3-2-1—Liftoff! by Howard, Date: Jan 11, 2021

Launching Your Rocket

Imagine your entrepreneurial nirvana: Three years have passed; your team has accomplished all its established goals and more! You have a stronger leadership team, a higher percentage of fully-engaged employees, and your competitors want to learn how you built such an influential culture. This can be your reality by following the five steps I’ve created to help you fuel your business and your profits. I want to introduce you to those five steps today.

Being Successful in Business Has Not Changed

While people have been impacted by globalization, technology, and other circumstances, achieving business success has not changed. Over time, you will need to discuss changing conditions and have a robust operating system maneuvering these issues. But I have concluded that while most entrepreneurs pride themselves on their speed in getting things done, I see them running in circles.

More creative entrepreneurs may make lots of rapid right turns instead of circles. Still, they find themselves in the same place and with the same problems as the people running in circles, never achieving acceleration. In math, when we add direction to speed, we have velocity. Good companies apply these concepts I have laid out in my book, The Leader Launchpad, and achieve velocity. The difference between a good and great company is having the discipline and perseverance to use the five steps and stick to the plan.

To succeed in business, leaders must have a business operating system and toolkit that help them work on the business in a way that allows their team members to make clear decisions and act regardless of the noise. Success is the result of your commitment to that system and how well you use the tools that support it. For the past 100 years and into the next 100, you will find that business challenges are the consequence of how effectively leaders handle these five areas:

  1. Stewardship – Create a highly functioning leadership team and culture to serve a definite purpose. Leaders who practice stewardship clearly define the purpose of the organization and shape their culture. Purpose serves as the foundation for your company and represents why the company exists. Culture defines the environment in which everyone works, the rules by which everyone makes decisions, and how people behave and act in a given situation. This culture is essential to building a great company and will be a key influencer on whether people want to come to work and stay working for your company.
  2. Human Capital Management – Effective human resources departments have embraced a new paradigm, “human capital management” (HCM). This ideology recognizes that employees are assets managed through a system of activities. It is essential to understand the difference between a resource and an asset. We use resources, but we grow assets. Leadership must refine all system elements to extend those assets’ lives and achieve a maximum return on investment in them. Such a system considers acquiring, growing, keeping, and optimizing your workforce. Ensure your organization has implemented the very best practices for talent acquisition, management, and optimization.
  3. Strategy – Consider strategy from three perspectives: external, internal, and sustaining growth. Deliver a unique mix of value to your clients through a business model that produces extraordinary profits.
  4. Planning – Establish planning protocols to make sure the initiatives and goals for the long-term and short-term are clear and that everyone in your organization is aligned. Clarify what is important and then prioritize. It is a process of understanding the long-term goals and objectives for your organization and its stakeholders. You must connect the longer-term goals and objectives to the present tense. Make sure that what you are doing today will lead you to where you want to emerge tomorrow.
  5. Accountability – Establish accountability systems, so those long- and short-term goals happen. Great accountability systems help each member of your team take responsibility for the right actions. You must use the right metrics and data to motivate everyone properly. Doing so enables each employee to understand whether it was a good or bad day. Your indicators should sufficiently lead the team to make decisions.

What Does Unlocking True Potential Look Like?

When people say they want to be successful, they are indicating they want to achieve happiness. Most people find that earning a lot of money has a short-term impact on happiness and is only part of the equation.

Many people earn a great living and are never fulfilled, truly happy, or enjoying their freedom. Like happiness, freedom has a different meaning for different people. Most leaders struggle for years before finding their success formula. They go from one wild guess to another, using trial and error to find the magic equation that leads to remarkable growth. Until then, they have little-to-no profit, 100-hour workweeks, and anemic growth.

The majority of companies take 10 to 20 years to find their formula for success. Most never see it. Whether you are just starting your business, want to improve it, or are ready to scale it, the concepts in my book can provide you with the processes and tools to help your organization accelerate its progress. The growth opportunities you will unlock will not be found in financial statements. Accelerate is not about cash management. While I want you to quantify the benefits whenever possible, our subjects are business acceleration and freedom. You can improve mastery in each category. I want to challenge you to consider the impact that mastery will have on your growth, profits, and freedom.

    My Leadership Launch formula comprises five sections: Stewardship, Human Capital Management, Strategy, Planning, and Accountability. While businesses are always spinning all five of these plates simultaneously, I have listed them in this order for a reason. Stewardship is the foundation of your rocket.

    To learn more about how to take your business to the next level, order my latest book, The Leader Launchpad here.

    If you have a broken foundation, you may grow, but it will take some heavy lifting to keep the rocket intact. Eventually, it may burn up. When it comes to strategy, too many leaders have none or a bad one, as proven by their numbers. They try to fix their numbers by moving personnel around, the equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. If you have the wrong people, it won’t matter what you want them to do—what you need to get done won’t happen. Then, the leaders have not thought through their plan and aligned everyone to achieve their well-thought-out strategy and goals, so they zigzag all over the place. Or they have a plan but do not hold anyone accountable for following it.

    The principles I have laid out are most helpful once you’ve acknowledged that your business can accelerate faster and be more profitable, and once you’ve put your ego aside. These are principles that you will highlight and revisit regularly. Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

    In my upcoming blogs, I will help you build the necessary game plan to locate opportunities to accelerate your business’s growth. I have designed these steps so you can work on one growth accelerator at a time. I look forward to helping you find and capture at least $1 million in the next 12 months! Until then, if you would like to read more, please pick up a copy of my book, The Leader Launchpad, where I deep dive into the five steps to fuel your business and lift your profits.