The Labor Day Milepost

Labor Day stands for so much in the popular culture. To beachcombers it means the end of summer, to parents and it means the return to school, and for executives it means the final stretch of the fiscal year. Skilled managers have a strategic initiative that will change the face of their business.  Labor Day is the milepost when it becomes obvious whether these initiatives will succeed or fall by the wayside.

If you don’t have an initiative; why not? All executives, regardless of how the business is growing, need to assess strategy, structure, and critical resources on a regular basis. Managers who are successful achieving initiatives pay close attention to three elements:

  • Clear communication of what the change will look like, why the change is needed, and what is everybody’s role in the change
  • Frequent reporting of progress and holding people accountable for their role
  • Clarifying what the organization will stop doing to free time and resource to achieve the goal

Many managers stumble when they are unable or unwilling to pull resource from short-term objectives or that they feel that achieving short-terms is sufficient for long-term success. Great leaders focus on what the organization needs to become and have confidence their organizations can adapt to solve short-term problems.  

Labor Day is a time when executives begin planning for the coming year and ask these questions:

  • Are there performance shortfalls in my company I should be concerned about?
  • Have there been recent events or new competitors that have changed customer preferences in your market?
  • Has the willingness of employees to innovate and extend themselves grown or ebbed this year?
  • What’s the greatest obstacle we will face in 2015 and how will we overcome it?

If you struggle with any of these questions, there’s a good chance I will be able to help.

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