What regrets do you currently have in regard to leading and managing the growth of your marriage, family and business?
Have you ever thought about the regrets you will have in the future, perhaps at the sunset of your career and life in regard to growing your relationships in both family and business?
I have worked with over 50 third generation family owned companies. Many of these families and companies have become inextricably connected.
I’ve asked the question to hundreds of husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter combinations of CEOs, VPs, sales managers etc. and three of the top answers may surprise you.
I pull these answers from the more successful family leaders / business owners I’ve worked with. The most successful tend to think a bit differently.
The most successful will have not been as likely to have regrets around family, faith and community, the most successful are successful because those priorities had their right place in life’s plans.
The greatest regrets I hear from the more successful leaders are:
1. Not thinking big enough
People are frequently surprised by their successes, and thus they learn, that the greatest constraint to their growth was their own thought.
How have you and your leadership team limited your growth through limiting thoughts, limited vision, limited goals, etc.?
You want to always have the checks and balances of an excellent and exhortational board of directors as well as outside advisors that get you to push the envelope in a rational but challenging way.
The last thing you want to be saying to yourself at the end of a leadership term is, “I wish I had set the bar higher, and I wish I had more people around me that would have exhorted me to aim higher.”
2. Not focusing on you and your team’s or family’s core areas of passion
When you focus on an area of passion, you have more energy, creativity and determination.
You wake up to a purpose, not an alarm clock. There are leadership tools that help you to regularly bring your team back to the areas that leverage their passion and thus boost their productivity.
You should be reviewing a person’s role focus every six months, yours included.
Asking questions like, “how could I spend more time what I love doing most in my role and how could I follow my passions more frequently in my role” will invigorate you and your performance.
This applies equally as well to family and spousal roles as business.
3. Not connecting the short term to the long term vision
It is crucial to not connect the short term to the long term in order to accelerate toward the vision.
It’s called the “tyranny of the urgent.”
We all have daily distractions and minutiae that can take our eye off the end goal and direction and hypnotize us with a sense of busyness rather than a sense of purposefulness.
The cure is to have family meetings and business management processes and norms in place that help to balance the strategic and tactical focus.
We must manage our teams to be focusing appropriately on the longer-term vision and outcome rather than just the day-to-day distractions and quarterly P&Ls.
If you would like to share my meeting and management communication best practices with your leadership team, drop me a note and I’ll get you a synopsis of our meetings management best practices training that can help you and your team eliminate these areas of top regrets.
But the action we all must take now if we are to be good leadership stewards of the families and organizations we’ve been entrusted with is to think bigger, intensify our focus on our personal passion and the passion of our teams, get our own thinking and the thinking of the teams we lead to better connect our short-term priorities to our long-term visions.
Growth has few regrets other than not growing as much as the potential holds.
And whether in business or family, all growth comes through relationships, and our relationships and goals can never stop growing.