Five Things Will Balance the Bravado
“Entrepreneurs get ‘Vision Drunk’ and it’s what creates the 90% failure rate of businesses” says Gravy Founder and CEO Casey Graham. “It’s what makes us do stupid things like quit our jobs & start the business. It’s what makes us believe our product can make it. It’s what makes us pitch the investor with massive upside. But what about the reality of business?”
What About the Reality of Business
I love Casey’s final question! I frequently tell my Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) clients that “Vision without Traction is just Hallucination.” The ‘reality of business’ says we must bring the vision down out of the clouds. We must execute with discipline and accountability to avoid becoming a statistic.
Here are the three areas he suggests entrepreneurs should be “paranoid” about:
1 – Cash
Casey suggests that he and leaders on his team “wargame the business.” They think through different scenarios and ask “what if”. What if we exceed, hit, or severely miss on our projections?
In EOS, we have a tool called The 8 Cash Flow Drivers™ that helps entrepreneurs think through areas that impact cash. Then it takes the important step of operationalizing budgets and scorecards to ensure you and your team will positively impact cash flow.
2 – Culture
Casey suggests spot-checking important interactions that impact culture. Such as sitting in on interviews and one-on-ones. Going through the process of buying your own product. Onboarding a new hire. Overall, you must “inspect what you expect”. You want to to ensure systems and processes are producing what you really intend.
In EOS, your Core Values define your culture. They are the very first thing that appears on your Vision / Traction Organizer™ (V/TO™). The V/TO syncs the leadership team (and entire company) on vision, marketing strategy and execution so “shiny balloons” don’t derail them. The V/TO is reviewed and updated every quarter. With it, you can get everyone in the organization rowing the same direction. Everyone knows who you are (with core values). Why you do what you do is defined in your Core Focus™. The V/TO describes your marketing strategy and vision for 10, 3 and 1 year in the future. The whole team sets goals each quarter for the next 90 days. This helps everyone know what you do, who you do it for and how you do it. The V/TO shows your strategy and plan all in one document, one page front and back!
3 – Clients
Casey suggests developing the skill of really listening to your clients. This looks like reading between the lines when they talk and asking them important questions. Sage advice.
I help my clients see that the Accountability Chart can show how every function in your business is accountable for creating a harmonious customer journey and delivering it consistently. All the way from Marketing and Sales through Onboarding, Customer Success, Service, and Accounting. By defining your handful of Core Processes, you can deliver great value and a great experiences to your clients every time.
Balancing Vision and Traction
Beyond the great points made by Casey Graham in the Recurring Revenue Podcast, here are a few other key things I teach my clients to help them balance Vision and Traction and avoid the perils of ‘vision drunkenness.’
4 – The Visionary / Integrator Relationship
Last week I wrote about the important role of ‘The Amazing Integrator’. A book in the EOS Traction library, Rocket Fuel, describes the Visionary / Integrator (V/I) relationship. An Integrator (“I”) (think COO) balances the wild ideas the Visionary (“V”) shows up with every week. The “V” is free to continue doing what they’re wired for (big ideas, relationships, culture etc.). A strong, trusted “I” is there to sift out the bravado and keep the “V” tracking on company Core Focus. Meanwhile, the I is driving harmonious execution for clients across the value chain. Get the chemistry of this special relationship right and you can create “rocket fuel”. Then your chances of being in the 1% that can create a growing, thriving business are possible.
5 – The Scorecard
Finally, we create a weekly scorecard. It has 5 to 15 lead measures to keep everyone accountable to moving the business toward vision achievement. By checking in on the scorecard in your weekly leadership meetings, you can see what’s working and not. And you can see challenges in time to make adjustments before the cement dries. This is “productive paranoia” that helps you keep your company “on track”!
Powerful Productive Paranoia Toolset
Watching Cash, Culture and Clients while fostering a powerful Visionary / Integrator relationship, and checking in with a weekly Scorecard makes for a powerful “productive paranoia” toolset. With EOS tools and disciplines, you can get paranoia out of the realm of sideways thoughts and emotions and into the realm of solid execution for your clients, your team, and your business!
Learn more about the tools and disciplines I talk about in this post! I’ll give your leadership team 90 minutes to show you the tools you can use to Build a Better Business and Live a Better Life! Click on the green button to the right and schedule a time that works for you!
Be great this week!