who make decisions at different levels, and take responsibility for themselves. Their workplace is characterized by respect and honesty.
They even completed a complex merger, bringing on a whole new host of challenges which they tackled gracefully due to their internal and external improvements.
Where doubt and confusion were leading Dave’s business to the edge of the cliff, clarity and decision-making brought it back.
When is the best time to get out of doubt? Yesterday.
When is the second best time? Today.
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*Name and identifying details have been changed to protect the individual’s privacy.