Article No :53 | October 4, 2006 | by Howard Mann

“Leaders are the most results-oriented individuals in the world, and results get attention” – Warren Bennis

Tangible and measurable results. Everyone wants them and everyone promises the secret sauce to deliver them and yet, it happens so seldom that it remains the holy grail for any business and its owner.

You put in that new software system but people are not using all the productivity tools that made you buy it in the first place.

You launched a new web site and it is not contributing to your business goals

You promoted a new product or brand message and it did not take hold across the company or in your market

You set out this years plan to be more innovative and then… Nothing.

Sprinters and runners are taught early on that they are to imagine the actual finish line 5 steps beyond where it actually is so they accelerate through the finish line. The same is true for business results, we are thinking about the finish line in the wrong place and confuse getting things done with what needs to happen to make sure we enjoy the results we need them to deliver.

From my own experiences, and what I witness with clients, the problem arises from very little planning about what comes right after done.

What would happen if you mapped out, from the start of every initiative or project, 5 more steps that needed to be done beyond the obvious finish line?

5 ways to promote the site in the first 3 months after launch, 5 weeks of planned out persistent promotion of that new product, 5 things you were going to do after the big annual meeting to demonstrate your focus on innovation or a 2 month plan to make sure everyone is really using the new technology tools you implemented. What about 5 things your company can do after you landed that big client that makes sure you deliver on everything you promised and you set a time to track and prove the value you have delivered?

Results are what moves the business up to its next level of growth. Getting things to done has merely become the equivalent of treading water. It may keep everyone busy but it just moves you from project to project. Accelerating through the finish line not only gets things to done faster, it creates a follow through that changes how your company executes.

What initiatives do you have in the works now or have implemented that delivered bottom line results that were way below expectations?

Write them down on the left column of the linked PDF form below and consider 5 more steps after the original finish line for each one that moves you towards cash account” results.

Interested? Click here to download the PDF action form.