Tuesday, July 26, 2022

5 Actionable Takeaways from Mark Moses

 5 Actionable Takeaways

Take 60 seconds to answer one or more of the following questions -- we also highly encourage you to try this with colleagues and/or loved ones! 
  1. How can you better turn your most critical business goals into reality?
    There are two key questions to ensure you are turning your business goals into reality:
    • Where do you want to get to, and what are the measurable, repeatable, daily activities that will get you there? 
      First, you need to get clear on what success looks like for you. I’ve spoken to many executive-level groups, and when I ask what success looks like three years from now, most don’t know. Getting what you want is about having the discipline to follow a cadence. Imagine you determine what you want and develop your big, hairy, audacious goal. You’ve got your vision statement, mission, and core values. The next step is to determine what you need to do annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily to achieve your desired outcomes. Most importantly, you need to determine and track what are the most critical daily, repeatable, measurable activities that will enable you to get there. For revenue growth, it could be a certain number of new events, that get you a certain number of new prospects, which result in a certain growth level. It is critical to have your eye on the key leading indicators that you can influence daily to ensure you get to your lagging indicators. 
    • Who are the people you need to achieve what you want?
      Because most people don’t know what they want three years from now, they rely mostly on their current organizational structure; it’s a significant weakness for many firms. Look at your team—how would you answer the question, would you enthusiastically rehire them again today? In some cases, the answer is no, so the more challenging question is, would you enthusiastically rehire them today to help you achieve what you want three years from now? If the answer is still no, it comes back to you as a leader. Do you have the courage to search properly and find the people to drive the outcomes that you want?
  2. How can you fully leverage your leading indicators to better plan for times of adversity?
    Hopefully, your business won’t be affected by the coming recession, but there’s nothing wrong with future planning. It’s good to know the issues in your business that are leading indicators, the impact of those leading indicators, and what decisions you would make to change their outcome. 

    I like to look at 13 months because that gives you a year over year compared to that one month, but you can also do it quarterly. For example, imagine revenue is down, and you have slight gross margin erosion month over month. What if you can see over the last five months that the average time to close a sale has increased by a few days? Is that negative? Are your customers affected? Are your clients having problems? 

    At baseline, we do nothing. At a 5% increase in margin erosion, we take action. More than that, we take aggressive action, and we do something meaningful. At each stage, it’s worth asking why would I not do that anyway, even without the margin erosion? And if I would make those changes when the bad stuff happens, why would I not make them now? What would the impact be if I did?  All these questions lead you to be better prepared for when adversity does hit. 
  3. How can you ask better questions in your leadership meeting to maximize alignment in your organization?
    Alignment comes back to a disciplined process that starts with the annual leadership meeting. Each team member prepares the following: What went right this past year? What went wrong? What did we learn this past year? How did we do on our goals compared to how we said we would do? How did we do on the measurable activities we said would drive the outcome that we wanted?

    This is critical because often, things misfire on buy-in and alignment. People might have different visions, or our assumptions are wrong. Let’s say we achieved 80% of the activities but only 60% of the result. We might have chosen the wrong actions, or we didn’t pick enough of them. I like to ask, what will it take to guarantee we achieve the outcome? Once a year, it’s worth asking the question, if we were to start our business all over again, what are we doing today that we would not do in our new company? 
  4. How can you use the sensitivity analysis tool to identify the two most important levers in your business?
    When using the sensitivity analysis tool, you pick two essential levers in your business and create a simple two-dimensional graph, and the impact on EBITDA is in the center. That’s the number to focus on. You can see on one end EBITDA is high, and on the other end, it’s low. It’s a very disciplined way to look at your business. I suggest every company take their most essential levers and plot them against each other on the grid. This simple exercise shows you what moves the needle for your business and what you can do more of and less of, depending on your desired outcome.
  5. How can you better evaluate which executive coach is right for you to unlock your full potential?
    A good coach is three things. First, they’re part coach; a coach is somebody who can ask great questions and guide you to the answer. They also have a lot of industry experience, so they’ll wear the consultant hat. And at times, they are business therapists helping clients navigate between the courage and fear to act.

    Coaches often get fired because the client’s perception of the value they’re providing isn’t there. You don’t need a friend or therapist. You’re looking for somebody who can help you achieve what you really want a year and three years from now. Think through if you believe they can help you do that and how they are going to help you do it.
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