Your habits determine your potential for success and also your tendency towards failure.
Driving happens to be a great example of how habits determine your future success and even safety. Do you cheat on corners when no one is around or watching? Drive in the middle of the road? Roll through stop signs when turning right like it is a merge lane?
You are probably pretty safe when you are fully engaged and present.
What happens when you are distracted by something major happening in your life? Or just zoned out and on autopilot?
You know what I mean. You’ve been driving so often on the same route you barely remember the drive home.
This is when your habits can kill you. You don’t see the danger until it is too late and you are in the wrong lane or pulling out in front of an oncoming car.
The exact same things can happen in your business when you get into bad habits and are plugging away on auto-pilot.
- You stop monitoring employee performance,
- You aren’t looking at your numbers on a regular basis,
- You don’t have any forward looking warning indicators,
- You take your long-term clients for granted,
- You take your key employees for granted,
- You assume because you have been successful and safe so far, you can relax and coast,
- You stop paying attention to the rest of the world and the macro and micro trends that can impact you.
So how do you prevent this situation?
Determine what good habits are and practice them at all times.
How you perform when no one is watching is just as important as when everyone is watching.
Then put a number of processes in place so that the habits are reinforced and that you are actively present in all aspects of your business:
- A weekly, biweekly or monthly management team meeting where you review the numbers and identify problems in the future numbers and assign people the responsibilities for solutions,
- Determine what acceptable levels of performance are for all staff and periodically review with everyone. It is better to spend a few minutes regularly than to leave this to an annual review.
- Have regular touch points with clients and ensure your best clients are getting the most attention.
- Identify all of the important aspects of your business and meet with stakeholders regularly to identify areas that can be improved across the business.
- Always be coaching and developing your team and as you grow, raise up more leaders.
- Read and observe not only your industry but others as well. Some of the best ideas come from innovations in other industries.
What are you doing to build the right habits into your organization?