By Crystal Faulkner, an EO Cincinnati member and partner of Cooney Faulkner & Stevens, LLC
As a co-founder and partner of our business and advisory accounting firm, we try to develop grandiose goals for our company. Each year, we develop specific strategies for growth and success, but like many business owners, oftentimes the day-to-day business activities take over and demand our attention leaving our strategies to fall by the wayside.
On the verge of celebrating our 15th year in business, we decided to take a step back and reflect on where we had been, where we were going and how we were going to get there. This reflection reminded all of us how excited and passionate we were about building our new business and making it as successful as possible. Through this process we realized we still needed to develop grandiose goals, but we needed to strategize differently in order to stay on track to actually accomplish them.
Here are five adjustments you can make when developing your business goals in order to realize the full potential of yourself, your employees and your business:
Identify Your “Why”
The differentiating factor between organizations that accomplish their business goals and those that don’t is leaders of winning companies have identified “why” they want to succeed. Having a strong “why” or purpose gets you going in the morning, excited and ready to move your business forward. Purpose is what keeps owners and employees engaged and active. It allows us to be passionate about why we want to succeed. Your success is the result of overwhelming passion about your company’s purpose and taking action to incorporate your purpose in everything you do.
Profit is Not Your “Why,” It’s the By-Product
Profit, in and of itself, is not your “why.” Profit is the by-product of embodying your company’s purpose. Profits are critical, but they are the outcome of a successful company. Simply focusing on increasing your company’s bottom line will never generate the enthusiasm and culture that creates real success.
Ignite Your Passion
It’s the passion for your purpose (your “why”) that will move you and your business to new heights. Passion will distinguish you from your competition and drive you to do what others will not. When you are passionate about your purpose, you are not afraid to take the specific action steps required to achieve your goals, even when it is uncomfortable and difficult.
What can you do to create passion around a common purpose in your organization? Step back and think about the last time you were truly excited and passionate about some aspect of your business. What did that feel like? What has dulled your enthusiasm? You owe it to yourself and your company to take the time to thoughtfully consider how to reignite the passion around a purpose that will allow your business to thrive.
Discover Your Motivating Driver
Engage your employees in identifying the purpose for your organization. A common purpose does not have to be big or bold. It should simply be one that is uniquely internalized by you and your associates. It will become the motivating driver around your brand. Allow your team to create a bold vision and dream big, and then put these dreams for new possibilities on paper. Your team’s passion for your common purpose is the key ingredient in building momentum for your organization.
Take a hard look at your team. If you have employees who do not share your purpose and are unwilling to whole-heartedly buy into the company’s purpose and vision, perhaps you need to consider if these individuals belong in your company. Only hire people who are willing to embody your company’s core values and purpose. Your employees must be motivated and passionate about the purpose of your business in order to achieve success.
Take Action and Establish Metrics
Once you’ve established a motivating purpose for your organization, identify objectives that will allow you to achieve your goals and purpose. And then develop specific actions that will move you toward your objectives. Establish metrics that will allow you to measure your progress to ensure that you and your team are on track. Constantly evaluate each action to ensure it is in alignment with your purpose. Assign the various actions to your team members and set up an accountability timeline; don’t forget to schedule progress checkpoints on a regular basis.
Taking the time to identify your “why,” ignite your passion, discover your motivating drivers and assess your progress, will create a winning formula: Purpose + Passion = Profit.