Issue #18 Why Business Owners Are (mostly) Lousy Leaders

As you go into the new quarter: are your priorities crystal clear to everyone on your team?

Recently we went through our quarterly planning and implemented a new exercise: Identifying Your Queen Bee Resource, and we learned something.

As much as we say we are focused, we still have work to do!

Why the Queen Bee?

Well, the thing about bees is that the tens of thousands of them that make up a hive work in teams and have different jobs. But they all know what their objective is: keep the Queen Bee alive and lay eggs.

There is no need for any job that doesn’t ultimately support that objective. Every individual knows why they are there.

In business, the Queen Bee Resource (QBR) (a concept we borrow from Mike Michalowicz) is the business function that you absolutely, positively cannot do without.

Like the queen bee, it is the one activity you must protect at all costs.

As humans running businesses, we often get confused and think that all of the stuff we do is important and struggle with prioritization. But once you know your QBR, you have a ready measuring stick: always prioritize those actions that support your QBR.

In the process, you first identify each team member’s QBR. Then take those and whittle them down to the QBR for the team.

It can be very revealing.

In less than an hour, we found activities we could reduce, identified areas of focus, and came out with a new appreciation of how and why we work together.

So give it a try: think about this for you and your team.

What is your QBR?

We’ve summarized the exercise here so that you can take your team through it.

We’d love to hear how it goes.

Try Our Quarterly Planning Agenda

This agenda is still a work in progress, but we have been trying it out, and so far, we like how the structure helps us and our clients stay on task. So check out the template here. Let us know if you have any improvements.

Is your team supporting your QBR?

The first is building on the strengths of your team. At Start Grow Manage, we talk a lot about focus, execution, avoiding shiny things, and creating a machine that delivers the same results repeatedly.

There is only one problem, well two: Joe and I.

We love shiny things. As much as we talk about avoiding them and staying on task, we are about as focused as dogs on a squirrel ranch.

Fortunately, we have Heather and Carla to reign us in; they complain of eye-roll muscle fatigue.

Still, they are much more disciplined and always able to reel in our digressions.

Critical to making our team work are our shared values and working with the right people. Your quarterly planning session is a great time to review your core values and assess your team’s fit with those values.

And don’t forget about innovation.

As much as Joe and I require Heather and Carla, they also need us (eye rolls or not) to push the boundaries and develop new ideas.

When managing and expanding your business, innovation matters – so how do you bring innovation into your business? Here is an article from MSP owner magazine on the subject.

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