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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most business owners recognise the importance of setting targets.
Leaders regularly set goals to achieve in the next quarter, next year, three and perhaps five years. But ten years? Really?
Introducing the BHAG
Some leaders find it difficult to set a ten year goal because they dealing with day-to-day pressures and continually firefighting.
One of my clients said; “I can’t think 10 years in advance. Why set a 10 year target?”
Many businesses around the globe have discovered the discipline, focus and accountability that the Entrepreneurial Operating System brings.
One of the key decisions for companies at the start of the process is how to implement EOS.
An effective implementation can mean the difference between the system working and helping a business to grow and scale, or it remaining unstructured, inefficient, disorganised – and stuck.
In this post, Ann Wright, who runs the media consultancy Rough House Media, and manages Bold Clarity’s PR and Marketing, discusses the value of businesses entering awards.
Have you ever entered your business for an award?
If not, it’s something which is well-worth considering.
Winning, or even being nominated, is an excellent opportunity for some positive PR both in the short and long-term.
Just this week, a Bold Clarity client, the security specialists Welcome Gate, has been nominated as Supply Chain Champion in the Small Awards – which would make you far more likely to trust them as a potential security supplier. (Good luck!)
After all, if you win, you will always be able to describe your business as “award-winning” which definitely gives you an edge over your competitors.
The 10 Commandments of Good Decision-Making are taken from the e-book Decide which was written by EOS founder Gino Wickman.
Decide will teach you how to make better and faster decisions, solving issues that have been lingering for days, weeks, months, and even years.
As well as the 10 commandments, you’ll also learn the four discoveries that lead to world-class decisiveness and be shown a simple and effective decision-making track that can be used by every team in your company.
If you’d like to more help with good decision-making, you can download a free copy of Decide, here.
1. Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus
Consensus management doesn’t work, period. Eventually, group consensus decisions will put you out of business.
2. Thou Shalt Not be a Weenie
The solution is often simple. It’s just not always easy. You must have a strong will, firm resolve, and the willingness to make the tough decision.
3. Thou Shalt Be Decisive
In a study that analyzed 25,000 people who had experienced failure. Lack of decision, or procrastination, was one of the major causes.
4. Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information
You can’t solve an issue involving multiple people without all the parties present. If the issue at hand involves more than the people in the room, schedule a time when everyone can attend.
5. Thou Shalt Fight for the Greater Good
Put your egos, titles, emotions, and past beliefs aside. Focus on the vision for your organization. If you stay focused on the greater good, it will lead you to better and faster decisions.
6. Thou Shalt Not Try to Solve Them All
Take issues one at a time, in order of priority. What counts isn’t quantity but quality. You’re never going to solve them all at one time.
7. Thou Shalt Live With, End It, or Change It
If you can no longer live with the issue, you have two options: change it or end it. If you don’t have the wherewithal to do those, then agree to live with it and stop complaining.
8. Thou Shalt Choose Short-Term Pain and Suffering
Both long-term and short-term pain involve suffering. A great rule of thumb that makes this point is called “thirty-six hours of pain.” Solve your problem now rather than later. Choose short-term suffering.
9. Thou Shalt Enter the Danger
The issue you fear the most is the one you most need to discuss and resolve. When you’re afraid, your brain actually works against you. Being open and honest will enable you to confront and solve your critical issues and get moving forward again.
10. Thou Shalt Take a Shot
Taking a shot means that you should propose a solution. Don’t wait around for someone else to solve it. Don’t be afraid to take a shot. Yours might be the good idea.
The e-book Decide by Gino Wickman is full of great advice about good decision making. To download your copy, click here.
The other day, I was talking with a tech entrepreneur and asked him “What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?
He replied “Me, I’m the bottleneck. I tend to see something isn’t working, and I jump in and get involved.”
Most dedicated business owners can relate to this.
Letting go of the reins and handing them over your employees can be a real struggle, and if you want to grow your business, you’ve got to do it.
If you struggle with “bottleneck syndrome”, we recommend Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.
As a big fan of Kolbe, and a Certified Consultant, I was delighted to hear that they are bringing their signature three-day certification seminar to the UK for the first time this April.
The Kolbe A Index is a brilliant way to identify people’s natural talents and help individuals and organisations utilise those talents productively.
It assesses people on four different types of behaviour: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor. Each trait is regarded as equally positive and is rated on an inverted scale of 1-10 on what Kolbe terms a Continuum.
Don’t do what doesn’t need doing.
Figure out your strengths and what you love, and resource everything else.
When you started your business, you probably did a number of non-core things in an attempt to save money.
And even once a business has grown, leaders often don’t consider outsourcing key skills, roles or responsibilities.
However, today’s market has changed.
Building a good team culture in your business is essential. It can be the difference between success or failure, stagnation or growth.
When I founded my first business, Retail Profile, we started small.
Despite this, we consistently doubled the size of our business without growing the size of our team.
This was because we consciously set out to build an amazing team culture that made sure everyone fitted in, felt involved, felt valued and everyone shared the company vision.