When writing this post I was sitting in a quiet room with a fireplace up at a Whistler, BC lodge. No people, music, phones or email. Just me sitting beside a window watching the snow fall = perfect environment for me to focus and get some real quality work done.
Being a CEO and running your own business comes with a lot of pressure. It’s critical to take the time to think and be away from the distractions of the business. I coach and mentor CEO’s to find an environment to focus weekly and productivity improves. So will the quality of your work.
Strict Focus Days are helpful. Slowing down every month or quarter long enough to sit quietly and obsess about the future helps fuel more thoughtful decisions about the present and future of your business.
During these times, it’s good to think about the following:
- Where in your business could you be focusing more?
- Who could you be building better relationships with?
- Who are your biggest clients? How could you get more business from them?
- Are you taking time to really focus without the trappings of day to day life distracting you (laptop, email, phone)? If not, I strongly urge you to think about taking a Focus Day (or a few) to disconnect from the rest of the world and be alone with yourself and your thoughts.
I’ve looked at my companies metrics or KPIs every week. Back in my College Pro Painters days, we called it the “Weekly RAG” (Results At A Glance) and it was critical to the goal–setting and planning we did weekly to drive the business. If you’re not looking at a dashboard for your business weekly already, how’s that working for you?
To assist me in keeping teams and individuals focused, I’ve had one-on-one meetings each week with all my direct–reports. And I’ve ensured that they had these same one-on-one meetings with those who reported to them. At College Pro Painters, we called it GS&R: Goal Setting and Review. This simple meeting rhythm provided a ton of focus for all of us.
Fortune magazine asked me once, “How do you motivate your employees?” I said, “I don’t.” I continued, “I refuse to try to motivate people. What I want to do is try to take people who are already motivated and inspire them to do the stuff they know they have to do, and give them the systems and tools to create change. Then be there to support them.”
Help align and keep people focused who are already motivated. That’s a recipe for growth.