In our February guest post, Adrian Gregory, the CEO of our client Data IQ, describes some of the challenges his leadership team faced, while implementing EOS – and how quickly the team has come on board to create a plan and vision for the future.
- Can you explain a little about Data IQ – what you do, how many employees you have, how long you have been in business?
DataIQ is a membership business, which connects, educates and supports a fast growing community of data and analytics professionals. We also connect vendors to this community to generate business leads, build brand awareness and drive business success.
We’ve been going for 3-years as a stand-alone business, 5-years as a content marketing programme for our sister business DQM GRC. Today we have 18 staff of which 12 are full time.
Growing a business requires a specific set of leadership abilities. You need to manage the day-to-day while helping your team to execute better and be more efficient.
The key to successful business development lies in focusing on your main goals and then optimising your company’s routine in order to achieve those aims.
What are the five crucial leadership abilities?
We’ve spoken before about The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) – Five Key Leadership Abilities™ that are essential for business success in any industry. These include: the ability to simplify, delegate, predict, systemise, and structure.
In the second of our monthly guest posts, Jane Wheeler, from our clients Hine Legal, describes how introducing an operating system into their business has helped them focus on their priorities and solve issues facing them.
Hine Legal is a specialist employment law firm.
It was set up by Nick Hine in 2011. Nick’s vision was to provide practical, user-friendly employment law advice for businesses and individuals. The firm currently has 7 employment lawyers and 2 support staff.
It advises on a range of employment matters: for businesses, it advises on all issues arising in the lifecycle of the employment relationship (so, drafting new employment contracts, advising on difficult matters in the workplace – such as sickness and poor performance – helping businesses handle employment claims and providing practical training for managers and HR to equip them to deal more confidently with matters in the workplace when they arise).
For individuals (typically senior executives and board level individuals) Hine Legal advises on navigating tricky situations in the workplace.
As I speak with entrepreneurs and business owners, one of the most common questions I ask is “Who is on your leadership team?”.
I’m often met with a wry look, and the answer is “Well, I’m not really sure.” Or they start trying to justify and make excuses as they explain who they think it may be. “Well, it should be this, but I may have too many people.” Typically they’re not clear and unsure.
In my time as an entrepreneur, and working with entrepreneurs, I’ve realised that the companies which are most successful are those with a clear vision about what they do, and what they want to achieve.
They are able to define what EOS terms their “three uniques”. These are the three things that in combination mark the company out from its competitors.
It’s why a customer would choose your brand over any others.
Often a business leader might identify their people, their customer service or quality as their three uniques.
We’re delighted that Graham Bourton, the Managing Director of our client’s United UK, has agreed to discuss leadership, in the first in a series of monthly guest articles and case studies.
As well as leadership, these will cover topics such as how to scale your business, creating a positive culture, setting goals – and what it’s like to run your business using the Entrepreneurial Operating System.
As a business leader, listening shows that you appreciate your team and it forges trust between you and your employees.
We all feel the need to be recognised and one of the ways leaders can recognise team members is to praise them in public and be sure to give them the time they need.
It is one of the most important leadership skills you can develop.
The best leaders give their teams the necessary tools, resources, training, technology, people, and most importantly their time and attention.
The rabbit and the tortoise. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. The three little pigs. Animals have featured in tales about morals and decisions about life since dawn began. But have you heard about the hedgehog and the fox?
The concept stems from an ancient Greek parable, which roughly translates as “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one thing”.
In 1953, famous philosopher Isaiah Berlin applied this to how we live in modern society. He said that people can be split into one of two creatures – foxes and hedgehogs.
Foxes choose to pursue a great many things at one time, but as a result, they achieve very little.
When it comes to implementing an operating system into a workplace, I often hear the same objection – “they’ll hinder creativity”.
Is that actually true? The best place to start would probably be explain what an operating system is.
What is an operating system?
An operating system is a way of running your business, using a proven method, so that every aspect is organised, documented and managed.
The operating system we recommend is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This includes a set of tools and a process, customised for your business, which organises the entire company in the same way.
