Documentation and process are the keys to proving performance, maintaining deal momentum and mitigating risk. Claims made in a book or business plan become the basis of valuation, conditional bank approval or terms.
Vision, Values & Culture
My framework for running a growing company is “wheels on, pedal down”. Both ‘wheels on’, and ‘pedal down’ activities are important. I need to do just enough things that keep the wheels on, and I also need to push the pedal down constantly. Within those categories I also have to consider if it is a ‘must do’, or a ‘nice to do’—is the activity/task/idea likely to have high impact or low impact?
Should you cut a difficult employee loose? You can skip reading this and I will give you the answer now: YES. Stop debating this and agonizing over the decision, because you already know the right thing to do.
Think it’s not important to define your sales culture? Think again. Culture shapes how people work together and independently, reinforces norms of behaviors and sets expectations. Left unchecked, it may not help you attain your goals.
Meetings can make or break your culture. It’s really hard to untangle established patterns in a company to reshape the number duration, and frequency of meetings you have. But you can make significant improvements if you are vigilant. It requires fortitude, and sometimes really putting your foot down to stop the insanity.
Know that they often believe in what could be more than what is. And swinging for the fences is why they get up in the morning.
Working on the business means focusing on the big-picture strategic stuff. Working in the business means…well, it means working in the business. Spending time in the day-to-day running the company. As a leader, you need a balance of both.
Entrepreneurs can be control freaks and micro-manage everything, which stunts a company in so many ways. But, on the flip side, I know a lot of “leaders” who rarely get their hands dirty in the actual work their team is doing. If you spend all your time working “on the business” and no time working “in the business”, you can quickly lose touch with the actual business itself. A good example is that time I scored some leads.
No matter what role I am interviewing for, and what I have already asked, I have one critical question that I ask everyone at the end of final round of interviews. When a candidate has made it through all the hoops and I think I am ready to make them an offer, I end the final interview with…
When I was running ion interactive, I excused my personal inconsistent content production by maintaining that it was less important that managing the company. Perhaps that was true. But, perhaps it wasn’t.