Have you ever talked with someone that isn’t facing reality? Perhaps it is about a relationship, a job, or even a business. Being objective is more difficult than you might think. It’s hard to face reality.
We prefer to imagine things as we would like them to be, rather than the way they actually are. Imagining what we like rather than what is reality, however, keeps us from improving and moving ahead. Being objective results in five valuable benefits.
One of the challenges to being objective is nostalgia. This is particularly true when an organization has declined. People remember what the organization was in the past. The “good old days” become the reference point that skews the reality of the present.
I often see this when people get ready to step down from leadership. They remember all the “blood, sweat, and tears” that went into building the company. They are emotionally attached and value it based on what they have put into it, rather than by where it is currently.
When new leadership takes over, they design their effort to move forward from what is currently happening, not what the business was in the past. They look at it based upon what is happening today. Leaders are surprised because others do not see what it took to build the company. They don’t know the sacrifice the leader made to start and develop it.
Objectivity doesn’t forget to value the people.
Valuing your company goes beyond valuing the physical plant and equipment. One of the most valuable parts of any business is the people who work there. Their knowledge, commitment, and experience can greatly increase its value.
Businesses depreciate equipment and buildings. Their employees can appreciate the business’ value. Having dedicated workers who are proficient at their jobs adds a great deal of value to an organization.
How recently have you looked at your employees? What are you doing to increase their value to the organization? As a leader, it is very easy to overlook what could very well be the most valuable component of your company, the employees.
Status quo is not usually a good thing. So many leaders work hard to develop good companies, only to allow them to decline during their mature years. A business is either moving forward or falling behind. There is very little middle ground.
Some leaders refuse to invest in development or improvement. It is costly, challenging, and difficult. Yet, failing to develop means your business is likely declining.
It is wise to invest in development based on ROI. Take an honest look at where you have the most potential to experience the highest ROI. Ask yourself, “What would happen if I gave time, money, and effort in improving that area?” If there is great potential that you can regain your investment and additional income, then stop thinking about it and just do it. Doing so just makes good business sense.
Objectivity doesn’t neglect to evaluate potential impact.
I am always amazed at how few leaders really think about potential impact. They get caught up in making payroll, covering operational expenses, and purchasing buildings or equipment. They do not really consider their impact.
In what area is your business most impactful? You might be surprised at how few leaders know the answer to that question. They just don’t think that way, but they should.
Leading a company is about impacting lives. Making an impact improves your company and propels it forward. It means you can impact more people. Keep your eye on impact. It is a key gauge.
Leading a company can deplete you. It requires you to make big decisions, invest a great deal of time, and solve numerous problems. There is almost always someone “knocking on your door.”
It is not uncommon for leaders to disengage with their business. They go through the motions of running their business without truly engaging in their work.
Ask yourself this question, “Is my heart still in my business?” If not, be honest with yourself and determine what you should do. If you cannot or will not re-engage, then consider stepping aside and allowing another to lead.
Failing to engage in your company will result in your business heading downhill. Companies do not operate themselves. They need leadership. If you cannot or will not be the leader, then step aside for another to lead.
Stop for a moment and take an objective look at your company. Be honest with yourself and take action where needed. You have worked hard to build and grow what you have. Don’t fall asleep at the wheel. A clear-headed assessment is needed in many companies. Make sure your company takes one!