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Don’t overlook the importance of courageous leadership

May 10, 2022 -  By
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Ken Thomas

Ken Thomas

Our mission at Envisor is to help our clients “envision and achieve” their greatest success. As consultants, we help our clients increase sales, increase profits, improve their quality of life or a combination of all three.

Typically, the steps to success in each company are not dramatically different and are not that complicated to understand intellectually. The challenge is in implementation. Unfortunately, while the plan may be simple, it’s not easy. Here’s why:

Implementing the plan takes courageous leadership. Leadership is doing the right things at the right time. I say “courageous” because it can be scary! Many times the “right things” are counterintuitive for owners and leaders. Sometimes, it seems like decisions don’t line up with the facts. These are the tough decisions leaders have to make to move the organization forward.

Some common “right things” are:

  • To hire a key person to move us forward.
  • To raise the price or fire some key clients holding us back.
  • To spend money we don’t have on equipment or software.
  • To let a top performer go due to a poor attitude.

How to do the right thing

In the planning stage, all the “right things” make sense. But when the rubber meets the road in implementation, these decisions can become derailed by over-analysis and fear. The reason is that each decision may come with negative short-term consequences. You may ask, “How can I add overhead or fire customers when I am not making enough money?”

It’s complicated and emotional with decisions relating to people. We are dealing with people’s lives, and relationships are involved.

Here’s the bottom line, folks: many times, the decisions you are most afraid of are the ones that will set you free and allow your company and your team to perform at the highest level.

To overcome the fear of doing the “right things” and move your organization forward, we recommend:

  • Outline the pros and cons of each decision. Many times, doing nothing is more detrimental than taking action.
  • Seek wise counsel from trusted advisers. Know that your intimacy with the issue could color your teammate’s advice.
  • Develop a reasonable worst-case scenario in terms of work and profits.
  • Identify the return on investment (ROI) the decision will generate.
  • Develop the sales and/or operations plan needed to generate more gross margin dollars to pay for changes.
  • Rally yourself and your team to execute the transition plan.

I have to say, it’s rewarding to watch courageous business leaders make the tough decisions required to move their organizations forward and see a huge ROI on growth, quality of life and profits.

About the Author:

Thomas, founder of Envisor Consulting, has owned three of Atlanta’s most successful landscape companies. He is the COO of The Greenery and principal of Envisor Consulting. Reach him at kenthomas@envisorco.com.

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