I just finished reading How To Be A Great Boss by Rene Boer and Gino Wickman – the same guy who wrote Traction and created the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) – and I felt super-compelled to share one nugget of advice from the book with all my friends in the POS channel.
Take a “clarity break.” And do it ASAP.
Boer and Wickman write, “One discipline that all great leaders have in common is that they take time on a regular basis to rise above the everyday demands of their jobs to reflect and think from the 30,000-foot level. Stepping back to think will create clarity for you and restore your confidence.”
That’s a giant weakness I see in many channel organizations I engage with … and companies I try to engage with but don’t because they won’t make the time. They say they’re too busy with day-to-day functions to thoroughly examine their strategy, their organization, their offering, their messaging, their staffing, etc.
But I work with many other VARs and ISVs – large and small, all of them already very busy – who take regular clarity breaks to adjust the direction of their business. They’re the ones in our industry who are moving forward. The others are just spinning. “A lot of activity with little productivity,” my college basketball coach would call it.
Boer and Wickman provide a list of questions to ask yourself during a clarity break. Some of my favorite:
- Is the vision and plan for the business/department on track?
- What is the one people move that I must make this quarter?
- Are my processes working well?
- What seems overly complicated that must be simplified?
- What can I delegate to others in order to use my time more effectively?
- What’s my top priority this week? This month?
You can take a clarity break anytime – head to a coffee shop with a pad of paper, wake up an hour earlier once a month, skip the next episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” or don’t watch the Cleveland Browns this weekend (that actually might be a good move no matter what).
I take most of my clarity breaks when I’m traveling … so I guess I’m thinking at a 30,000-foot level literally. I reply only to ultra-urgent emails while I’m in transit, I ask myself many of the questions above (#1 and #6 are the most impactful), and I track my answers and ideas in the “Notes” app on my phone. At the end of my trip, I email those notes to myself and go to work on them.
This task might seem daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. I’m happy to be your “clarity break coach” if you’d like. Every 60 or 90 days, I conduct scheduled one-on-one Strategy Sessions with VAR and ISV executives who want to take a step back from their business and talk at a macro level. Please reach out to me if you want to schedule your own Strategy Session; this service is free to Worldpay partners, and our conversations will remain confidential.
This is intentionally the shortest blog post I’ve written this year. You now have five extra minutes to commence your own clarity break.