legacy plan Tag All blog entries tagged as legacy plan http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/latest.html Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:15:09 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Moving from Success to Significance http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/moving-from-success-to-significance.html http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/moving-from-success-to-significance.html  

We just finished our Q3 Leadership Academy in Denver and the focus was around being a Next Generation Legacy Leader.  We approached it from two perspectives.  The first was some thoughts around personal legacy and being very intentional with our time and resources so we can achieve the things that are most important to us personally.  That involves a very disciplines approach to legacy planning and some intentional reflection about the things we’ve accomplished and what is yet to be done.

The second focus was around business legacy.  We have to amp this focus up a bit more as far too few HTG companies truly have this in a satisfactory place.  It begins with a solid and workable disaster recovery and business continuity plan.  Not in someone’s head, but written down, tested and reviewed on a regular basis.  But it goes on to include succession and transition planning, possibleinvolvement of children in the business in the future and a host of other areas. 

Legacy that is not planned, either personal or business, will not likely end as desired.  It is hard work and requires a lot of evaluation, time and conversation, but there is really little that is more important for an owner to take responsibility for.  After all, an employee is not really concerned with legacy beyond his job.  If the owner doesn’t drive this, it doesn’t get done and in far too many small businesses that is exactly the case.  They will leave a legacy, but it won’t be the one desired.  It will be one of chaos, confusion, lack of direction, and often, just by neglect, a lack of care for the people who have helped make the company a success.

In this blog post, I want to focus on an area that seems to be top of mind for many business owners and leaders right now.  It involves the question of success vs. significance.  In the past six months, there have been a lot of discussions around this topic.  Many have achieved what they set out to do as a business owner.  They achieved success, have earned some money, created value in a company they can now sell, and are asking that age old pesky question “Why am I doing what I do?”  For many, they have lost the joy in the day-to-day grind and are looking for something that gives them a feeling that they are making a difference in their patch and the world around them.

They are wrestling with the battle between success and significance.  There is a great book out, actually several, but the first that really tackled the question is called Halftime by Don Buford.  It’s a quick read and gives some great perspective. 

I suggest you block off a couple hours and consider these things:

  •          What I did right in the first half
  •          What I did wrong
  •          What I need to change
  •          What I am going to do to change it
  •          How I can use what we’ve learned to help others

We need to get some perspective on life.  Most of us have been running full speed ahead for 20 or more years and don’t really take time to look back and reflect.  But that is important if we are to address the success/significance dilemma.  There are some distinct differences between the two:

 

Area

Success

Significance

Motive

Focused on me

Focused beyond self

Influence

Limited

Unlimited

Time

Lifetime

Many lifetimes

Focus

Add value to self

Add value to others

Reward

Joy in my success

Joy in others success

Education

Learning

Teaching

Career

Building self

Building others

Stuff

Acquisition

Simplification

Work/Life

Balancing act

Focused

Goals

Constant chase

Relaxed and narrow

Relationships

Experiencing pain

Sharing wisdom

Time

Never enough

Enough for what matters

 

It is a very worthy thing to consider.  As people grow older and wiser, they quickly come to the conclusion that money is not the solution to life’s problems.  We need it, but it doesn’t bring happiness or joy.  And trading our time for work that generates money begins to lose its luster.  It just doesn’t really satisfy that need inside each of us to make a difference in things that matter.  Truth is we come to realize it is people who truly count, and we can feel trapped that we are spending all our time in the workplace to generate money but failing to do the important job of touching and impacting people.

We alone can make that assessment in our own life.  But this is one of the key considerations around legacy leadership.  What really matters?  Am I spending my time on that, or just going through the motions doing what I did yesterday? 

We need to slow down, in fact stop, and take some time to truly look at what we are doing and what kind of legacy we want to leave.  Each of us will leave one.  The question is – will it be the legacy we want to be remembered for?  Will your legacy be one of success that will quickly fade, or one focused on others based on significance that will bless people for generations to come?  That is the question we much each address.  I challenge you to do exactly that and would love to hear your thoughts and heart via email or when we see each other next!

 

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asorensen@heartlandtechnologies.com (Arlin Sorensen) Peer Power Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:47:22 +0000
Learnings from the Trenches http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/learnings-from-the-trenches.html http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/learnings-from-the-trenches.html Over the past six months or so, I have performed a dozen SWOT visits to HTG member companies as part of our HLG consulting relationships.  These have been all across the US and outside the borders in Australia. There are a number of common themes that raise their heads. I’ll share some of the key learning’s that you should consider evaluating in your own company. The truth is that most of these areas are not difficult. It just takes focus and effort. Make them a goal to accomplish as you set your quarterly goals. But working on these areas can make a significant difference in your company.

