“Leadership does not begin with just a vision. It begins with getting people to confront the brutal facts and act on the implications.” – Jim Collins
In his best-selling book, Good to Great, Collins talks about the need for leaders to investigate the brutal facts and realities of the organization and to have the discipline to call them out. Here we’ll outline the 3 things Elite Organizations do differently to resolve problems swiftly and climb their business mountain with greater speed and agility through a Culture of Discipline.
Many fast growth companies move quickly, but stall in reaching their full potential. There are many reasons why, but often it’s simply a matter of not using their most critical resource wisely: time. We waste time listening more to opinions than facts. We weigh opinions and prioritize emotions, leaving us feeling drained, without truly accomplishing anything. It takes time to think clearly and articulate the facts of the issue. Time spent confronting the brutal facts is time well spent, which increases your forward momentum, and helps you take the right actions, quickly.
3 things Elite Organizations do Differently to Create a Culture of Commitment:
Build a Team of Disciplined People.
The magical power of Elite teams does not exist without great people. People who share the organization’s values, are aligned and driven by an inspiring purpose, and who work towards a shared vision. Great people need to be in the right seat in the organization to excel to their full potential. High performers desire to have their focus on excellence and thrive in a culture that creates, supports, and rewards these efforts.
“When you have disciplined people, you don’t need hierarchy.” – Collins
Train Disciplined People to have Disciplined Thought.
“Simple can be harder than complex. You must work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” – Steve Jobs
Using a framework of rigorous thinking and communication helps identify the true facts, not opinions. When everyone is on the same page using a shared language and structure for communication you get the right things done.
Remember, opinions are not facts. Encourage the team to better define their statements with facts. When you’ve clearly identified the real issue, the problem is nearly solved.
Here is an example of how to state the brutal facts in place of opinions.
“I think we’re growing too fast”
We grew 50% last year, and our capacity only grew 30%
“We’re not looking for the right people.”
We’re not using the Core Values Hiring Guide and Accountability Chart in our hiring process
“Our owner is checked out”
Owner missed half of the Leadership Team meetings the past two Quarters
“We aren’t generating enough leads”
Our sales process requires 30 leads a week to meet our annual targets. We are getting 10.
“Our processes are too complex”
Our production process has 22 steps and 8 of those steps are unnecessary.
“When you have disciplined thought, you don’t need bureaucracy.” – Collins
Disciplined People with Disciplined Thought Must Take Disciplined Action.
Accountability of a project or task requires clear ownership. Projects that move you toward your larger goals often require involving multiple people in the organization, but only one person should be ultimately accountable for it getting done. When in doubt, consider using RACI. Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
- The Accountable Person– owns the completion of the project and is ultimately accountable for the outcome.
- The Responsible Person (or people)- own tasks or components of the project.
- The People Consulted– who needs to provide input for the project? These people should be consulted.
- The People Informed– these are the members of the team that need to be informed of project status/completion. For example, in your Weekly Tactical these are the people receiving the high level updates.
When you’re laying out projects (ROCKS) it’s important to know who owns the Project and what is the definition of successful completion? Consider using the Next Level Growth Project Planner to clarify the important milestones, timelines and desired outcomes.
Free Next Level Growth Project Planner
Clarify your important milestones, timelines and desired outcomes.
When you have disciplined people on your team, involved in disciplined thought, taking disciplined action, you have a better understanding of what is important to achieve and what is not. Your time and energy is better channeled into the things that move the organization forward.
When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great performance.