Every company leader dreams about achieving greatness. But few companies live out those dreams on a consistent basis. Some sputter quickly out of business. Others coast along after a strong beginning but can’t build upon their initial success.
What about the companies that find traction then keep on making an impact over many years? What sets those organizations apart?
Here are three steps your company can take to turn your dream of lasting success into a reality.
1. Define the Mission
When you lead a company, everyday business duties have a way of crowding out your long-term vision for where the organization should be moving. That’s especially true when your company is young or growing rapidly.
But you can’t survive long without looking up and reminding yourself what you’re really about. So when was the last time you thought about your company’s specific mission?
Your mission statement needs to be a thoughtful declaration of not only your goals but also how achieving those goals aims you at a particular long-range target.
As you determine the exact direction your company is marching, keep in mind that no one group can accomplish everything. Few organizations manage to do even one thing well over a long period, so find that one service you can provide well and go after it with everything you’ve got.
2. Communicate How You Will Get There as a Team
A mission statement is essential to the success of any organization, but it’s not enough on its own. You and every member of your team must take an active role in carrying the mission into practice.
From year to year, your company’s overall mission may take the form of annual goals. Some of the goals you should write down include:
- Companywide goals about market share, sales or product development
- Departmental goals, many of which will probably fit under the above goals
- Metrics of achievement for individual team members determined by their leaders, with annual evaluations in mind
Goals can, and likely will, change over time as your client relationships grow and change. But regardless of the market, all goals and action steps should be framed by how they fit into the mission statement.
3. Pour Time and Energy Into the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow
You and your fellow leaders are already passionate about making your company a lasting success. And presumably you are doing whatever you can to hire great people to get everything done. But as you grow, what’s your strategy for developing leadership?
Cultivating great leaders means helping those who are already leading as well as those you can see stepping into such a role in the future.
As for up-and-comers, use some of your annual goal-discussion time to identify a list of top performers who might fit the bill. Once you have some people in mind, have their leaders give the potential new leaders assignments that will give them vital experience and training.
Those already in leadership also need your time and attention. Executive leaders have a big role to play in motivating and grooming mid-level leaders. One great way to facilitate these relationships is to encourage intermediate leaders to handle as many customer complaints as possible. This relieves executives of those duties and gives middle leaders valuable problem solving reps.
The Long Haul
Dreams don’t come true overnight. Achieving them takes time and some heavy lifting. Writing a mission statement, defining goals, and developing leaders are all steps toward the bigger mission. The purpose of each step is to spell out how everyone fits into the daily effort to turn your organizational dreams into a reality.