One of the biggest challenges for any business leader is to develop the ability and make the time to think more broadly and strategically. This is especially true for owners and managers in small businesses.
There are always urgent things that need to be taken care of – an angry customer, a bid that’s due, the unexpected resignation of a key employee, a surprise visit by a government agency (shudder). In the midst of this, who has the time to work on a long-range vision or ask strategic questions?
And yet, if you don’t ask these questions, who will? We all need to go up to the balcony periodically. The balcony is where you get a better view of everything that’s happening below. It’s where you can think about those longer-term issues. Getting to the balcony requires that you disengage from the day-to-day chaos. For max productivity, we should take someone with us to the balcony. “Someone” could be a leader-in-training, a colleague who thinks differently than you, or a coach who will help you see things that you would otherwise miss.
If you haven’t spent time in the balcony yet this year, you will eventually pay the price. My challenge to you: before you hurry off to the next urgent task, schedule at least a half day (a Strategic Retreat) within the next couple of weeks when you can take 1 or 2 others to the balcony and strategize about your organization’s future.