When Hildy Gottlieb, author of “The Pollyanna Principles,” spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders in Los Angeles a few years ago, she asked us to walk to the balcony of the meeting room and look out at the horizon. With the sun setting over the Hollywood hills, it was easy to use the analogy of the skyline representing the mission and goals of each individual organization.
She then told the group that their shoes represented the day-to-day activities required to keep their companies going. She then pointed out that when you look at the things right under your nose, you lose sight of the big picture…that when you are focused on your shoes, you lose sight of the skyline.
For many companies, it feels like there is only time and focus on the “the shoes.” What good is planning for the future if you can’t get a handle on your business in the present? Without a clear strategy, you are just spinning your wheels to stand in place, with no forward momentum, which means no movement, no growth, no success – at least no time soon…
The accounting firm of Rose, Snyder & Jacobs (RSJ) has shepherded countless clients through various stages of growth. Through over 35 years of experience, they have compiled a checklist of “21 Keys to A Successful Business.” Strategy — or planning for the future — represents three of these Keys. According to RSJ, you need to not only have a plan for the immediate, near, and long-range future, but you also need a system for generating and pursuing business innovations, as well as understanding your position among direct and indirect competitors in the marketplace.
Of the remaining Keys for Success — as defined by RSJ — many do pertain to “the shoes.” Day-to-day operations need to be efficient and well managed in order to keep the doors open, clients happy, and provide a future for you and your colleagues to plan for. But just remember that it is a combination of all the Keys that will unlock your highest potential.
To read more about the “21 Keys to a Successful Business,” please click here.