Too many managers pay attention to the wrong goals.
In his book Profits Aren’t Everything (They’re the Only Thing), business expert George Cloutier reinforces one basic premise time and time again – the bottom line speaks the loudest. Cloutier, a consultant who BusinessWeek once dubbed the “Turnaround Ace,” offers these five rules for turning excuses into profits:
- Live and die by an “official plan”: Have a set of precise goals and a step-by-step plan for achieving each of those goals. Constantly gauge employees’ progress (as well as your own) and adjust to meet each goal on time.
- Develop a performance-based compensation plan: Update your comp so employees are amply rewarded (or penalized) based on how much value they bring to the organization. Offering generous base salaries based solely on experience or past achievement gives staffers an excuse to rest on their laurels. It also breeds resentment among the ranks. When employees are paid more based on performance, they become highly motivated to achieve their goals.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate: Make a list of responsibilities you can delegate and pass them on to senior members of your team. Giving employees more responsibility empowers them, and it frees you up to deal with big-picture issues.
- Measure success by profit margins: Ultimately, managers have one objective – help the company increase its profitability. If you’re not accomplishing that, no other metric really matters.
- Take full accountability: Whether it’s the economy, price or competition, great leaders pinpoint the problem, develop a solution, and rally their troops onward to victory.