By Ryan Henry
A company’s Core Focus™ answers two questions: ‘Why do we exist?’ and ‘What are we better at than anyone else?’ When combined, they help an entrepreneurial leadership team find their sweet spot and create a filter for making all decisions.
What makes answering these two questions essential right now is that entrepreneurs are constantly creating new ideas, seeking new opportunities, finding out about new products, meeting new potential clients, and wanting to solve all kinds of problems. This is why we need entrepreneurs more than ever and why I love working with them: so we can change and help the world! I really believe that.
The problem is, like Patrick Lencioni says, ‘When everything is important, nothing is important.’ So entrepreneurs and their leadership teams must take the time to work ‘on’ their business and think, debate, discuss – argue even – to fight to find their ‘sweet spot’, and then stay laser-focused on it, hitting it every time. Otherwise, they will chase the wrong shiny objects with no focus, no discipline, and no accountability.
There are so many issues to fix, opportunities to pursue, and partnerships to form. But without a 100% agreed upon — dare I say it again — Core Focus, an entrepreneurial leadership team has no grip to get going and remains, more than ever, spinning their wheels while other more focused and disciplined entrepreneurial leadership teams blaze forward, taking their ideas to the market and claiming new ground.
WHAT IS OUR CORE FOCUS?
Just to clear the air, a company’s Core Focus can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two years to find.
Do times of uncertainty help companies find their sweet spot? Oh yeah!
The exercise of just listing out in the open all of the ideas, opportunities, issues to solve, etc. so a leadership team can identify opportunities and clear out distractions is part of what all great, open, and honest teams must do. It is vital and essential. Never waste a crisis.
Now more than ever, an entrepreneurial leadership team can see things clearer than maybe they ever have. Take the time and think. Just answer two questions and see what emerges.
TWO QUESTIONS ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP TEAMS NEED TO ANSWER
#1: Why do you exist? This must be more than just about money.
- It can look like a great cause to pursue.
- It can be a passion to build a great company.
- It could be a common purpose to change an industry.
Whatever a team’s ‘why’ is it will always create an ‘aha’ effect.
Is there a great cause that you are all enamored with pursuing? Are you all passionate about building the greatest company that ever existed? If so, make it so! Let’s go!!! Maybe your purpose is to change the industry you’re in like Elon Musk. Now that’s something to wake you up in the morning and keep you going! Whatever it is, it’s your ‘why’.
#2: What can you do better than anyone?
Next, we couple the ‘why’ with a company’s ‘what’.
What is your superior skill in the marketplace? What do you do? Make it simple. Simple is genius. Albert Einstein once said, ‘Genius is making complex ideas simple, not making simple ideas complex’. It is your superior skill.
What’s the one word you think about when you hear the name, Orville Redenbacher? Popcorn right!? Yeah, it’s that simple. Walgreens is, ‘The most convenient drugstores’.
You might be thinking, “Well, I don’t know… we do electrical, but I can think of four companies right off the top of my head that do better electrical work than us.” Okay, but in that space, what’s your niche? What separates you from the others?
Or what do you want your company to do to separate yourself from all the others? Go after it with no exceptions, excuses, qualifications. If that’s what you all agree what you want your niche to be, then settle on it and pursue it with 100% of your focus. Everything else is just an issue to solve and if you’re running on EOS®, we have a place for all of your issues.
Now more than ever, you and your entrepreneurial leadership team, by just answering these two simple questions, know what your Core Focus is and are committed to staying laser-focused on it at all times.
With this clarity, go pursue it with courage. Doing so will allow you to immediately recognize when you are in it, helping breed continued competency to continue after it, and more and more confident that this is exactly why you exist as an organization and what you are out in the marketplace doing.
Previously published on the Grip Business Traction blog.
- Download a copy of the EOS V/TO™ to help you clarify, simplify, and achieve your vision
- Download the Issues Solving Track™ from the EOS Toolbox to learn how to IDS (Identify, Discuss, and Solve) issues more effectively.
- Watch EOS Founder Gino Wickman describe the 8 Questions Your Leadership Team Should Answer to help you clarify your company vision