If Your Business Sucks, It’s Because Leadership Sucks: Wrong Culture, Wrong Focus, Wrong Alignment, Wrong Metrics…

How do you know if your business sucks? It turns out 80% of everything you do in business creates a sucking sound… According to Peter Philippi; most businesses are being sucked of time, energy, resources, profits… 80% of the time. You’re spending 80% of your efforts on things that don’t matter… when there are challenging questions like: What would you do when you learn that your business is grossly under serving your best customers, employees… and ignoring its biggest opportunities?

According to Jonathan Fields; if your business sucks, don’t blame the market… it’s management’s responsibility to understand, anticipate, respond… to markets; it’s time to stop bleeding, complaining… it’s time for business leadership to take controlAccording to Mark Biernat; you are probably surrounded by jerks; people who are seeking a lifestyle (bonus) rather than creating something of real value… you find greed and arrogance that are ruling the kingdom, and the honest workers gets knocked around like corporate pawns… you are surrounded by; aggressive primitive minded people, control freaks, envy, super-egos… Yes, business sucks! suck th0IGNTVOB The genesis of a business that sucks never has a clear-cut single cause; it’s usually an amalgamation of issues… Warning signs: there are a number of signals that should let a you know that the enterprise is in trouble, for example; going to sleep at night with the gnawing sensation that something is wrong with the business but you are not being able to identify it, is one of the most common ways that corporate rot announces itself. Closely allied with this is going to sleep and waking up knowing what needs to be fixed but being too paralyzed by fear to take action…

According to Mark Stevens: there are four ‘sucking sounds’ that can set-up a business for failure, such as:

1. Rudderless leadership tops the list; management loses control of the business and the company becomes a group of balkanized people who are working under the same roof, but are rarely rowing the same boat– when you take the rudder off a boat and it goes around in circles… 2. Lust to lax syndrome; lust that a company has when it lands a new customer, which frequently gives way to laxity– that usually paves the way to mediocre service… 3. Slavish adherence to conventional wisdom; the belief that change is bad– it’s disruptive … 4. Complacency; may well be the precondition for all the other agents of failure.

Companies must continue to innovate and raise the bar– people need to spend time dreaming and staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen to think about how they can make things better…

In the article Why Business Sucks by Jacqueline Zhou writes: Innovation is the life-blood of any successful business… But, if you step back and really look at why many businesses suck, almost every organization will fall into one (or more) of these four categories:

  • Wrong Culture: Culture plays a key role in innovation. It’s the foundation for creating a healthy ecosystem and coexistence between employee engagement and innovation… In order for engagement and innovation to work together, there must be organization-wide culture that supports and encourages– ideation, innovation, execution of ideas… at all levels of the organization…
  • Wrong Focus: Focus is the foundation of a viable innovation program and it must be sustainable for the long-term. Once the innovation ball gets rolling, business must focus and integrate the innovations into the core part of the business…
  • Wrong Alignment: Alignment of the innovations with the business strategy must be a top priority… Often innovation is a side project for an individual or small team, but to be effective innovation programs must be mainstreamed with the highest priority and support organization-wide…
  • Wrong Metrics: Business relies heavily on metrics (numbers)– how the business is doing now… Business must broaden their scope, and use metrics both; as measure of long-term outcome, and as indicator for making business adjustments…

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In the article Why Do Big Companies Suck? by Scott Berkun writes: There are things that tend to happen when companies get big that are problematic for the employees who are; talented, independent, creative… here is a list to think about for: Why big companies suck:

