Running a business can be both challenging and rewarding. There are many obstacles that require you to organize yourself. As a business executive and entrepreneur, I have embraced the “Seven Centers of Management Attention,” by Michael E. Gerber, and applied them to my business and my internal systems to create a profitable, collaborative and highly efficient organization. Over the years, these seven building blocks of business have helped me organize my business systems and set the trajectory for my company, management team and employees.
The Seven Centers of Management Attention include: leadership, management, marketing, lead generation, lead conversion and client fulfilment. Let’s explore how to apply the centers to your business. Whether you’re a smaller company trying to organize and prioritize your business or a larger organization hitting a plateau or searching for ways to bring new growth into your organization, the first two principles are a great place to start and vital to creating a high-performing business.
Leadership is one of the most critical elements to a growing a successful business. If you’re the primary shareholder of your company or part of a senior leadership team, its critical for you to set the tone for the business and to help steer the vision, mission and core values. This will help guide the team and create a culture of teamwork.
At the same time, as a leader it’s imperative that you identify your company’s needs in order to accomplish your goals. Once you know where you’re headed, what is your strategy for doing so? How will you get there, and what will you do better and differently to win customers and attract and retain top talent? While it can be hard to think about your company in its entirety and make a plan that far down the line, it is important to set a course. People who think big picture tend to be much more successful, and as the leader of the organization, it is your role to keep the vision at the forefront. If you think of your business as a step-by-step process with a grand plan, it will help you get from point A to point B, C, and so on. That’s leadership. It’s where are we going, and how are we going to get there.
In business, people often confuse leadership with management. A leader is responsible for bringing everyone together and headed toward a common goal. Leaders will view things from the 30,000-foot level — looking at the landscape for new opportunities and steering the ship away from danger, as well as thinking about the structure of the business and where it’s headed.
A manager, on the other hand, is focused on the day-to-day responsibilities and for holding the team accountable to the established business systems and processes. It’s running the processes, keeping score and ensuring the team is motivated and organized on a more micro level.
A key part of management that many misunderstand, is that it is a skill. Leaders often believe they are also good managers. But the two are not mutually exclusive. You can be a leader but not have honed your management skills. Depending on the size of your organization, hiring someone to fill that role or a team of people to help manage the organization can improve the structure and culture of the company.
Certainly, some people are born with a more natural talent for management, but there is a strategy behind good management that isn’t inherent. In many cases, you can’t just take your best salesperson or tech and promote him or her to manager and expect them to rise to the role. Great management is typically a learned skill that takes practice, time and experience to become proficient. Years ago, I signed up for MAP (Management Action Programs), which was a three-day course and ongoing follow-up meetings designed to help leaders create and implement a successful management system. This helped me learn how to build a system for managing and coaching within our company and changed the trajectory of the organization. The bottom line is that with the proper training, hiring and practice, you are not going to be the management your business needs to reach its potential. Remember, great leaders are influential, and great management provides the necessary support to realize the vision of the leader.
In the next article, we’ll explore some of the additional building blocks of business to help you create or improve your internal processes and systems to move toward creating a healthy and high-performing organization.
Ken Goodrich is CEO of Las Vegas-based Goettl, a leading provider of residential HVAC and plumbing
services in the Southwest.