In today’s Financial Times, Luke Johnson poses the question, “Can you be a good father if you are running a business?” While this is a relevant question in this day and age, it should bother all of us that we even need to ask this question.
Maybe, just maybe, this is one of the reasons why the culture in the US Secret Service is so dysfunctional. In a report this morning on NPR (National Public Radio), ex-agent Dan Emmett mentioned some of the family events he missed while working long hours, at times going as many as four days without sleep. Do we really want overly tired individuals, who could be distractedly pondering a missed recital or football match, tasked with such an important job?
Whether a leader is a father or mother, there are some sacrifices that don’t have to be made. Take, for instance, two staffing companies, one large, one small. The CEOs of both were tired and ready to be done with their unbalanced cultures. So, both instilled a leadership approach, that I provided to them, to permanently change their cultures. That structure is:
Plan around your family All leaders, from the top down, are required to plan their work calendars around family commitments.
Make room on the fly Accommodations are made, as they come up, for unforeseen, important family-related events.
Cover and counter Leaders look out for one another, covering for planned and last-minute events, countering anything that could interfere with this important family time while also ensuring that the business is run in an effective way.
Repeat 1, 2, and 3 This process is never treated as a one-time event, instead, being an ongoing way of doing business. In addition, this same methodology is filtered down to staff level roles, as well.
Both companies are having an incredible year. Revenues and profits are high with turnover being at its lowest levels in the histories of both companies.
The skills employed by parents often translate quite well into leadership roles. That is, if those leaders are being mindful of priorities, setting a positive example, and expecting that their direct reports do the same. For parents, this begins with being responsible about the most important aspect of our lives, our children and our families.
Work-life balance is not the only equilibrium that need be of concern to business leaders. An imbalance between sales and service is the reason that most companies are not achieving their full potential. Even many of the best organizations that are growing at a rapid clip suffer from at least a slow drip of lost opportunity as a result of this asymmetry. To see a picture of this phenomenon, check out the process visual at the bottom of this post.
Strategies, tactics, and cultural factors each have an impact on the Sales Momentum or Service Momentum of a company. The good news is that momentum can be measured and rebalanced to create a sustainable system that continuously stimulates profitable growth.
Where to start? One of the five factors is the current level of effectiveness of your company. Answer the following questions or use my free online Effectiveness Audit.
Are the revenues from any one customer more than 10% of your total revenues?
Are your gross profits from your top ten customers more than 40% of your total gross profits?
In the past year, did you find yourself doing less delegating when compared to the previous year?
Do your salespeople struggle to meet or even exceed sales quotas?
In comparing the past two years, are you spending more time on tactics versus strategy?
Besides your sales efforts, does your company rely more on advertising and Internet marketing than on referrals?
In comparing the past two years, have your gross profits shrunk?
When your customers demand a rate or fee reduction, do you ever give in?
Does technology ever interfere with efficiency?
Do you struggle to retain at least 90% of your staff for at least five years or longer?
The more “yes” answers you have, the more that effectiveness, or lack of it, is a key factor in any imbalance in your sales and service systems. This is where to start—turning those “yes” answers into “no’s.”
Achieving Stimulative Symmetry will allow you to achieve higher profits more quickly and with less effort. What a wonderful contributor this can be to your work-life balance as you have more time to do things other than work!
NEW OPPORTUNITY – GAIN with Scott Wintrip People in the staffing and recruiting industry have often said they’d love to keep me in their desk drawer, allowing them to open it anytime they need advice or support. While I’ve yet to find a big enough desk to fit into, I have developed a new membership offering that gives you top drawer access to my expertise when and how you need it. Learn more
Scott WintripSelling and Service – When Both Can Be Too Much of a Good Thing