I posted this at the beginning of last year. This year I'm going to post it at the beginning of every quarter to remind you to define success before taking action.
Stop what you're doing and answer this question:
It's April 1st, 2010 and you're reviewing the first quarter of the year. Precisely how will you measure success? What will it take to give yourself an 'A'?
Are you done with the list?
Now, choose the single most important item - if you could only achieve one item on your list, what would it be?
Why is answering this question so important? Because we all have a tendency to try to do too much and to lose focus. The key to success, especially in challenging markets, is to focus. It is far, far better to over-allocate resources to fewer opportunities than it is to underallocate resources to many. Don't ever lose sight of what is most important - and ensure that you over-allocate your resources - time, money, and energy - to that.
What to exponentialize the results? Have every single person in your company answer the same question and post the answers in a central location - or company wiki?
If you'd like the benefit of public accountability, share your most important success in the comments section.
Mine? Add four franchisers to our pipeline.