‘What a ridiculous question?’ you, the “business” owner will say – a business, of course!
I ask you again to pause, reflect and then react – for in this one fact lies the seed of the health of your business.
Most entrepreneurs start businesses because they want to push the boundaries and achieve much more than a steady state, safe existence that the corporate world would permit.
Why then, I ask, do these self-driven achievers accept mediocrity and compromise from the teams in their businesses?
Some typical scenarios could be their fear of pushing people lest they leave, or a mistaken impression of loyalty, or dependence on specific individual/individuals, or any of the million other reasons, either self-conceived or surreptitiously suggested. The crux, however, lies in our willingness to be blackmailed into compromising, coupled with a possible conviction that, somehow, we “owe” the architects of our slow demise just because they are physically present.
The cost of suffering such “presence” results in our inability to raise the performance bar, creating a culture that is political and does not just accept, but also rewards, non-performance. This inevitably and inexorably results in our getting sucked into a vicious Catch-22 cycle that can only lead to ultimate closure, after losing reputation, money and goodwill.
This is increasingly evident today when change is fast-paced, when competition is keen and margins are wafer thin – the call is for agility but the dying are slow, ponderous and overburdened! And they stay, while they drive the competent talent away.
What is the remedy then, and how do we recognize whether we are heading down this perilous slope, early enough to cut loose the dead weight before it drags us with it?
Unfortunately, there is no nice and moderate way to correct this. The sooner one asks, and faces, these tough questions, the more one can detach from relationships and situations, the quicker can the remedial measures be put in.
The underlying principle to build solid, growth-oriented businesses is to treat them as just that – without compromising on ethics, best business practices, an eye on profitability, good measurement metrics and sheer, old fashioned hard work by competent and high energy professionals.
And this can, and should be, the only culture.
So, ask yourself this existential question, and decide between heading down a certain suicide path, or create an entity which can become a lasting, truly self-sustaining “business”.
Talk to us @Strategists’ World to see how we may help you return to realizing the dream you started out with.