from the perspective of CEO, Tobias Meister
I was once in a presentation with a great chap from Google talking about a new product they were working on. A guy in the audience asked him, ‘What’s your business case?’ and his answer was brilliant:
If you solve a problem big enough, you don’t need a business case.
No fluff. No 3-years of roll out. No business case. Just execute or leave it.
For me that’s the biggest difference between working in a corporation and being an entrepreneur. Which leads me to this –
People’s attitude is the number one factor that contributes to whether you succeed or not. Over time you will recognize there is a certain pattern in people that makes them more likely to succeed than others.
At the core, people must have a growth mindset. (Read more about that here.) These are the people that always think positively and don’t get affected by setbacks or obstacles, regardless of how big they are. Their determination ensures they continuously focus their energy on looking and moving forward, but at the same time take time to reflect.
The more people with the right attitude you have on your team, the higher the chance you will succeed. As a byproduct, you will also build the culture of your company organically early on.
Plans are useless but planning is vital.
The minute you define a plan, it’s outdated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have a plan… a clear objective and sound understanding of the direction you want to take. However, except for the big picture, everything must be flexible enough to be changed or reconsidered at any point of time.
It’s one of the most given advice from entrepreneurs – ‘fail fast often’. However, from my point of view it’s also one of the most difficult to implement.
Planning is a daily task to make sure you continuously allocate your energy to the execution of tasks that matter the most. This allows you to break down plans into small tasks that will deliver measurable results without heavy time or resource (man power or money).Tasks planned for the future will, more often than not, become obsolete or their content/scope will change. For that reason, teams that execute daily will have a higher learning curve, as they gain more experience, and therefore create greater value over time.
Or to sum it up like Facebook does – done is better than perfect. Just try it and fail. You’ll soon find out whether it’s the right direction or not. It’s better to learn quickly, rather than down the road after heavy investment and resource.
3. People don’t think like you
My biggest learning of all has been that people don’t think like you. As humans, we have this idea in our heads, whether it’s a plan or course of action, and expect others to have it with us. However, we forget to bring others on board.
Clarity is essential to achieving your objectives as it’s the basis of all our communication. How you delegate tasks, how you set objectives, and how you lead the conversation to get buy-in from your counterparts. Every person has a different scope of knowledge and we all think differently.
Many times, people just say what needs to be done. The idea can be so clear and simple to the presenter, however, interpreted 50 different ways to a group. Therefore, with every conversation, it’s important to establish what I call the common ground. Or ‘speaking the same language’.
The best thing to do when presenting an idea to a team is establishing clarity up front. Define the problem, what you’re trying to achieve, what needs to be done from here, why it should be done this way, etc. Make sure you’re all on the same page before you start running off in different directions.
Additionally, do away with one-way conversations. When you tell people something for 20 minutes as a monologue, they will pick up much less than they would’ve had it been an interactive conversation. Have them ask and answer questions. People learn better when they have to explore and grasp things by themselves.