Leadership Means Taking the Time to Think Hard
One critical aspect of leadership is knowing when and how to step back, review your progress and look over the horizon to see where you are going. Even more important is getting others to follow suit. It’s not all about the bottom line. In fact, when you’re hitting all the other marks, the bottom line improves. Here are some ways we at Muncie Power Products take a long view.
We go offsite
Strategy meetings are too critically important for distractions and participants who are not fully engaged. They require the team’s complete focus. Evaluating progress since your last strategy session is essential to knowing what else needs to be accomplished to reach your goals.
We arrive prepared
Don’t just prepare yourself. At Muncie, we spent six individual 90-minute sessions over 12 weeks preparing for a two-day strategy session. Like building blocks, each division connected its priorities to the next one. The time we spent preparing helped us make definitive progress at the offsite retreat.
We look forward
To plan effectively, we really take time to “think hard.” Here are some questions that we try to think through:
• Apart from financial considerations, what is the health of our organization?
• Are we living up to our brand promise?
• Are our metrics telling us everything we need to know about our company? Almost every organization I am aware of says their people are their greatest asset. If this is true, what are we measuring that tells us that we are taking care of them today and for the future? Furthermore, if people are our greatest asset, are we putting our money where your mouth is?
• Are we staying true to our vision and strategy for several years down the road or are we short-term focused?
It is important to emphasize the entire process of dreaming, strategizing and organizing the business plan. The fourth quarter is the perfect time to conduct a strategy session but if you start earlier in the year, that’s even better. If nothing else, this process serves to help knit your team together and put everyone back on the same page. Even as fortunate as we are here at Muncie Power, we still all have our own issues and areas of focus. We often forget just how blessed we are to be part of the team that exists here. That byproduct of our meeting stands out for all of us. As we all align focus, our hearts are drawn closer together as well.