What are the main differences between the manager of a large, successful company and the manager of a small, difficult company?
The former manages systems; the latter continuously corrects problems.
Without exception, large, successful companies work with their systems. And those without thoughtful leadership and structured, sensible protocols – most small businesses – are struggling.
In other words, the first company prevents fires, while the second company has to continuously put out fires.
High quality products and services, a reliable team and high profitability are the result of good systems and not the other way around.
Whether daily work runs smoothly or not, the underlying system performs exactly as constructed. Day by day.
There is also a certain freedom in this conclusion: problems arise from systems. So you can do something about that.
As an entrepreneur or manager, you probably have some goals in mind and know what you need to do to get there. But you get bogged down in putting out fires and never get around to defining clear objectives or working out specific strategies (and outsourcing tasks to the team).
Can’t this be done differently?
Yes, this is possible, and the way to do it is to create control.
You do this by analyzing processes and breaking them down into smaller parts. Then document them and see if this process can be made faster, smoother or even omitted.
Instead of continuously putting out the recurring fires that arise from failing subsystems, it is necessary to improve the underlying system first.
First, you work on your systems. Then your systems do the work for you.
Control is a must, not a side effect
For many companies now deep in the daily grind, working everything out in standard processes often seems an impossible task. The whole thing seems too complicated and impenetrable. This is because there is no grip.
Control is the first thing we need in our life and business to find peace and success. Without rest, chaos takes over and systems thinking often fails to understand. We all have limited willpower during the day.
That’s why you want to set aside time at the beginning of the day to create order, first things first.
You will make tremendous progress if you spend the most alert hours of the day performing key system-building tasks.
Now I don’t expect you to write a complete handbook of your entire business on day 1, but you have to start small. Examples include a standard day-start meeting, training a colleague in your work (an hour a day does wonders) and making time to update yourself with knowledge.
In the next email, I will explain the three-step process I learned in a great book called “Work the System.”
What do you see now?
Here is an exercise, which you will need in the next mail:
Looking around right now from the space you’re in right now, what can be improved? What do you see? What is the consequence? What is missing?