  • Soul has left the building: All big companies start as small companies. But by the time a company has 500, 1000 or 50,000 employees, many of the people who made the small company successful have left and their spirit went with them. You can have a financially successful company that is mostly banking on the ideas and successes of people who left years ago, but whose middle-managers take credit for what was mostly inherited the day they were hired. When things go bad, none of the ‘leadership’ has any of the tools required to– fix, rebuild, or recreate the pattern of success that started it all…
  • Obsessive optimization: As companies age the culture looks to optimize and refine, rather than innovate… Managers at big companies often have more incentives to minimize costs than to find new business or develop new ideas, since minimize costs or optimizing an existing process are cheaper wins that show results in the short-term. In an optimization-centric culture, the myopic love of short-term wins can make long-term improvements, which often require short-term sacrifices hard to achieve…
  • Addicted to bureaucracy: Often big companies have many workers doing the same work that is being done by just a very few workers at a more innovative competitor, and often with better results. It’s strange to see– smart, senior… people who have forgotten that it’s possible to make things happen without; a meeting, talking to a committee, filling out forms… Companies, over-time, accumulate processes, it gets inherited, and then no one can even imagine a simpler more autonomous way of working… it’s amazing how little process is actually necessary.
  • Believe their own bullshit: A company’s all-hands-on meetings can feel like political rallies, where no valid questions can be asked, and all bad news or mistakes are whitewashed away. When you’re not allowed to critique and criticize decisions even when they are dumb… then, it gets harder and harder for good ideas to rise, because real thinking is discouraged. When business party line is BS; wise workers keep their mouth shut and start looking for other jobs…
  • Peter Principle: When you have several layers of management it’s entirely possible that some managers are not contributing very much… and, line-level workers are mostly self-sustaining. There are many reasons ineffective people get promoted, and it’s more likely to happen in bigger companies, where there is much ambiguity about who is contributing what…
  • Hard to fire people: Big companies get sued more often small companies because they have more money… But, when a small company gets it’s first law suit for wrongful termination, discrimination… they run the numbers and conclude; it’s cheaper, on paper, to prolong the process of firing people, and they increase the amount of paperwork that managers must create, e.g.; performance evaluations, mid-year reviews, and all of that… which are heavily (not entirely) motivated by lawsuit prevention and defense…
  • Corporations can be psychopaths: In 1886 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations were entitled to the same protections as people. This made it possible for executives to make decisions on behalf of a corporation, which in certain matters might be legally or ethically questionable, without being directly liable for them… Hence, there are lines that corporations can cross and be held responsible, but not necessarily the individual leaders…
  • Status quo/Follower mentality: The bigger a company gets, and the more that it’s main attractive power for new employees is job security, rather than opportunity to grow, learn, take risks… The ‘innovator’s dilemma’ is real, and leaders who have success are often the last to recognize when it’s time to move on. Hence, workers, executives… interested in progress, risk taking, change or growth potential… a big company can be incredibly frustrating; since its dominant psychology is– play it safe and political correctness…

sucks thG5V60CKI Why Business Leaders Suck: According to personalpundit; a few short thoughts:

  • Always Confuse Ambition with Ability: People who excel in the corporate world are notable mainly for personal ambition rather than ability to do the job. People who take their jobs seriously and work diligently for the good of the ‘company’ rarely get promoted. Those who talk a good line but spend most of their time promoting themselves, rather than doing their job are ‘executive material’…
  • Meritocracy is Bogus: Many love to believe in the myth of the meritocracy. In short, the best people rise to the top, so it must follow that the people at the top ‘are’ the best. Never mind how they actually got there (nepotism, backstabbing, being sharp dresser, sleeping with the boss, having famous parents, have an Ivy League degree, etc.)…
  • Today’s ‘Me’ Leaders: The whole philosophy can be summed up in a few words: Look out for No. 1, screw No. 2, and forget about everyone, everything else… Today’s business leaders pretty much follow this philosophy: Get as much as you can for yourself, even at the expense of others. And, there is no greater good than ‘me’: If the company fails, who cares? If you have the ‘right color parachute’ it does not really matter: ‘Me’ is all that matters…

Finally; Inside of every business that sucks there is one person who can clearly see the problems and knows just what to do to fix them… But, according to the ‘business that sucks’ creed– this person must be fired…