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INSIGHTS BLOG

INSIGHTS BLOG

Don’t Allow Your Business To Drift

Leadership, My Life's Work

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I’m not proud of it, but it’s true.

1981.  Winter break from college.  The dean of the business school felt it right to send me a letter.  “You have been academically suspended” are the only words I remember.

Now mind you, this is from Western Illinois University.  The same institution that the men’s basketball team one season, played its first six home games with the word “Illinois’ misspelled on the player’s jerseys.

For three semesters, I drifted.  And then I was disrupted by the business school dean.

Can you think of a business that has drifted with no meaningful disciplines?  How about Enron?

Or a business that drifted with no vision?  Blockbuster comes to mind.

How about a business with no clear path forward?  Sears.  Enough said, right?

On the other hand, businesses with strategy, disciplines, and vision write a different future.  A future of relevance, sustainability, and profitability for generations to come. 

The Deadly Drift

Your business can’t be allowed to drift.

Businesses drift when they become distracted by the overwhelm.  Lost in a fog of uncertainty. Consumed by busyness.   And, maybe worse when they start to deceive themselves.  Amazon won’t impact your business will it?

“I owned a distributorship for 30 years” I was told a lunch one day.  This gentleman continued, “I HAD to sell it two months ago.  And I have nothing to show for it.”  It was sad really.

For many years this business leader, if we are honest didn’t lead.  He drifted.  Oh he was busy.  Had relationships up and down the channel.  I know for a fact he worked hard.

Yet the drift was there.

The opposite of drift is design.  Being intentional about what the business must become.

I’m not proud of it, but it’s true.

1981.  Winter break from college.  The dean of the business school felt it right to send me a letter.  “You have been academically suspended” are the only words I remember.

Now mind you, this is from Western Illinois University.  The same institution that the men’s basketball team one season, played its first six home games with the word “Illinois’ misspelled on the player’s jerseys.

For three semesters, I drifted.  And then I was disrupted by the business school dean.

Can you think of a business that has drifted with no meaningful disciplines?  How about Enron?

Or a business that drifted with no vision?  Blockbuster comes to mind.

How about a business with no clear path forward?  Sears.  Enough said, right?

On the other hand, businesses with strategy, disciplines, and vision write a different future.  A future of relevance, sustainability, and profitability for generations to come. 

The Deadly Drift

Your business can’t be allowed to drift.

Businesses drift when they become distracted by the overwhelm.  Lost in a fog of uncertainty. Consumed by busyness.   And, maybe worse when they start to deceive themselves.  Amazon won’t impact your business will it?

“I owned a distributorship for 30 years” I was told a lunch one day.  This gentleman continued, “I HAD to sell it two months ago.  And I have nothing to show for it.”  It was sad really.

For many years this business leader, if we are honest didn’t lead.  He drifted.  Oh he was busy.  Had relationships up and down the channel.  I know for a fact he worked hard.

Yet the drift was there.

The opposite of drift is design.  Being intentional about what the business must become.

Articulate A Clear Path Forward

To secure your life’s work, you must articulate a clear path forward.  And then align the organization around that path.  You must set your sights on a destination, that everyone around you is committed to getting to.

A distribution CEO I respect often quotes Proverbs 29:18 which says, “where there is no vision; the people will perish.”

Vision is a future reality you really believe is possible with committed effort.  Without that vision, I perished at my first attempt at college.  Just as my lunch friend did with his business.

The challenge with vision is your team will want to know HOW you will get there.  They will demand a coherent alternative to the status quo.

Some call this process, painting a picture of the future.  Sounds fun doesn’t it!

What do we look like in the future?  What do we look like in say five years?  What should we be doing?  What markets will we be in?  What technologies will be embedded?  What should we be doing?  How should we be acting?  How many associates do we have?  How many locations?  What will our business model consist of?

You get the picture.

But have you painted one for your organization?  Your life’s work depends on it.

My Life’s Work Success Path Incorporates A Clear Path Forward

As you work to articulate a clear path forward for your organization’s future, here are some key milestones you’ll want to pursue:

  1. Define the customer of the future
  2. Define your organization of the future
  3. Craft your future reality vision statement
  4. Standardize your strategic planning process
  5. Identify the gap between extraordinary and average performance in your organization

Your life’s work should not be left to chance or drift.  Designing the future is a way for you to stand where you aspire to lead the organization, and reverse engineer it into reality.  This becomes your life’s work.

Dirk Beveridge

Dirk Beveridge

Founder | UnleashWD

You don’t have to be alone as you anchor Your Life’s Work for the next generation.

My Life’s Work is the world’s only program for distribution executives ready to secure their life’s work.  Through a series of innovative quarterly coaching retreats, you are provided a system to set your business trajectory for relevance, profitability, and success before transitioning to the next generation.

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How can I help make your meeting great?

Drop me a quick note – and we’ll start the discussion. Thanks for reaching out!

  

Thank you for submitting information about your upcoming meeting. Dirk and his team will get back to you very soon.

Invite Dirk To Speak

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How can I help make your meeting great?

Drop me a quick note – and we’ll start the discussion. Thanks for reaching out!

  

Thank you for submitting information about your upcoming meeting. Dirk and his team will get back to you very soon.

Distribution As We Know It Is Dead

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