Yes, you always make it to the dance recitals and most of the t-ball games, but that rehearsal you missed, that soccer practice? That’s a problem. It’s not a problem because you’re a bad parent if you’re not there. It’s a problem because of how you feel inside when you miss it. Or at least, that’s how you used to feel before it just became “normal.” Why? Because your business needs you.
That’s the real problem, truth be told. And why does it need you? Because you don’t trust anyone else to get it right. Even if you’ve got great people, you’re not letting them do their jobs. Why did you hire them in the first place, if you’re going to look over their shoulder all the time, or require a weekly executive team meeting where everyone goes around the table and gives status reports? That’s expensive time, not just an hour out of your schedule (an hour that would be better spent at swim lessons, by the way), but an hour times the 5 or 8 people you have in the room, for which you need to sell how much to cover? Do the math.
There is a better way. Get really clear on your priorities for the next 90 days (3-5, no more). Make such each priority has one executive assigned accountability for that priority. Make a scoreboard or dashboard that lists each of these 3-5, either as a graph or a simple green/yellow/red spreadsheet. Each week, mark progress on the scoreboard. The first few minutes of the weekly meeting can be simply reviewing the dashboard. If all priorities are green, then we can move on. If anything is yellow or red, don’t problem solve, just figure out what resources need to be redeployed to get back on track, or decide who needs to be in the room for the ad hoc meeting to attack the problem. Spend the bulk of the meeting on a single priority. Pick one each week and have the accountable person give a 5 minute presentation, then take 25 minutes for questions and feedback. Every 90 days, meet again to see what we can learn from the quarter just completed and choose new 90 day priorities and begin the process again.
This priorities/dashboard/weekly meeting idea is a simplification, but very important to start somewhere, and execution is a great place to start. You also need to consider strategy, people and cash, but don’t wait until you have everything figured out to make a change that starts paying dividends right away.
When you have alignment and accountability on your team, you then have freedom to spend time and energy on what really matters, that rehearsal with your kid, that meeting with the key customer, that long weekend with your spouse.