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Refresh your enthusiasm for the job.

So you’ve been at this for years through thick and thin, great days and days in which you’ve had better times.  Much of your job has become routine.  But it feels good to see your “baby” grow and others buy into your vision.

It is human nature for you and every entrepreneur to fall into a routine of taking care of day to day issues, meetings, communicating with customers and shareholders.  But you remember the thrilling days when everything was newer, each decision an event, each milestone something to be celebrated.  If you think about it, you also remember that you spent much more of your time on strategic issues and thinking about the business and its growth, as opposed to thinking within the business about its process issues.

Your value as a CEO or executive is inherent in creating the vision, providing the drive, and forcing focus upon successful implementation of the vision that you bring to the enterprise.  It is where the fun is.

[Email readers, continue here…]  So, how do you regain that enthusiasm for what is best for you and for the company?  There are a number of things you can and should do, and soon.

Take a day – a full day – off to walk, sit, and think of where you want this company and your role in it to be in the future.  Don’t let interruptions from emails, phone calls and people at the door interfere with this focused effort.

ProtectingThen call a strategic planning session, off site, for you, your board, your advisors, and direct reports.  If needed, hire a facilitator. And provide for someone to take notes.  Lay out your vision to those present as a starting point.  Ask for comments, challenges, and additions. Then spend the rest of the day developing strategies and tactics to get you there.  Finish the process by refining the resulting document, passing it through the same group for comments.  Then call an all-company meeting to focus everyone on the vision, goal, strategies and tactics.  Stand back and watch for the reaction. Most everyone wants direction and to buy into a vision that makes their jobs have meaning.

Starting the very next day, begin monitoring progress toward the goal or goals, raising your job to one of strategic implementation and guidance, not of day-to-day process.

Your value will increase in the minds of your board, and you will feel much more enthusiastic about your contributions to the success of your enterprise.

It’s your move.

  • Diane Ratican

    A good dose of “wonder” is necessary for the entrepreneur to remain enegetic. Wonder lights up your brain, all of its senses, triggers the curiosity points and gives you a natural high where everything becomes clearer.

  • Exactly what I needed today. Permission to step back and vision. Dave, I love your newsletter!

  • Ideas such as this one seem so obvious in hindsight. That’s what makes them the best ideas, the ones you don’t think of until someone points them out to you. Then, you slap your head and say, “Yes!”

    I was at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in the almost early days, 1974-1980. The company and each division (mine was LDP, laboratory data products) had this process. We called the offsite meetings “woods meetings” because they were supposedly held off in the woods where no one would bother you. The woods were figurative rather than literal.

    In the end, DEC faltered and failed. They could not continue to foster the entrepreneurial spirit as they moved into being a billion-dollar company and a member of the Fortune-500.

    The woods meetings and other things done to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive kept this company going long after it would have in other companies.

    Would that I or you had this problem!

    Few people realize that DEC left its mark all over the world of computers. One example: Oracle left its original database behind and took over the one DEC had developed. For “one brief shining moment,” DEC was where innovation was king and everyone loved working there.

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