By: Zack Greene
Many business owners struggle with the same problems. CEOs (presidents, owners, shareholders—whatever you happen to label them as) need more time to work on the business. In order to do this, they need to overcome common pitfalls to direct their workload away from the day-to-day work that sometimes leaves their efforts stuck in the weeds.
CEOs are often hesitant to ask for outside professional assistance. They believe that they must manage the challenges that arise in their business, teams, and their own leadership abilities on their own. But know this: if you are a CEO or other such leader in your organization, you don’t have to steer the ship alone! You have internal and external resources available to help.
In fact, studies show that when business owners ask for outside support—like an experienced executive team coach—they experience measurable, positive outcomes in the following areas:
- Employee engagement
- Consistent top-line revenue growth
- Consistent bottom-line profit growth
So how do you go from where you are to where you want to be with the improved outcomes listed above? Consider partnering with an executive team coach to help you through the five most common challenges that face business owners like you.
The following are the top five challenges CEOs face, according to a recent Gravitas Impact poll:
- Executing strategy to achieve goals (“We are good at strategy, but poor at execution.”)
- Developing a successful strategy for the company (“We know where we want to be in 10 years, but we don’t know how to get there.”)
- Maintaining a healthy, accountable culture (“Team heads are not meeting expectations and are poor leaders.”)
- Selecting, communicating & aligning top priorities (“We can’t get everyone on the same page.”)
- Scaling operational processes (“The executive team is too much “in the weeds” and not strategic.”)
When you work with Gravitas Impact Premium Coaches, we help you clear the path to success by creating workable solutions. Keep reading for a brief overview of each challenge area and a look at some benefits an executive team coach can bring to your overall strategic business operations.
Executing Strategy to Achieve Goals
You may come together with your team on a quarterly or biannual basis to discuss overall strategy and goals for your business. In fact, you may have a strong vision for the future in the form of a three or five- year plan. But after those meetings, does any action occur? Planning may be your strong suit, but planning means nothing if you fail to execute on action items to move your goals forward.
Some tips for executing strategy include:
- Establishing consistent meeting rhythms throughout the year with very specific, formal agendas and purpose of each meeting
- Crafting clear action items and assigning ownership at the end of each routine meeting
Developing a successful strategy for the company
Sometimes the biggest question is simply, “Where do I start?” We challenge you to rephrase that and instead ask yourself, “Where do I want to go?” When you start with the end in mind, you are able to develop a plan to take your company from where it is today to where you want it to be in the future.
Other questions you might ask yourself when developing a strategy for your company include:
- Where do we want this business to be 10-30 years from now?
- What are our 3-year highly achievable goals?
- Why does our core customer decide to work with us compared to every other competitor in our market?
Maintaining a healthy, accountable culture
With a plan in place and timeline established, priorities shift to getting things done. But how can you hold individuals responsible for their goals? After all, it’s not just your work that will move your business forward. The entire team must be aligned on strategy and goals in order to fulfill them most effectively. Therefore, you must create accountability.
You can create accountability through:
- Defining clear expectations through the use of a scorecard including Key Performance Indicators (Topgrading by Bradford D. Smart)
- Consistent check ins to deliver timely feedback
- Setting goals that are not individual based but are team based which creates peer accountability
Selecting, communicating & aligning top priorities
A rhythm of meetings and scheduled communication is key for any team to stay aligned. Are you sensing a theme here yet? Transparent, consistent communication is the key to making sure everyone—from all levels of your organization—is aligned on priorities for a specific time period.
The time period depends on your circumstances, but many leaders choose to have smaller, weekly huddles with a select group and/or larger, monthly meetings with the entire team.
Scaling operational processes
Once you have the other four challenges mastered, the next step is what you’ve been waiting for—growth! Of course, trying to scale your business has its own set of unique challenges.
Some of the questions you might ask yourself at this point include:
- Out of all the time we spend in our busy day, are we doing the right things?
- Are the things that we do on a daily basis in alignment with our strategic plan?
- Do we have the right people, in the right seat, doing the right things?
- Is there enough cash on hand to support where we want to go?
No matter where you are in the lifetime of your business, you likely have faced one or more of the challenges listed throughout this article. A DIY approach to dealing with these challenges, fueled by the underlying belief that you must have all the answers, can be an asset to CEOs as they build and grow their business. However, at some point, the same approach can turn from an asset into a liability. As Marshall Goldsmith says, “What got you here won’t get you there”
We urge you to consider creating a valuable partnership with an executive team coach to help you in each of these key five areas. With knowledge and expertise in strategic business coaching, our team of certified coaches will help you propel your business and your team to the next level.