Whether you’re a startup CEO working out of the garage (just as Steve Jobs once did) or a CEO with the flashy corner office, there’s power in defining priorities. With these four priorities in place, your day-to-day life of running your successful business will be much easier.
As an entrepreneur of a growing company, one critical skillset is learning to prioritize. It’s more than time management; it’s learning how to shift your momentum based on a relevant understanding of where you stand in the market: your strengths, weaknesses and potential areas of opportunity. Armed with this perspective, you can identify all the core sectors that demand your attention. Here are four top priorities to consider for any rapidly growing company.
Degrees of Urgency.
When you’re experiencing rapid growth, learning how to proactively manage change is critical. That’s because change is an inherent variable of growth and it can happen in an instant. The key is having the ability to assess the situation and quickly identify the most important things to set your focus. Think of it as economic triage.
To make real headway, you have to stop jumping from priority to priority. A laser focus on fewer tasks will help you, and your team, ensure your efforts move the company in the most important direction at that time. So reduce your to-do list to immediate essentials. Having fewer things to juggle gives you the liberating freedom of more time, so you focus on each challenge until you’re satisfied with the results. If you find it near impossible to shrink down your to-do list, delegating those operational tasks to a COO or someone else in the company could be an option so you stay out of the day-to-day and have the time to focus on your strengths and overall business growth.
Adapt and Evolve.
To drive sustainable success, leaders must learn how to be flexible, to adapt and change as the situation requires. The ability to effectively evaluate your current situation and refocus efforts as needed — without losing sight of the big picture — is what will impel growth. Or impede it, if this learned skill is not in play.
Think Shorter Term.
Strategic planning that extends past a couple of years is no longer viable, especially for smaller, rapidly growing organizations. Today’s business environment moves at the speed of light; often so dramatically that short-term planning is a must. Doing so allows companies to see strategic planning less as a never-bending annual process and more as a living, breathing, evolutionary process. It’s a nimble planning approach that keeps you focused on your most relevant priorities.
Heading up a successful, rapidly growing business can be inspiring and highly stressful. Reducing that stress begins with continually assessing and codifying your focus. Learning how to prioritize for the moment, while keeping an eye on the future, is how your rapidly growing company will remain so. A key team member if you are in hire mode, is a Chief Operation Officer. A skilled and experienced COO can dive into the details on running a business, freeing up the CEO to concentrate on strategy and key relationships rather than being bogged down in tactics and day-to-day details.
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