  1. The bottleneck is at the top. I’ll start by being blunt and honest. The barrier to growth for most companies is not the employees on the team – it is the leadership at the top. If you wonder what the biggest blocker is to growing your company – walk down the hall and look in the mirror. Painful I know but absolutely the truth in most every case. It’s not intentional – it’s not obvious – but it is the truth. Owners have to step up their game if they want to lead their company to growth. That means learning new skills, getting people around to help them overcome barriers, becoming accountable to a coach, investing in themselves (and their people) and developing a culture of execution that they lead by example. Most companies turn out exactly how they are led. It’s not your people – it is YOU.
  2. Few companies are truly leveraging their investment in tools. You have spent the money on great tools – PSA, RMM, accounting and others – that can streamline operations. My gut feeling is that most of you are using those at 20-30% of their effective potential. It takes effort to amp up the use and truly leverage the power. It requires processes and actually following those processes. But when you do, it gives you back time that can be placed on far more meaningful work. Don’t waste the financial investment – step up and help make these tools truly integral to serving your clients well. Simple things like getting time sheets entered, documentation complete, standards defined, checklists created – can save you hundreds of hours over the course of a year, plus raise the customer satisfaction as a bonus. Leveraging the power of your RMM tool to automate many of the tasks you do manually today through scripts can literally save thousands of hours.
  3. Know what you are going to sell. Get your recurring revenue products defined and your story together. Long term profitable operations in the IT space will involve a couple things long term. You have to be able to create a recurring revenue stream that provides value to your clients, and you have to embrace the cloud as a delivery mechanism to serve them. The reason many struggle to sell is not the people they hire but the fact that the foundation for successful sales is not in place. No clear definition of what to sell, who to sell it to, what the message is, how to hand it off successfully to the technical team – it is no mystery why sales people fail. We set them up to fail from the start because there is no clarity in the sales process or product set. They cannot possibly succeed. Whose fault is it? Check that same mirror!
  4. Communication is a two way street. It is always one of the top challenges in every company of every size. It’s never our fault. Far too often most of us sit and wait for someone to fix it. Certainly leadership needs to step up the flow of communication. But a majority of the communication challenges have nothing to do with the people at the top. They are failures by every person on the team to document, explain, call, write – just take the time to connect with the right people at the right time every time. That includes managers, clients and each other. No one person can fix this issue. In fact, unless everyone on the team focuses on this it will not improve. So stop waiting for someone else to do it – and begin today to over communicate with everyone you touch.
  5. Personal accountability is always an area where improvement can happen. That covers a lot of things – making the investment to grow your skills through training and learning – being at work on time – calling in after each job – notifying people of client needs and issues. Often we begin to excuse ourselves from being accountable because ‘they aren’t doing it so why should I’. Here is the reality – everyone just needs to do their job. Unless you are a manager your role is not to be worried about what someone else is or is not doing. Obviously if it violates the company’s core values or is harmful it needs to be called out. But just because someone else doesn’t document appropriately or get their time sheet in is not an excuse for you. It is when every person on a team becomes accountable that growth accelerates and truly becomes an amazing ride. You need to be willing to step up and do your job completely and effectively every day.
  6. Planning needs to go to a different level. Many HTG companies (all should) have done plans around legacy, life, leadership and business. Without a doubt the business plan is usually the most complete, and the others are in some state of development. Planning is not about quickly filling out a template so you can check the box. Plans are done to provide clarity and direction. They provide the framework for what a person will use their time for and how you will live life and lead others. Plans are vital for success. They need to be thoroughly completed and reviewed quarterly. And most importantly, they need to be shared broadly with those who are impacted. I am amazed at the number of plans that are created in a closet and never shared with those who are necessary to help execute them. And then to be surprised that the outcome doesn’t match the plan – there should be no mystery in that. Create them with those who will help execute them, and share them broadly with those who can hold you accountable. (HTG is creating a planning manual to help take the four plans to a new level. Watch for that in the next few months)
  7. Prepare for the future because it is bright. Most every company wants to grow. That means a boat load of opportunity for those who step up and help make it happen. There are definitely some challenges that come with small businesses. Never enough resources or money, wearing too many hats – you know the drill because you live it every day. But there are some opportunities that come with working for a small company that those in giant corporations never will experience. Being able to be part of creating your own future is one at the top of the list. It isn’t often in a career that you get the opportunity to shape your future. But as companies pursue their growth plan for the future – there will be a lot of opportunities that will open up for leadership and management in the company. You will be able to help create that future. Don’t sit on the sidelines and miss the boat. Get involved and be part of determining the direction and leading the charge. Yes, it will mean change. None of us like change, especially when it impacts us individually. But change is going to happen and the best place to be when it occurs is part of making the decisions behind it. Raise your hand, make the investment, lead the change!

Running a small business is challenging. I understand that. I’ve been doing it for 27 years. But there is some low hanging fruit that all of us can take advantage of that makes a real difference in our business. We need to identify it, involve our team in helping correct it, and then move on to some of the more difficult areas to overcome. Growing a business is really about overcoming the different barriers that come along as we go through our journey. These are a few that you can tackle and will make a significant impact on your growth. Get em done!

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asorensen@heartlandtechnologies.com (Arlin Sorensen) Peer Power Fri, 12 Oct 2012 11:15:48 +0000