For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost
and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
It often amazes me to learn that another large business has collapsed, that something that has stood the ‘test of time’ been there forever, an institute within our community and all the other cliches, to describe what to all intents and purposes from the outside is considered a ‘successful company’.
Yet, with concerning regularity these days I’m seeing large businesses, with many staff, many clients, much in the way of future opportunity FAIL!
I’ve recently spent some time with two partners who in all intents and purposes have a good business. Both have come from a corporate background, and have the necessary skills, background experience, education, understanding of both concept and niche to make this business a real success, but it’s not! In fact quite the opposite, it’s actually struggling to survive and unlikely to see 2017 in its current format!
It has sufficient customers to keep going, it has sufficient resource to service those customers, and collectively they have the right experience and vision for this to be a GREAT business, but what they are lacking is a horseshoe nail!
I’ve previously worked within a business that was ON THE WAY UP. It had the ‘magic sauce’ and was growing month on month, week by week, day by day we saw continual growth. New members of staff appeared almost on a weekly basis to cope with the demand of new customers, and all the projections for the business were exceptionally favourable to both share holders and employee progression, things were good!……. or so we thought.
You see, in both examples I’ve given here, the management, the business owner(s) had put in place the A,B,C’s had tested and tested them and they knew they worked and worked well. So, they had ‘gone off’ to create the D,E and F of the business; assuming that the A,B and C would simply happen, would miraculously continue working just as they had done, WHEN people, systems and processes were in place to ensure they happened! I call it the FUNDAMENTALS in a business!
Darren Hardy, takes at length in his book The Compound Effect about how the simplest little things can have the most detrimental effects if left unmanaged, unconsidered, unimportant! And that by ensuring we continually work on improving the little things EVERY day can have the most amazing compound results.
The poem above, may be a child’s nursery rhyme, but the sentiments and the message have never been more important to YOU and YOUR business, because whilst it’s good to have ‘blue sky thinking’ it’s also massively important to keep your ‘boots on the ground’ your ‘eye on the prize’ and a tight control and measure of EVERY aspect of your business and not just the big shiny things, but EVERY aspect of your goal.
I recently re-read Legacy by James Kerr, it’s one of my Entrepreneur’s Library top 30 reads, and makes several references to ‘sweeping the sheds’, and how despite being the captain of the all blacks, a world class and record breaking team, that every member was responsible after each game for collecting all the kit and sweeping the sheds. No job was too great for any member, because collectively it still needed to be done, and only if EVERY member of the team is willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to be the best, can you truly emerge as the very best.
I thank you for your time in reading this post today, and ask you to consider what ONE thing are you going to do today to make tomorrow 1% better, quicker, slicker, more professional, more polished, more customer friendly, more customer focussed. What 1 EXTRA thing are you going to do today not for yourself, but for your team, your colleagues, your department, your company, your community, your family? HOW are you going to put yourself out to do that, and by doing so MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.
NOBODY on a winning team gets to say “That’s not my job” because on a winning team by the time you’ve had chance to say it, someone else has already gone ahead and done it!
NOBODY is too good, to important, to busy to go back to basics and sweep the sheds, you may just find the horseshoe nail you’ve been looking for to conquer your kingdom!