Discipline and execution for business success
When running a business, discipline and execution are crucial to your success – and one definitely comes before the other. In order to execute your strategy and achieve your goals, you must be disciplined.
Discipline? It sounds restricting, however it's the opposite; good discipline can set you free. If you are well disciplined, you will have more time to spend on the things that matter, business will run smoother, and you will be better placed to respond to opportunities and challenges.
So, what does it take to be disciplined?
A growth mindset – In schools today, educators talk about having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. The difference is: ‘I can’ vs ‘I can’t’. It’s about believing that your abilities are not fixed traits but can be developed. In business, a growth mindset is all about growing, learning and innovating.
Hard work – There’s a saying that goes ‘It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ How true it is. Running your own business takes a lot of hard work, you’ve just got to keep going and keep going. There’ll always be something that needs to be done and you’ll clock up more hours in the office than you expect, but you will be rewarded.
Perseverance – Life always throws us curveballs and knockbacks. Business is no different, but it’s how we respond to these that will determine our success or failure. When we are frustrated or challenged, is often when we perform out best work. The best way to rise to challenges is to expect them. Know that you will get frustrated and disappointed but know too that it’s normal and they will make you stronger.
Business execution? Execution is the process of getting stuff done. Even if you’re well disciplined – you have the right mindset, you work hard and you get back up when you’re knocked down – if you are expending your efforts in the wrong place or in the wrong way, it will all be for nothing.
How to nail your business execution
Good execution means doing the right things, in the right way, for the best result.
Peter Drucker (often referred to as ‘the father of modern management’) coined the term ‘purposeful abandonment’. He said, “Staff efforts must be concentrated on the few activities that are capable of producing significant business results. Managers must minimise the amount of attention devoted to activities which produce primarily costs."
As a business owner, this means you need to understand exactly which activities produce the best results and, even more importantly, which activities don’t.
Start with the end in mind and identify what success looks like. Then, as part of your strategic planning process, identify and prioritise the activities that will help you achieve your goals - these should be in your business plan.
Identifying the right activities is the first part, doing them the right way involves allocating the right amount of time and resources. Make sure you add timelines to your project plans and establish accountability. Who will be responsible for each stage of execution?
Finally, prioritise your activities. Do the one thing that will make the biggest impact first. This way you’ll see results faster, streamline your actions and have more time to focus on the bigger, longer term tasks that will yield results further down the track.
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