When I begin work with a new client, I seek to understand their company and how it ticks today. I also need to understand how the owner or owners function today.
That’s why I like to get to Leadership Power before I dive into Marketing Power….What?
Yep, the reason for doing Leadership Power before Marketing Power is to clarify the owner’s vision of the company’s mission, position in the market (or how they go to market that differentiates them) and what they hope it will look like when they’re all done. Otherwise, the Marketing Power is off to work in the wrong direction vs. in synch with the goals and mandates that Leadership Power identifies.
I run the owner through a series of exercises that helps reveal to both of us what they really want from their business and their personal life in the next three to five years. Yes, your business life is directly tied to your personal life. It’s not meant to be all consuming as it is to many contractors. Your business should be designed to serve your personal life, not the other way around.
To me, the often used phrase that speaks to Leadership Power is, “If you don’t care where you end up, any road will do!”
I don’t know about you, but I know myself and my clients, and we care an awful lot about where we end up; so, that’s why we spend time defining in WRITING the following:
I define a Mission Statement as, “What gets you out of bed each morning (especially when you’d just as soon pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep), fired up to go to work, and what is your goal for your business?”
The best Mission Statements are the ones that are authentic to you and your business and not plucked from the Internet, an affinity group, or something you read in a book. I can usually tell it’s not yours when I see a poster-sized Mission Statement framed on one wall in the building. It’s too long. And typically too high and mighty. I bet the owner a hundred dollars that I can pick any employee and they won’t be able to recite it in full. Just know it’s 16 years now and I still have my 100 bucks in my pocket.
What should a Mission Statement be?
Your Mission Statement should tell both your customers and prospective customers what they can uniquely expect from you while also telling your staff what that promise that has been made is so they know they must deliver on that.
My Dad grew up in an era where buzz phrases and such didn’t exist and probably weren’t so necessary. Dad just told all his employees and his sons the following Mission, “I don’t know what you do all day but the way you treat our customers requires that when you get home from work you can look in the mirror and not have to look away.”
Think you know now how customers are to be treated? Bet you do!
The best of Mission Statements are short. Twenty-five words or less. And less is better. The best of the Mission Statements I helped clients write were no more than five words. Many times, the Mission Statement lead to a phenomenal tagline or vice versa. Yes, Mission Statements can be nothing more than a great tagline that does all of the above.
So, what’s my Mission Statement for The 7-Power Contractor? Glad you asked.
It’s: “Run Your Contracting Business with Less Stress and More Success.”
That’s what still fires me up. I lived the contractor life, and I know how crushing it can be, and I also know it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I came to know how wonderful it can be. My mission is to help other contractors experience that wonderful too.
Here’s a definition from Entrepreneur.com:
“Positioning helps establish your product's or service's identity within the eyes of the purchaser. A company's positioning strategy is affected by a number of variables related to customers' motivations and requirements, as well as by its competitors' actions.”
I think of positioning as you spending time in the customer’s “chair” and seeing it from their eyes and exploring their wants and needs not just from your point of view as the owner. Then, it’s about designing, not just your products and services around addressing in a niche way what differentiates you from all your competitors, but the company itself and how it interacts with the customer all the way through the process.
Remember, everyone is shouting at your customers and prospective customers, “Pick me.” So, why should they pick you?
End Game Statement:
What does your business look like and how does it function when you’re all done building it?. It taps into the phrase, “Start with the end in mind.” It’s true, you can’t build it if you can’t see it, and you have to imagine it before it can happen.
My End Game Statement for The 7-Power Contractor is, “To be honoring my commitment to the ‘10 Golden Rules for My Business’ while delivering proven business systems and solutions that make a Contractor’s life less stressful and more successful.
I’ll only be available to a select number of customers who want me to consult with them. The consulting will be done primarily by GoToMeetings, phone, e-mail and appropriate onsite visits throughout the year.
I will have identified one to two Contractors that have completed my programs, implemented these systems, and are positive examples of how it can change things for the better. These people will be the new ‘Missionaries' for The 7-Power Contractor. And, they will be the eventual owners of the Company.”
Now, it’s your turn. Do the following exercise and get on the path to Leadership Power!
EXERCISE: Mission-Position-End Game
Create your own Mission-Position-End Game statements.
(Need help communicating to the staff why you're putting these statements into action? Learn how to become a Chief Executive Communicator so you can communicate clearly.)