This masterpiece from the business author Patrick Lencioni is one of six books that inspired EOS.
Anyone familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s work will know how popular his ideas are among business leaders.
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive is aimed at leaders with a studious nature and open to learning about business culture.
You may have never considered offering business coaching to your leadership team.
You might think it is too expensive, or too hard to find the right coach, or you may not have realised what the benefits would be for your business.
Here are four of our top benefits to consider:
Growing any business entails strong leadership skills.
A good leader helps maintain and enhance the employee motivation and creativity required to increase levels of service or the products you are offering.
Signs your business growth is slowing
Businesses never grow in a straight line, they generally thrive and grow then “hit a ceiling” when they reach a period of slowdown or growing pains.
When this happens, business leaders often feel they’re stuck in a rut or overwhelmed and frustrated with daily operations.
Five leadership abilities for business growth
These five essential leadership abilities will help you break through the ceiling and get back on track:
In order to stay competitive with changing work patterns, most companies need to consider a policy for remote and flexible working.
With so many advances in technology, it doesn’t make sense for people to waste time commuting during peak hours, when they can work remotely, far more conveniently and efficiently.
Companies which focus on results, rather than the number of hours seen at a desk, will be able to attract the smartest, most personally responsible and accountable team members.
I can see a number of companies outsourcing to the best person, regardless of where they are located, whether in the UK or elsewhere. For example, my outsourced marketing contractor uses a graphic designer who lives in Canada.
Entrepreneurs running their own business often have many people giving them advice – parents, friends, consultants, lawyers and even your hairdresser or barber. Everyone thinks they know what somebody else should be doing.
However, tried and tested words of wisdom always work best. Here are four simple yet effective ways to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” was one of the six books that inspired the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
First published in 2002, it takes the form of a modern parable: a story traditionally used to illustrate an important moral or spiritual lesson.
However, in this case, Lencioni has used the parable to illustrate what he considers to be a crucial lesson about team leadership in the business world.
There is a lot of noise around at the moment about how to manage millennials.
But what exactly is a millennial? When I canvassed the team in the office, the one person we thought was a millennial – our office assistant – did not identify as one.
She described them as “following the latest trend”, “high maintenance”, “seeking approval through social media” and “shallow.”
She felt that they are afraid of showing who they really are, being themselves and it’s hard to have a genuine conversation about things that matter with them.
Although she is officially a millennial (Wikipedia defines them as having been born between 1981 to 1996 – 22 to 37 year olds), she believes it’s become more a description of a type of person than simply being defined by the dates you were born.
Today, you can take control of your business by using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to improve your business performance.
There are two major decisions you need to make:
- Is EOS is right for you and your team – are you willing to make changes and decisions?
- Who is the right implementer to help you – you need to look for the right experience and chemistry match
Before you make these decisions, let us look at EOS more carefully so you can understand how it works to improve your business.
When people discuss the most influential business books, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins, is one of the most frequently mentioned.
It’s sold over four million copies and remains one of the most instructive and important leadership resources, carrying wisdom that has remained pertinent since its publication in 2001.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System takes inspiration from Good to Great, and creates simple tools which help you put the characteristics of what makes a good company into practice.
Traction® Tools is a dashboard & workspace software for businesses implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
It is your go-to place to store all the things you need to run your business efficiently.
At Bold Clarity, we use Traction® Tools every day. We use it to update our to do lists, add issues that need to be addressed, keep track of client updates, monitor progress on our quarterly priorities, and track the most important numbers in the business.
We can see everyone’s to do lists, headlines and issues, in one place, and are able to automate our Level 10 meetings. This makes us more efficient, productive and helps us to develop good habits and discipline.
Business growth is rarely smooth and easy.
It tends to occur in spurts, often as a business responds to the things going on around it – a changing the economic climate, winning and losing customers, launching new products and services, increased competition in the market and so on.
Having shifted to accommodate the new environment, a company will often plateau as it is set up and structured with people and processes to generate the revenue it is producing. It is not set up to generate two or three times that.
So change is needed. What got you here, won’t get you to the next level.