In management which is more important—Doing things right or doing the right things? The answer may surprise you because it depends on the situation.
Both of these behaviors are required to lead a team or manage a business. In Doing Things Right you establish detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, establish structure, monitor results, and execute specific plans. On the other hand, Doing the Right Things includes establishing direction, aligning people, and motivating and inspiring people. In short, management (Doing Things Right) is important but will not succeed without leadership (Doing the Right Things). In the case of an entrepreneurial leader this would be described as the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business.
Let’s take an example. There are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they understand how to create a great meal that, therefore, they would be a natural to open a restaurant. The business can open and make sales. However, the owner is usually consumed with running the business and every little detail. There is very little time to step away from the day to day operation. In most cases the business stops when the owner stops. In our restaurant example, unless you have a small food counter, you need other people. You need organization and you need leadership. If you are a great cook and this is really your passion you might be better served to work for great restaurant as the executive chef.
Likewise, if you want to build a real estate agency you will need to provide leadership and development to your team. You cannot expect new agents to hang their shingles with you and say you have an organization.
More needs to be done. Michael Gerber highlights some key points in his book E-Myth Revisted. I have found that the enterprises that I have coached and consulted have had success when they have followed the following points.
1. You need a vision for your business. How do you look when you are successful? What is the future of your business five to ten years from now rather than what you are doing today?
2. Who are you customers now and in the future? What is your unique value proposition; what sets you apart from your competition? How do you get customers?
3. How does the business work rather than the work done by the business? What processes and procedures are in place to facilitate the smooth operation of the business when the owner is not present?
4. How does this business generate profits rather than how does the business make sales?
5. How is the business structured to meet the needs of the customers? How does the business build loyal customers?
6. How are the best people hired, motivated, and retained?
7. Can this business continue to grow and duplicate? In other words, is this a sustainable business?
The real secret behind all of this is not simply having a business plan although you certainly do need a business plan. The real secret is learning how to become an entrepreneurial leader. Leadership is paramount to you personally and to your team. As an entrepreneurial leader you will look at the forest instead of the trees and you wi learn to Do the Right Things.