Leadership: Your Mileage May Vary

When working with clients on implementing strategy, accelerating change, or improving performance, the actual results they achieve can vary greatly. Some clients make good steady progress while others grab ahold and rocket forward with tremendous speed and growth. There are a number of factors involved, including (but not limited to) quality of leadership, skilled and experienced staff, honed processes, a strong business model and top-notch communications. But by far the number one determinant is the leader’s mindset.

Those leaders who focus on opportunity, expect high performance, and are ready to make changes are the ones who to see the best results. They build self-confidence in their organizations and challenge their people to accomplish great things. In these organizations, people usually tell me that they accomplished more than they thought they were capable of accomplishing.

Those who focus on difficulties, intractable problems, and ongoing barriers will realize much smaller gains. They look for short-fall and have low expectations. And their employees reflect that by approaching challenges as something to ‘try,’ but not to ‘get done.’

If you want to accelerate growth, you have to be thinking bigger, more positively, and demonstrate it in your leadership. People will mimic the tone, the mindset, and the attitude of the leader. And that predicts success.

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
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Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family.
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

Here’s What is Keeping You From Better Growth and Profits

I see three significant reasons why companies don’t grow and fail to improve profitability:

  1. Lack of Focus — This takes many forms including no strategy, weak strategy implementation, and everyone doing their own thing. You have to have clear direction, a distinctive strategy, and an organization that sharply-focused on delivering it.
  2. Weak Accountability — It’s not enough to know what to do. If people don’t follow-through, don’t get the needed work done, then the strategy will fail.
  3. Staying with people beyond their level of competence — Over and over I’ve seen presidents struggle with this.  They know good old Joe or Mary is under-performing, but they simply cannot take the necessary action to replace weak performers with upgraded talent.  This is most notable at the level of managers and above.  I cannot stress enough the dramatic improvement in performance that comes from finally owning-up and making a change.

What’s holding back your organization’s growth and profits?  Why aren’t you taking action?

© Copyright 2016  Bob Legge

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Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at  bob.legge@leggecompany.com

 

Strategies to Accelerate Company Growth

To dramatically grow your business, you’ve got to execute.  Even it you’ve got a great strategy, how it is executed makes all the difference.  I’ve compiled a list of 19 success techniques you can immediately put to use to strengthen your organization’s strategy execution and grow your business.  Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Create and communicate a clear and vivid description of what you want your business to be in the future.  People can’t work toward something or build something without knowing what it looks like, so tell them.
  2. Create a concise statement of how the organization will achieve that vision.  Make it one that you can easily repeat from memory and use every day to remind people and keep them focused.
  3. Have regular reviews of how well your organization structure supports the execution of your strategy.  What’s getting in the way of your organization moving quickly to implement the strategy?
  4. Have regular reviews of your key talent and high potentials.  Do you have the skills you need now and in the near future to achieve your strategy?
  5. Make sure that every one of your top managers is able to articulate the same vision and strategy on the spot.  This is far more important than most leaders realize.
  6. Make all your employees aware of your business goals and ask them to tell you how they, personally, are actively contributing to company success.
  7. Make sure the values of your company specifically support the strategy.  What values will inform the behaviors your need to implement your strategy?
  8. Implement a way to measure how well leaders and managers throughout the organization reflect the values in their day-to-day behavior.
  9. Frequently refer to the strategy and values when your senior team is making key decisions.
  10. Establish periodic communications to your people about your vision, strategy, values, direction, priorities, goals, and progress.
  11. Ask your team and yourself:  “Does our actual company and workplace mirror the one that is described on our website and in our promotions?”
  12. Focus HR programs and practices on reinforcing the business strategy.  Best practices aren’t nearly as important as whether your practices directly support your strategy and operations.
  13. Clearly identify the accountabilities, or end-results, of each key position.  You want people advancing business results, not just being busy with activities.
  14. Schedule dedicated time to continually assess your progress on strategic goals and making adjustments as needed.
  15. Put in place mechanisms for employees to make ongoing improvements to their jobs, the processes they work in, and overall policy and practices.
  16. Make a point of understanding what innovation is (and isn’t,) and how to actively encouraging it in your workplace.
  17. Implement a leadership development program that results in measurable improvements in performance, and prepares key individuals for larger roles.
  18. Replace performance appraisal programs that emphasize the past with forward-looking programs that actually improve performance.
  19. Put every meeting, report, policy, and procedure on trial for its life — get rid of the irrelevant time wasters and diversions.

Pick two or three of these techniques and launch them immediately — not tomorrow, next week, or your next strategy session.  Every day you wait, you are losing value.  Why would you let that happen?

© Copyright 2015  Bob Legge

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Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at  bob.legge@leggecompany.com

What are your obstacles to growth?

What obstacles are in your growth path?

Most of my clients are pushing hard for growth right now.  If that’s you too, I have one question for you:  What are the most likely obstacles to get in your way of that growth?

The answers I hear most are internal factors:

  • We need a stronger performance-based culture
  • Not everyone is fully on-board with the strategy
  • Day to day issues keep getting in the way of growth initiatives
  • We’ve got problems with coordination and collaboration
  • We need stronger accountability
  • Our leadership skills need to be better at all levels
  • And so on.

These issues won’t get better on their own.  They need attention, good diagnosis as to cause, and solutions that accelerate achieving growth goals.

Giving Thanks

I caught myself reflecting gratefully last week as I overlooked San Francisco from our hotel.  The view ranged from the Bay Bridge all the way to the Golden Gate.  I am thankful for the many great clients and wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years.

Reflection also is an opportunity to re-envision and recalibrate.  On a daily basis we get caught-up in problem solving, which only restores a previous level of performance.  Or, we focus on continuous improvement that provides incremental results.   Why not think bigger and innovate to raise the bar to a whole new level?  Every organization has the opportunity to operate at an entirely new level.  What innovations in the way you lead, manage, and operate will take your organization to a new level?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Changing Tires at 65 mph

Much of my work is either helping executives successfully implement strategy or lead major change.  In either case, success often hinges on preparing an organization to support its own growth.  This requires:

  • Clarifying your vision of the future business
  • Identifying what the new organization will look like after change
  • Refining the values and norms that support the vision
  • Developing systems, structures, roles and rewards to function as that new organization

If you don’t do this, high performers will see energy-draining confusion and attribute it to weak leadership.  Average performers will see it as reinforcement to continue doing things the old way.

This is often hard work because you cannot stop the organization to redesign it – you have to do it on the fly.  It’s like changing the wheels on a car going 65mph – without stopping.  That’s difficult, but it’s also imperative.