How do you become a more effective entrepreneur? For many small and mid-market leaders, you have to do more with less while continuing to grow your businesses. So how do you become a more effective leader? When I got my first promotion to general manager, I was given a book by Peter Drucker, called The Effective Executive, that I have used with every client and leader I’ve ever worked.
It asks eight simple questions to help a leader become more effective. I thought these questions can help entrepreneurs today become more effective, as well. The questions help you get the right things done, in the right ways, as Peter would say. Here are those eight questions:
What needs to be done? Simple question, but it quickly brings into focus what you should do. Don’t start anything until you have a clear idea on what needs to be done.
What’s right for the enterprise? An effective leader must consider how their decisions impact the overall business. If you look at the enterprise at the start, you are more likely to see how to put the right people in the right places for your projects.
Do you develop action plans for what needs to be done? Before taking action, plan what actions have the largest impact on your organization.
Do you take responsibility for decisions? If you run the business, you are responsible for decisions. Note, I didn’t say delegate your authority away for the decisions you didn’t make. Yes, your people are accountable for their decisions. However, you made the decision to put them in charge, so you are ultimately responsible for the decisions they make.
Do you take responsibility for communicating? Don’t delegate your critical communications to someone else. A good communication strategy can help you become a more effective leader. Without effective communications even the best plans and actions can fail.
Do you focus on opportunities, or problems? Surround yourself with people who look for opportunities in every challenge. Your team should always be looking to find opportunities in their challenges. Many great businesses have been built because their leaders decided to see an opportunity where their competitors saw a problem.
Do you run productive meetings? Make sure your people know how to lead a productive meeting. Today, many business schools focus on strategy but never teach their students how to run a productive meeting. Take time to train your team on how to run and manage productive meetings. It provides your organization incredible leverage for the time invested.
Do you think in terms of “we” or “I?” In today’s complex world, it is very challenging for one leader to do everything that is needed to run a successful organization. Learn to build stronger teams and you become more effective. I have found that many entrepreneurs struggle to leverage their fellow leaders’ strengths when working with them.
I share my thinking on another of Peter Druckers’s favorite topics later this week when I discuss why you should build a strengths-based organization on our sister blog at High Growth Business Report You can find many different blogs on how to build a high growth business that you can use to grow larger and more successfully. We also discuss why you need to produce a serving leader culture to get the best ROI on your business when you sell. Check out the blog and let me know what you think.