Pushing water uphill has never been a winning strategy, yet this is what many businesses try to do. I’ve been reminded of this over and over again in a series of recent meetings discussing why businesses do, or rather don’t, do well.
What do I mean by pushing water uphill? In a nutshell, businesses that are poorly led, without a clear vision and direction, will never fulfill their potential. On the contrary, weak leadership, with its inability to invest in the future or break the inertia of the status quo, commits businesses to a slow but steady decline.
How does one identify these businesses and what opportunities do they present? Typically, an inability to distinguish between loyalty and talent results in an ineffective or bureaucratic management team, with the wrong people defaulting to the wrong roles. They are constantly firefighting, thinking short term, rather than long term. They fail to invest in infrastructure or profit generating activities. They bury their heads in the sand, often setting ambitious targets, without having the remotest idea of how they’ll be achieved.
So what’s the opportunity? Like the ‘frog in the water’ principle, businesses drift towards oblivion – it doesn’t happen overnight. Recognising this is the first step to finding a cure, stimulating swift and often radical treatment. The alternative, if it’s available, is to sell or merge the business, instigating the leadership and management changes that will inevitably occur.
Why not get my book, “From Vision to Exit, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building and Selling a Business, available in hard copy or downloadable from Amazon or iBooks now?