Before arguing which business discipline is most essential to an entrepreneur, recognize that talent conquers many challenges in developing and growing any business. Among the many talents that an entrepreneur needs in their arsenal, juggling is the most essential! As a business expands to embrace more people, personalities and disciplines, the entrepreneurial leader assembles multiple elements into a coherent performance. Juggling is the skill that makes it all work.
Every entrepreneur must determine what to do first. For the business, coordinating other leaders, subordinates, and contributors into a cohesive group is a fool’s errand without establishing primary goals, then secondary ones, and so on. Establish priorities early and clearly so that the entire organization can execute decisions that fit the leader’s vision. By establishing and communicating priorities in statement and action, the entrepreneur has a legitimate opportunity to sustain progress toward strategic and tactical goals.
As competition heats up and business proceeds at full speed, priorities shift positions quickly. Entrepreneurs must continuously juggle the newest priorities. The best tactic is to expect and prepare for this reality. Consequently, keep communication lines open throughout the organization. Disseminate instructions and information with the speed of expected performance. Juggling priorities demands continuous awareness of which activity is most important at all time. Business decisions constantly shift in the leader’s hands. Successful entrepreneurial cultures acknowledge and embrace quick changes in direction, so that the team accepts the expectation of responding accordingly.
The byproduct of rapidly changing priorities is key initiatives shifting quickly, as well. As focus routinely changes from sales growth, to production, to training, to cost control, to the crisis of the day, team members needs clarity for their roles. The juggling entrepreneur knows that these objectives are subject to quick transitions. Insecurely hoarding information is destructive. Avoid dropping any commitment, or corresponding initiatives, to provide ongoing success an honest chance. Consequently, regularly communicating initiatives, as well as corresponding specific roles in performing them, starts at the top. Also, install incentives to move information downstream quickly.
Considering that each initiative must fit into the overall strategy, successful entrepreneurs continually juggle their activities so that the required tools are available for the correct contributor. For example, introducing a new product requires coordinating marketing, sales and procurement before producing results. Furthermore, human resources contributes training to ensure successful execution. The juggling entrepreneur becomes increasingly responsible that no business element hits the ground, while trusting the hierarchy to execute flawlessly every initiative.
Vision and strategy for early-stage business success starts with the leadership and that means the entrepreneur. The juggling entrepreneur accurately depicts leaders successfully growing their enterprise. Skillfully sustaining progress among multiple elements is the essence of business success. Priorities are fluid and require constant attention. Initiatives are merely ideas until they are executed. Monitoring key milestones resulting in success is the essence of the juggling routine. It is difficult by definition. More items are controlled than hands are available. However, if it was easy, then everyone would do it and where is the fun in that?
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter and Beyond, LLC