Balance is key to success, particularly for business owners and leaders who think about an entire organization. This means: a) the ability to decide where and when to focus on multiple continuums, b) the ability to execute those decisions, and c) the ability to know when to reassess (a minute or years later).
This skill is not taught in a class. This skill is not being a jack of all trades — it is the skill to know which trade is needed when and how much. This is not the all-in entrepeneur or academic who knows one thing. This is not the one strategy that worked for one organization one time being applied broadly to future circumstances. This is the real life skill needed to lead and manage.
Below are some key balance continuums for all organizations and businesses. For today, are you and your organization at the optimal point on each continuum? What other continuums are you facing? Make an active assessment of where you want to be.
- External vs. Internal.
- Focus vs. General.
- Sales/Marketing vs. Production.
- Revenue vs. Expenses.
- Strategy vs. Execution.
- Differentiation vs. Best Practices.
- Short-term vs. Long-term.
- Problems vs. Opportunities.
- Innovation/disruption vs. stability/existing systems.
- Work vs. family vs. friends.
- Mental vs. Physical.
- Top down vs. Bottom-up.
- Balance sheet (stock/snapshot) vs. Income Statement (flow).
- Finance vs. Operations.
- Equity vs. Debt.
- Sell vs. Hold.
- Fast growth vs. slow growth.
- Delegating vs. Doing.
- All-in vs. small bets.
- Your needs vs those of your organization.
You have a choice of where your organization can be on each continuum. Decide what is best. Go execute. Reassess.
- Is it Better to Make Employees Fit Roles or Roles Fit Employees? [July 10, 2012]
- Business Strategy Plans Not Working? Top-Down versus Bottom-Up [May 31, 2012]
- Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs – Harvard Business Review [May 25, 2012]
- Construct a Perfect Business, Financially Speaking [April 22, 2012]