A tough question? Maybe it is…but maybe it is not. It depends on your plan. Whether simple or complex, your plans define your ability to execute at a flawless level. Let’s for a second ask if we want to be an average company or a flawless company?
So let’s start with what does flawless mean? I argue it means perfect. So what is perfect?
According to Webster…
Perfect — adjective \ˈpər-fikt\
- Having no mistakes or flaws
- Completely correct or accurate
- Having all the qualities you want in that kind of person, situation, etc.
And if this is true, what do we compare it to? We would argue average. Not the bottom of the barrel, but what everyone agrees is okay.
So how would one define average?
- 1. The typical or normal amount, quality, degree, etc.: above average
- 2. Typically: on average, he goes twice a week.
- 3. Usual
- 4. Mediocre or inferior: his performance was only average.
- 5. Approximately typical of a range of values: the average contents of a matchbox.
So, what are you judged on as an Operator? Average execution, average operations, average cash flows, average P&L, average Management team????
We think not.
No in fact you are judged on being above average, or better than average. And maybe, just maybe, you would prefer to be thought of as an incredible operator, having excellent financials and the being compared to or recognized as the best in the business.
If so…how do you get there? Well it starts with great people, great services, and great suppliers. Okay, so you hire the right people, provide excellent services, and find great suppliers. Sounds easy right? Well, I believe right now most of you are shaking your head from side to side in a no fashion, saying to yourself “I wish”. Why is that? Pretty simple, all great people are great at some things, even great at many things, but are definitely not great at all things. Knowing this is half the battle; implementing a strategy based on this knowledge is not as easy. And it’s not as easy because we expect flawless execution from employees, service providers, and suppliers (“people”)…no matter how important their jobs or functions may be.
The question is, do these “people” have the expertise to perform the functions you ask them to? Were “people” given the training to perform this function, or are they just expected to know everything? Then you have to ask yourself, do you know everything about everything? We believe if answered honestly, you would agree you do not. No human, and yes your “people” are human, knows everything about everything.
So what now? Train everyone about everything in business? Not likely. Train everyone on everything in your business? Better focus, but still not likely. No, you need to educate, train and mentor your employees to be excellent at the function they perform in your business, and also choose partnerships and vendors “people” that have the expertise to truly help drive your business towards a flawless execution. This realization and leadership action develops partners that act like employees and brings their expertise and flawless execution into your business.
If you did this, do you believe you would be a better Operator than your competition? Can you see how this would position you to possibly be flawless?
And the next time your business undergoes evaluation, wouldn’t you like the buyer/investor to consider you perfect?