Last week I update the learning objectives for an end-of-year strategic planning retreat workshop I conducted several years back.  Something struck me that could hold the answer to why small business owners struggle in executing their strategic plan.

First what struck me as odd is that most small business owners are very good at achieving objectives.  So, why do the struggle when it comes to executing on something more strategic in nature?

To some extent, this may go back to a post I wrote some time back titled Lack of 2 Diverse Skills Hinder Owner Success.  In this article, I discuss a small business owner’s ability to think strategically and execute tactically as skills that can impact small business growth. While these are factors, they can be overcome and definitely are not the only ones.

Two other factors that have a huge impact on execution are resource planning and delegation.  By resources planning, I mean the ability to create a plan based on the resources at your disposal.

Too often I hear all the “negative-speak” of I don’t have enough _______ to accomplish my plan.  I say non-sense!  You may not have enough money to do it the way that you want to do it, but if you asked a better question like “how can I accomplish this with the resources available to me?”  I am sure you’d come up with a plan that you could execute on.

To some extent, the delegation problem is a resource issue too.  It’s just a people resource issue. Unfortunately, the owner is the root cause of the problem and doesn’t even realize it!  Let me show you what I mean.

As I began looking at my realization I asked, “What is the resistance that I usually hear when there is a delegation problem in a company?”  It usually falls into 1 or more of 4 areas:

  1. Nobody knows how to do it or to do it as well as I do.
  2. I don’t have anyone that is capable of doing this job.
  3. Employees don’t care or won’t put forth the effort.
  4. It’s my baby and nobody will take care of it like me.

In all cases the owner has complete control as he/she is in charge.  The problem is they either don’t see the problem; don’t know how to fix the problem; or are unwilling to do what is necessary to fix the situation.

Correcting the first 2 problems, not recognizing the problem or not knowing how, are easily corrected with training and coaching. Fixing the last one, the unwillingness to address the situation is a little harder to influence.  This requires real psychological work and can be a very tenuous situation.  But, there is a way to address it.

I am interested to get your perspective here.  Is my supposition correct?  Do you think if the leader of the business will address his or her personal issues the business gets stronger too or not?

In the coming weeks I will explore some information that provides a very strong case for the impact improved self-awareness can have on the growth of a business.  In the meantime, share your experience in how improved self-awareness helped you grow your business.  Let’s get a dialogue going here that can help those that may be in a rut to get out or at least let them know where to turn their focus!