Realizing the potential of your business does not happen by accident. It starts with getting real about where you are now, where you need to improve and how you’ll change for the better. To succeed, you must work ‘ON’ your business, not just ‘IN’ it.

But how do you get started? As business owners, leaders or managers, your first job is to gain clarity.



You need to be clear about 5 things:

  1. The value and experiences you commit to delivering to your customers every time. What do you provide that is compelling to your customers, clearly differentiates you from your competitors and grows your bottom line. What are you known for?
  2. The vision of what your business will look like in 3 to 5 years in order to be a profitable and responsible market leader. What are you committed to becoming?
  3. Goals for ALL areas of the business: marketing, sales, operations, human resources, technology, community and environment. What does success look like in each of these critical areas of your business?
  4. The actions you must take to achieve this success. What steps must you commit to on a year-by-year basis to get there?
  5. How you commit to behave along the way. What culture will you create? What will be your values and standards?

If  leaders are not crystal clear about these 5 things, they cannot expect their people or customers to know ‘who’ they are. Success starts with leaders and it starts with clarity – get it out of your head and write it down.  This is your strategic plan.


Once you have a strategic plan, the next step is to get everyone onboard. You need to communicate effectively and consistently to everyone on your team – your people, your partners, everyone who has a stake in the success of your business. As business owners, leaders or managers, you must recognize:

  • Everything you say, do and decide communicates.
  • The way you treat your people communicates.
  • How you show up to your customers communicates.
  • Who you hire communicates.
  • The goals you assign your people communicate.
  • The behaviours you reward and celebrate communicate.

Demonstrating commitment to the strategic plan, will energize and focus your team and help your customers know who you are.


As your teams start to align with your vision and the action plans kick into gear, you start to see new results – results that fit you, your people, your customers and your business. Your business begins to realize its potential.

Here’s what it looks like:

YOU are ‘driving the business’ rather than being driven by it. You realize that your team understands your business and is committed to delivering the results you desire in a manner that is consistent with the values of the business. You realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself in order to “do it right” and you start to delegate. You spend more time managing the plan, removing obstacles for your teams and recognizing opportunities to course correct as they arise. You suddenly have more time for other parts of your life – your family, your interests, your health.

YOUR PEOPLE know where the business is going and get excited about the contributions they can personally make to ensure you get there. They know what their roles are. They know what is expected of them – ‘what’ they need to do and ‘how’ they need to do it. And they work with people who are similarly clear – no more wasted time trying to figure out who does what. They start to enjoy coming to work more. They work a little harder than they used to and they get results – consistently.

YOUR CUSTOMERS know who you are and what your unique business proposition is. Their needs are consistently met and they can rely on you. The relationship evolves into more of a partnership and you support each other in achieving success.

YOUR BUSINESS begins to realize greater success AND ANTICIPATE and avoid disasters. Resources, both financial and people, are allocated more effectively and processes run more smoothly. Sales volumes increase and growth projections become more achievable. The future state you envisioned for your business starts to come into focus.

Business owners, leaders and managers who GAIN CLARITY about “who they are”, “where they’re going” and “how they’ll get there” and FOSTER ALIGNMENT by consistently communicating these messages, are rewarded with results that fit: better balance for them, greater engagement for their people and closer partnerships with their customers, which allows them to REALIZE POTENTIAL of their business.

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