Are You Brave?
“True strength is the courage to admit our weaknesses.” Simon Sinek
When was the last time you and your team listed out the internal weaknesses in your business?
You and your team know what they are. The things that . . .
Frustrate your customers
Make work a struggle for you and your team
Would break if your business volume doubled
Are keeping your business from doubling
In my last two posts, I discussed the use of a SWOT analysis to help you take stock of where your business is today and how it can improve. The 'W' stands for Weaknesses; things that are currently happening…or not, in your business that are hurting you, holding you back.
What I’ve found from my clients over the past seven years is that they usually know what their weaknesses are . . . and those that are brave enough to ask their team’s opinion, get them confirmed and other weaknesses come to light that they either didn’t know about or wouldn’t admit existed.
So, what weaknesses are holding YOUR business back? Are you brave enough to ask yourself and your team four simple questions?
If so, try this simple, yet impactful exercise:
This week send out an email to your direct reports or entire team and ask them to answer these four questions:
What could our company do better?
What processes are missing?
Where do we need to improve our experience, knowledge or expertise?
What do our customers complain about?
I think you will find your team to be amazingly insightful and well informed.
You will find you can typically sort your weaknesses into three categories:
WEAK PRODUCTS. We all have them. The ones that give us the least income. The ones that are least profitable. Weak products take just as many resources, (sometimes more), to support than strong products. Can they become good contributors to the company? Or is it time pull them from your portfolio?
WEAK PEOPLE. When jobs are not getting done right, it’s usually one of three things:
they don’t know what they are supposed to do
they don’t know how to do it
they may just not want to do their whole job as required.
The first two are fixable via documentation and training. The third . . . time to replace them!
WEAK PROCESSES. Have you been resisting upgrading or automating your systems? What processes need to be abandoned, replaced or improved? Ask your people—they know.
The good news is the 2020 market impacted all of your competition. So, if you are willing to identify and move on your weaknesses first, you may be able to win some market share that would have otherwise been much tougher to acquire.
Admitting your weaknesses in not a mark of a poor leader or manager. It does not make you look vulnerable or unwise in front of your people. It actually does the exact opposite. It builds trust and is the first step to getting you and your team on the road to continuous improvement to achieve the results you want.
And with focus, creativity and determination, you can turn what were once weaknesses into strengths.
Be encouraged. Be strong. Be courageous. BE BRAVE!!