3 Easy Steps to Executing Like a CEO
9 out of 10 first businesses FAIL, however, for second businesses, 9 out of 10 SUCCEED. Why? There are many reasons, but one of the main reasons is that owners learn how to execute better.
Being able to successfully execute a plan is the difference between a business that is just surviving and one that is wildly successful. Even if the plan isn’t great, an owner who can execute will quickly recover.
The most important aspect of executing can be reduced to this one skill; the ability to identify actions that move your business forward and do them before EVERYTHING else.
Being able to execute in a small business setting is difficult, at best. Small businesses don’t have the resources that major corporations do. The shear volume of responsibilities makes it easy to get overwhelmed and lose the ability to execute which is why many fail.
If you want to increase your ability to execute, read to the end of this blog and discover 3 very simple things you can do right now to start executing like a corporate CEO and achieve the success you dream of.
There is a reason that the person in charge of the largest companies is called a chief executive officer (CEO). It is because the most important thing for the company to be successful is the unwavering execution of a plan that will lead to that success.
With large corporations, however, the CEOs have marketing officers, operations officers, financial officers, and so on. All these officers have people below them that handle the daily operations. This is rarely the case with a small business.
Small business owners are the employer and the employee. Their responsibilities are vast and their resources are often small. This means that the owner has more to do than they have resources to accomplish and it is easy to drown in responsibilities, taking the business down with them.
Because of this, learning how to identify what moves the business forward and get it done is the single most important skill a small business owner can learn to become successful.
Fortunately, becoming a high level executor is easy to do with a little discipline. What’s even better is it gets easier as you implement it and the feeling of accomplishment propels you even faster
Step 1 to Executing: Get Out of Your Head
When our heads are swimming with all the things we need to do, it can be difficult to get anything done, much less the things that make success happen.
Most of our processing happens on a subconscious level and filling it with a lot of to dos slows down our ability to process. Too much and it halts altogether.
Think of traffic. A freeway will flow just fine with some cars on it. However, as more cars are added, the speed decreases exponentially until it gridlocks. When there is too much traffic, we need to reduce the number of cars and if you are overwhelmed, get the responsibilities out of your head.
The first step will be to take out a pen and paper and write down everything you think you need to do for your business. Until they are on paper, each of these things will just cause traffic jams in your head. You need to get it out of your head and onto paper to clear it up.
After it is all written down, divide it into three categories:
- What is necessary to move your business forward
- What is necessary to keep your business going
- What isn’t absolutely necessary to do
Immediately cross off what isn’t absolutely necessary to do. This one simple action will reduce congestion in your mind significantly. Even just doing this one simple step will take a weight off your shoulders and help you feel lighter.
Now you have two lists. One are the things that will move your business forward. The other are the things you need to do to keep your business going at all.
Which of these do you think is more important?
While both are important, the things that will move your business forward are the only ones that will bring you more success. Yes the items that will keep your business going are important, but it is far easier to do the things that maintain status quo than the things that will make a change.
Step 2: Break it Down
Now that you know which items you need to do to move your business forward, break them down into tasks that are no bigger than one day to accomplish. This is extremely important for executing. If the task takes longer than a day, break them down more.
The reason this is important is because any tasks that carry over will create traffic in your mind. You will get the feeling of stagnation instead of success and this, by itself, can reduce your momentum.
Step 3: At All Costs
The last step is to take one task from the list that moves your business forward and get it done today! Stop at nothing to get this one thing done. If, for some reason you can’t, DO NOT put another task from this list on your plate, until it is.
Again, it is important that you only place one item per day and you get it done. Steady gains beats sprints and pauses because you build up a habit of executing.
You can put a couple of tasks from your list of things that need to get done to keep your business going, however:
- Only put tasks that you are sure can be complete in a day
- If it comes to deciding between what keeps your business open, vs what moves it forward, go with the latter
If tasks are added that can’t be complete in a single day, it become a slippery slope until forward momentum is lost and the slide back into mediocrity begins.
This last step is the most difficult step that requires discipline. It is easy to push things off, but this will result in low execution and the business will have a hard time thriving.
Yes everything is important, however, only the things that will move your business towards success are the ones that are critical to accomplish.
Don’t get bogged down in what you have to do, do what takes your business forward.
Learning how to execute is the most important skill a small business owner can do. By following these three simple steps and making them a habit, you will see your ability to execute rival those of the most sought after CEOs.