CEO Tools Action Items[1]

To put more smiles on people’s faces and more dollars on your bottom line, use the following tools to implement Kraig Kramers’  seven-step management process:

1. Set meaningful goals.

To set goals that lead to results:

  • Set an overall sales goal and use repetitive communication to keep it top of mind with your people.
  • Set a reasonable but reaching budget (RbR).
  • Set a bigger, more audacious goal (BAG).
  • Use an open-ended compensation plan so people can earn more money as they achieve the RbR and begin moving toward the BAG.
  • Encourage people to set their own goals.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2. Communicate and build trust.                                                                                                                                           
  • W4C (walk the four corners). Get out from behind your desk, walk around your enterprise for 20 minutes each day, and talk to your people, especially front-line employees.
  • Manager’s monthly letter. Write a one-page letter to all the troops, telling them what’s going on in the company and reminding them of the goal.
  • One-to-ones with direct reports. Meet once a week for 15 minutes with each of your direct reports to talk about anything but business. Walk in and ask, “How’s it going?” Then set back and let the direct report talk about anything he or she wants. By talking about other things in life, you become closer and communicate more effectively.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       3. Track progress publicly.                                                                                                                                                       
  • Quarterly priorities manager (QPM). Make a list of five big priorities that will get you moving in the direction of your vision over the next 90 days. Share these with your team and ask for their feedback. Ask each direct report to create their own list of top priorities, and share those lists at the next meeting. This not only gets people working off the same page, it helps people understand what is most important to each other.
  • Trailing twelve-month (TTM) charts. TTMs consist of the sum of 12 months’ actuals entered on a monthly basis, so that you get a rolling annual total on a monthly basis. Throw out your regular monthly charts and use TTMs to measure sales, gross margins, net income, operating expenses and other key indicators.
  • Four charts on one page. Gather your TTMs for sales, gross margins, net income and operating expenses and combine them on one page. Use this information to see what’s really happening in the business.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 4. Plan the future.                                                                                                                                                                     
  • One-page business plan. Create a one-page business plan that identifies:
  • The purpose of your business
  • The overall goal
  • Your strategy to achieve the goal
  • Your unique business proposition Share this plan with every employee.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           5. Place and coach winners.                                                                                                                                                     
  • Key customer-impacting jobs. Identify three or four jobs in your organization that directly impact the customer, make sure you have winners in those positions, and get those jobs exactly right. Sit down with each key-customer employee and agree on what superb performance for the customer looks like. Then give the employee the four things they need to deliver superb performance:
  • Compensation
  • Recognition
  • Tools
  • Training                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               6. Organize self and others.                                                                                                                                                      
  • C-Drawer. Sixty percent of everything that comes into your office falls into the category of “it looks important but I’m not sure what to do with it right now.” File these documents in a special “C-drawer.” This gets them out of sight you can focus your attention on more important things. Once a month, throw away the bottom half of the C-drawer. The goal with self-organization is “first things first, second things never.”
  • Company calendar. Create a calendar with 12 months across the top. Down the left-hand side, list everything important the company needs to work on, and then fill in all deadlines and commitments across the calendar. Update the calendar every 90 days, and give a copy to every employee so they can manage their own time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7. Celebrate successes.                                                                                                                                                                                                         To celebrate success, give people the eight things they need on the job:
  • Compensation. Match the timing of incentive payments to results. Pay out as you go along, not in one lump sum at the end of the year.
  • Recognition. Use “recognition bucks” (Monopoly money with your company name at the top) as a way for employees to recognize each other for outstanding performance. Send personal notes to employees’ homes to congratulate them on a significant achievement or to thank them for a job well done.
  • Fun. Appoint a Chief Fun Officer. Give out surprises, such as July 4th picnic bags that contain all the ingredients needed for a family picnic. Change your giveaways on a regular basis so they don’t become entitlements.
  • Personal growth. Give your employees great books.
  • Challenge. Jointly set audacious goals.
  • Convenience. Change work hours to take the edge of the commute. Allow people to telecommute one or two days a week.
  • Communicate. Walk the four corners.
  • Security. Have a brown bag lunch to talk about important happenings in the world.Get creative in how you communicate, reward and recognize people. Remember that what gets measured gets done, and recognition (communication + incentives + celebration) gets results.

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