In order to gain Traction® in your business and in your life, you need friction. Without friction, you would make a lot of noise but you wouldn’t get anywhere. If you want to build a great company and achieve everything you want from your business you need to learn to embrace the load. There are no silver bullets, magic pills or hacks for creating a world-class organization. It requires focus and hard work. The question is, are you up for the challenge?

Imagine a real wheel drive pickup truck that’s stuck in the mud. The more you hit the gas, the deeper you sink the more stuck you get. The solution is to add weight into the back of the truck. This will put additional pressure and more friction on the rear wheels and you’ll be able to drive right out. The key to progress isn’t to spin your wheels faster, it’s to add a load.

In the 1980’s there was an experiment done to see if a biodome could be created to support plant, animal and human life. The project went great. The people thrived, the animals did great, and most of the plants did well with one exception. The trees. The trees would grow to a certain height and fall down. Why? The scientists forgot wind. Without wind, the trees didn’t grow strong enough roots. They could only get so far, then they would fail. The trees hit the ceiling and toppled over.

Discipline is the Key to Freedom

Entrepreneurial Operating System® is not a shortcut to getting everything you want in your business. It’s not a hack or a silver bullet. It’s a discipline that requires focus and hard work on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis.

Sure, you can make excuses as to why you aren’t making progress and getting everything you want from your business. But the reality is, you probably aren’t doing the hard work. The work that requires discipline.

There are five key disciplines to getting everything you want from your business. If you follow these disciplines, without fail, I promise you’ll create a world-class organization that wins each and every time.

Discipline #1: The Vision/Traction Organizer™

The first discipline is clarifying your vision. Where you are going and how you will get there. You need to write it down and get it shared by all. It’s not enough to talk about it. It’s not enough to create your vision in a vacuum. You need buy-in from your leadership team.

It takes discipline, focus, and effort to get everyone in your organization on the same page with your vision. And if they don’t believe in your vision, you have to let them go if you can’t get on the same page. Everyone must row in the same direction.

In order to clarify and communicate your vision you need to answer 8 questions:

  1. What are your Core Values?
  2. What is your Core Focus™?
  3. What is your 10-Year Target™?
  4. What is your Marketing Strategy?
  5. What is your 3-Year Picture™?
  6. What is your 1-Year Plan?
  7. What are your Quarterly Rocks?
  8. What is your Issues List?

I recommend using the Vision/Traction Organizer as a great 2-page strategic plan. It’s simple, easy to remember and therefore, easy to get Shared By All.

Discipline #2: The Accountability Chart

The second discipline is the Accountability Chart. It’s the hardest work there is. It’s emotionally draining and difficult. The activity is to create the right structure for the organization without thinking about the people. You have to check your ego and everyone else’s at the door.

We take our clients through a discovery process in which we help you facilitate the hard conversations. Everyone needs a swim buddy and we are right there with you.

During the exercise, you identify the seats and the roles and responsibilities in your organization. What would be the right structure for the business in a perfect world? From there, we identify the right people for those seats. Does every person Get it, Want it, and have the Capacity to do it? Do they share our Core Values? This is when it gets difficult. This is where it requires discipline. Inevitably, there will be people in the room who aren’t a fit, there will be people missing. The discipline is to start the process of getting the right people in the right seats.

Discipline #3: Rocks

Humans lose focus every 90 days. We get distracted by all manner of things. Opportunities, issues, ideas, etc. They all throw us off from focusing on our goals and objectives. Most people spend a lifetime chasing the non-important instead of the vital few.

If you want to get everything you want from your business, you can’t make excuses why you didn’t set or accomplish your 90-day Rocks. If you are truly committed to running a world-class organization, you’ll stay focused and get them done. It requires daily discipline to move your goals forward daily.

Discipline #4: The Meeting Pulse™

A disciplined organization has a specific cadence to the way they get work done. They review their numbers, their priorities, make sure their people are happy and spend time getting everything on-track by solving their issues.

They also meet quarterly to review their progress, make sure they are on the same page with their vision, reset new goals for the quarter and solve their most pressing issues.

Highly successful teams take a time out to work on team health, reset annual plans, create departmental budgets, review strategy and solve issues on an annual basis. Taking time out from the day-to-day to work “on” the business instead of “in” the business.

Don’t be tempted to skip a quarter. Although schedules can make coordination hard, the quarterly refocus and refresh is an key aspect of executing on your vision.

Discipline #5: Scorecard

The fifth and final discipline of a world-class organization is keeping a scorecard for every team within your organization. This is a weekly scorecard that you review every week with your team. Anything that is off-track you process as an issue and create todo’s to get it back on track.

Scorecards can be very difficult on a few levels. Often times, you won’t have the data systems to capture the data you’d like to see, and so, you don’t do it at all. It’s an excuse. Even if you have to count with tick marks on a whiteboard, it’s better than nothing at all.

The second discipline with a scorecard is that you have to update your data weekly before the meeting. That means if your meeting it on a Monday at 9:00AM sharp, your scorecard has to be updated by Friday at 2:00PM without fail. That’s hard work and discipline.

The third issue I see when working with entrepreneurial leadership teams building their scorecards, is they can’t decide on what to measure. The key here is to just create a culture of measurement first. Once people are used to measuring things, you can get more sophisticated as time goes by. Just start measuring.

As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done, what gets measured and reported goes exponential.

Are You REALLY Committed?

These five disciplines require hard work, that is for sure. Not everyone is up to the challenge. However, most people are not really committed to becoming their best. They would rather hide in an environment with low accountability and low performance than to truly commit to becoming great.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

If you need help implementing these five disciplines in your business, Optimize For Growth can help. We are your accountability partner, your facilitator, teacher and coach. An O4G EOS Implementer™ can help you get everything you want from your business.