The US Army’s motto of “Be all you can be” served them well for years. But it applies equally well to any businesses, organizations, and even families for that matter. Many organizations see themselves as somewhat contented with the way things are, but of course it’s hard to think of anything else when there are real issues to be discussed.
Still, for our businesses, we aspire for something deeper and more meaningful.
In our businesses, we all have issues and challenges to overcome. But that should not keep us from striving to become not only all that we can be, but also to set our sights higher. Dreams and goals established when we are young, or when our businesses are just getting started should continue to live within us.
Is the old adage goes “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” really true? Or, can we?
Ask yourself the following questions, and the answers to what drives your business, your personal life, and ultimately your success may become magnificently obvious.
1. What do you really want your business to become?
This is a question for the ages. There are so many things you want to do in your business and seemingly so little time to even think about accomplishing them. Finding something that your organization does well can help you realize that small step towards improvement will result in major steps towards accomplishing your long range goals. Diligence and perseverance are the keys to knowing that it is worth it.
2. Does your business need to change?
Organizations starting in today’s highly competitive and fluid environment have redefined the meaning of ‘self’. Watching ‘dot com’, or in many cases ‘dot bomb’ corporations being started with new values and ambitions has taught me that there are far worse things that could happen to our business than having a bad quarter here and there. How can you use these examples, some good, many not so, to help you as a CEO define the vision that you see for your organization? There is also a very real danger in thinking that you do not need to change. Maintaining the ‘status quo’ could be just the thing that ultimately puts you into a downward spiral.
3. What’s the bright side in all of this?
The speed of business has entered warp drive. With so much happening around us there seems to be no room for imagining that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. There is so much positive that we can take from each experience we have in our business environment; we learn from the bad experiences (and hopefully do not repeat them), while we relish the good and strive for more of the same. We can still see each new adventure as an opportunity to show what our organization is made of. And if it’s a train at the end of the tunnel, take it for a ride and see where the adventure takes you!
4. Am I comfortable with the direction that my business is going?
There is always the easy way and the right way when it comes to deciding what goes with which shoes, or purse, shirt and whatnot. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to see your organization as unique, or else we’ll all be equally the same in everything we do. No two organizations are the same; you each have different specialties, markets, and potentials. The variety, or ‘spice of life’ that comes with building your own unique organization is what makes this journey exciting and builds the legacy that we leave behind us. The path that you choose to follow does not have to be the same as everybody else’s. In fact, the road less traveled, though fraught with unknowns and seemingly blind paths, may ultimately lead you to newer heights and greater profits.
5. Have I done enough for my business?
Have you, or is there something more you want to, or should, do? contentment in every aspect can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you’ll be able to see and do stuff you could never imagine doing. But, also realize that it is not entirely up to you to determine how your business runs and ultimately succeeds or fails. You can use the people that surround you, be they family, employees, or peers, to help you in evaluating what course your business should and can take.
6. Am I happy with where I am as a leader in my business today?
It may not be a fair question to ask yourself, because ultimately we are our harshest critics, but to evaluate yourself honestly and openly will help you in seeing where you are in relation to your personal and business goals.
7. What motivates me as a leader in my business?
What motivates you? It’s an answer you have to find out for yourself. There are so many things that can make everyone happy, but to choose just one may be the hardest part. It’s not like you can’t have one serving of your favorite food in a buffet and that’s it. Just try it piece by piece.
8. What really does make your business tick?
So? What really makes you tick? What is it that gets you the most excited when you consider all the many things that your organization does? You can make your organization almost anything you have always wanted it to be, by first deciding what really is it that you want to achieve. Always remember, that self-improvement is not just about the physical or philosophical change you have to undergo, but it’s something that you really want.