Part of being in the Performance Zone is clearly identifying the goal. Being the boss, quite naturally you would be the person who should know what the goal is. Yet in many cases, if you responded to the question "What's your goal?" with "To make money." you would be in the majority and not necessarily truly stating the goal.
Please understand that making money is not the goal. Making money is the outcome, result or consequence of the goal. The goal is active participation in a process that brings about a result which produces income streams enough to more than support the process. This is why we keep hearing the phrase "Return on investment."
To be profitable in any business venture, you most know that the cash output is derived from the cash input plus what the process itself adds as value to that initial investment. Knowing this is only part of the equation though. Putting that knowledge to work is paramount.
So if we boil down the above into a statement, we could say that "the goal is participating in a process that increases value of the dollars invested." In other words you get more out of the process than that which you put in.
This is where clearly identifying the goal comes into play. You want to be crystal clear with your goal so you know what your target is. To do a reality check try to 1) Clearly identify your business goal by writing it down on paper; 2) Share that with another human being of normal intelligence; 3) Have them clearly share that goal back to you in an understandable way. If they can, you own it. If you can't, it owns you and you will not be able to control outcomes as you should.
BACK TO THAT PERFORMANCE ZONE THING: To start the process of being in the zone, you want to keep in the habit of being focused. This means of course having some thing to focus on. That was mentioned earlier as "the goal." Maintaining a focus for some requires tremendous effort, and for some, less then most. The key to maintaining a focus is to have your environment support you in keeping a focus. This keeps low the opportunity for distraction and increases the ability to achieve the goal.
- Standardized routines, process, procedures, instruction sets and methods.
- Organized work schedules, file structures, and office layouts.
- Support staff that requires interactions which are all in line with maintaining the original focus.
- Narrow service or product definition for your target markets and customer base.
- A business decision tree which clearly require and support the people involved in maintaining a focus.
- A tracking system that accurately reflects whether you're "winning" or not.
- A feedback system that assures adjustments will be made when things are off track.
CAPITALIZING ON A THEME: Think about the above structures. Ask yourself which ones would assist your process in improving your focus, and which ones would not. Rate your process' support structures on a scale from one to ten on each item. Have others rate your process too. How does it rate in your eyes? And in theirs? What must be added to make it a perfect "ten?" What would you estimate the financial loss to your business over the last six months as a result of not having the necessary support to maintain your focus? What would you estimate the financial loss to your business over the next six months if you did not make the shift now? What other structures can you image that if put in place would dramatically improve your ability to focus? How soon should you put these support structures in place to prevent further losses?
As a boss, if you don't have support in running your business, even at the level of having a well-tuned system to support your efforts, you might as well just call what you're doing a "J.O.B."
Have a bodacious week!
Coach John S. Nagy is CEO and Lead Business Coach for Coaching for Success. Inc., a Business Coaching Service specifically designed for top level decision makers dedicated to peak performance in all facets of their activities. He’s hired to focus them continuously in activities that bring higher returns on their resource use. His programs are for the seriously committed. This means having his clients work "ON" their businesses, not just "IN" it. He’s a published author and a multi-degree professional with a nationwide client base. Coach Nagy can be reached through his E-mail address
at his website at http://www.coach.net
and by calling 813-949-0718.
Copyright © 2000 John S. Nagy