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Leadership Thought #425 – 10 Ways To Ensure Your Business Success As A Leader

April 2, 2019

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I often tell my clients that business is simple, but people complicate it.  If you practice discipline on the following items 10 items, I guarantee you will see rapidly improved business results:

  1. Your mission statement and core values should be easy to read and understandable and revisited in every leadership/management meeting before you get started. This information should also be posted in as many locations as possible.
  2. Ensure your organization manages to a dashboard of 5-7 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and then makes the results public and the topic of ongoing management discussions.
  3. The organization should go through a strategic planning process every 3-5 years where you establish a strategic direction for the company with supporting goals and major action items.
  4. Make sure you don’t make big decisions in an ad hoc or gut-level fashion. Create and use a formal decision-making filtering process aligned with the previous three points and stick to it.
  5. Make sure each of your direct reports has a succinct position description with clear responsibilities and definitions of success. Individual definitions of success should easily relate to your mission, values, goals, and organization-wide key performance indicators.
  6. Have regular 1-1 meetings with your direct reports where you discuss their individual progress in their position, obstacles to their continued success, balancing of shifting priorities, check-in on major action items, and discuss training/support needs. I highly encourage you to create a 1-1 culture throughout all levels of your company.
  7. Have all your direct reports meet as a leadership team at least monthly where you discuss progress against key performance indicators and goals, balance organization-wide priorities, and coordinate performance efforts.
  8. Make sure you have an HR approach that hires people carefully and screens individual employees for basic leadership/management competencies before you promote them into a supervisory position. Once the move is made, ensure there is ongoing training and support to maximize individual growth and development.
  9. Create the infrastructure within your company to regularly solicit customer feedback, reward success, identify opportunities, and adjust based on this information.
  10. Make sure every employee has at least some variable pay built into his or her compensation package. The higher an individual goes in your organization the more their pay should fluctuate based on performance.


Leadership is not rocket science.  Creating the conditions for business success involves following some basic concepts:

  • Be clear about where you are going and why
  • Define what success looks like and track performance
  • Make sure all your key people are on the same page
  • Don’t “wing it” when it comes to important decisions
  • Ensure that every single employee knows how they fit in the big picture and what they are supposed to be doing
  • Create a process for providing ongoing performance feedback
  • Hold people accountable for results
  • Be careful about who you hire and put in supervisory roles
  • Provide extensive training and support
  • Never stop communicating with your customers
  • Make sure everyone shares in the success of the business but also feels the pinch of nonperformance