I have a business owner who the minute he reads this will know I’m talking about him. We’ll call him Rob. ‘Get er done’ is his slogan.

Get ‘er Done! Is it your motto, too? How about your team’s?

Rob runs a $40+ million business, 120 employees, and worked like a dog when I met him. When I met him he said, “I need a better solution because my body is not going to hold up much longer.” He was putting in too many hours, physically getting involved from time to time, and still going on sales calls for small and medium clients.

I wasn’t shocked to hear this – at all. Productivity and profitability top almost every CEO’s wish list.

Another client recently mentioned that he was “so frustrated with the millennial’s ability to get things done and their lack of accountability.”  It was resulting in him losing sales and having dissatisfied clients. Oddly enough, he is a millennial himself.

When we dug into both situations we found very similar results:

  • Wasted payroll and loss profitability
  • Deadlines not being met or undue stress from racing to the finish line to complete them
  • Frustration at every level of the organization
  • Diminishing market share

The CEO and leadership team were in the weeds. They had become too close to the company.

Here’s the bottom line, you need to get ‘er done.

Changing psychographics, demographics, and competition make managing accountability and execution more challenging in today’s environment than ever before. If you’re feeling this trend, you’re in good company.

I’d like to identify three areas where you can make simple changes that will bring your company productively into the future.

  1. Managing the psychographics of accountability

It’s important to understand how accountability has changed based on demographics, economics, generationally and environmentally. Before you can lead the charge in this environment and have your team scale Everest, you need to know how they work and understand the ART of accountability.

I was re-reading one of my favorite books, The Oz Principle, and realized that fundamentally not much has changed. Environmentally, EVERYTHING has changed.

Look at Richard Branson. By eliminating limits on paid vacation, he’s adapted to a new environment and leveraged loyalty and reward in exchange for unwavering accountability.

We will be talking more about Virgin and this topic later this month (June 14th) with the CEO of Leadership Dynamics, Ann Meacham. We’d love for you to join us. Register to participate or even just get the recording here:  Ask The Expert webinar.

(It’s free and we will absolutely not sell you anything on these calls! We create these live events weekly for our members and share them with our business community in order to show appreciation for our guests.

  1. Become a change catalyst.

Identifying the change you want to drive is one thing, but being able to change it is another. It requires great strategy, understanding, and inspiration. Without these three things, you have great turnover – which isn’t always great.

Take time to assess where your team is, who your team is, and who you need them to be. This first step will help you better create a strategy in step 3 that will create the right change at the right pace for your business.

Because it requires a little bit of cage rattling as well, we will be hosting another conversation with cage rattler extraordinaire, Dr. Bridget Cooper on June 7th. Dr. Cooper trains CEOs and teams of large corporations on change management. We are thrilled to have her be a part of this conversation. For YOU to be a part of this conversation as well, please register here. (Again, these are interactive expert calls- not sales webinars.)

  1. Think before you change.

Often times we see CEOs who are very adept at the knee-jerk response method. See a problem, solve it, period. Sometimes the quick fix is just a future problem waiting to exasperate.

Driving productivity is a challenge most businesses face yet one easily solved with the right tools. Chances are you have already recognized that productivity is critical to delivering great customer experiences and improving profitability. It’s also incredibly important in your ability to keep ahead of your competition.

Before you start just getting your team to move faster or spending sometimes millions on new equipment to get ‘er done, follow this quick road map:

  1. Write down every problem you see that you want to change – now and in the future.

No, you’re not going to go after all of them today. Writing them down in one location can provide some important Ah-ha! moments for you. You’ll see trends, people issues, low hanging fruit, etc…

CEO’s, just like anyone else, can get mired in the minutia. Doing this with our boards has proven that CEOs can get distracted from important priorities as easily as your team. If you have a trusted advisor or board, this is a great list to share. 9/10 times we’ve found that even our Harvard MBAs can miss simple things that can cost them significantly. When you put the power of great minds together, it’s far easier to identify.

  1. Tag your list. Use a coding system. Read every line and tag each item with one of the 3 codes:

PGA– Profit Generating Activity

TE – Team Engagement Activity

W – Wish list item. It’s just something that’s been gnawing at you and it’s about time it got done.

Sounds simple, but most leaders don’t take the time to do this. More importantly, as you’re prioritizing, don’t be too surprised if you struggle between prioritizing between PGA and TE. Any good leader does.

  1. Ask “WHY?” 5 times. Before you move into action, choose your top 5 tasks and do this quick exercise with your team and yourself. Present the problem and then ask “why?” five times.

We missed the deadline? Why? (#1) Because we couldn’t get the product through production fast enough. Why? (#2) Because…   Warning** The 5th “Why?” is always the toughest.

Too often leaders jump to an assumption. When you start this practice, you’ll notice the answer to the 5th “Why?” is generally 2-3 common themes. Solving the root cause versus the symptom will save you time, but also, solve your problem forever.

  1. Now, create your plan! You’re not the CEO or head of a great company because you don’t know how to make things happen. A good plan is the right step to getting your team moving forward faster. Share your plan so all your guns are pointed in the right direction. When your team has the right focus and a solid strategy to get there, you’ll get ‘er done much faster!

 If you’re interested in having us support you with your goals and objectives or would like to learn more about our CEO Roundtables, team of advisors, business helpline and marketing program, please email us at Info@SmallBusinessUS.com.

 Colleen Ferrary is the President and Founder of Small Business USA and its subsidiaries; InsightCEO, NetworkandGolf, and Generating Winners.