Today we have a guest writer. Lars VanLinge is a personal friend, but also someone whom I have had the honour of providing professional consultation to through Kaleidoscope.
Lars and I were having a telephone conversation a week ago. He was talking about his own personal journey and learning about the importance of process. It immediately struck me that this topic would be enjoyed by our readers.
Enjoy Lars’ first blog.
Consequences of no processes
Ready …. FIRE ….. Aim
This is my journey from ready, FIRE, and then aim. It’s a funny thing, that statement, especially for a guy like me. I should first paint you a brief picture of who I am and where I have come from. For my entire adult life I have been a business owner; over 20 years. I never fit the mould of how an employee should act or what a hired hand should like. In fact, I would preach from the rooftops that everyone should be like me; set out and just do it yourself. My tendency was to speak and act shooting from the hip. I would not pause to think about the impact that these ready-fire-aim decisions would have on those around me.
I failed to recognize that decisions I made or ideas I pursued were perceived by others as so far out of left field. This left me standing alone as those around me disengaged. To be clear, nothing I have ever done is that ground breaking. In fact, my business world is rather mundane. I build luxury homes. (Teragon Homes)
A journey to understand the value in processes
So here am I today, 20 years in to my career, not yet 50 years old, and yet looking to write a new chapter. Moreover, wanting to share some of the learnings I have had from the school of hard knocks. (This is the only post secondary school from which I graduated).
So where am I going with this thought? What does it mean to journey from ready-fire-aim? I have had the unique opportunity to serve on a board of directors over the last 5 years. This experience has shaped a new perspective for me. I have learned that it is okay for a time to make rash and quick decisions, but as you mature as a leader you become more aware of the impact that kind of decision making process has on your business and the people you care deeply about.
Process. Process. And more process. I can’t emphasize that enough. Without a process a person can not make sound decisions. This might seem obvious to the reader, but this is not an easy space for an entrepreneur to live in. You see, most of us have our heads in the clouds. We are so focused at the high level, we don’t (and sometimes, can’t) get our heads down in to the operations of what a proper process should look like. We are so committed to securing the next big win we don’t pause for reflection or detail.
Process wins in the end
The interesting part of this is that as a leader matures and begins to embrace process they will find greater success and traction with those they lead. This has huge benefits for the organization as it grows in to that space where process defines their next steps. Process gives those in the organization the confidence that the leader is listening to them. In turn, the leader can make effective decisions. Processes can evolve and change. In fact, it has to. Well driven process turns the focus away from the leader. It allows the leader to have the freedom s/he needs to explore the next opportunity for their business.
Kaleidoscope’s coaches spend a great deal of time working with our clients on their companies’ processes. In some cases this means establishing processes in environments where they don’t yet exist. In others situations, the processes in place are broken or no longer effective. Its tricky for these executives that are within the organization to step back and reestablish or fine tune the appropriate process. A coach can walk along side entrepreneurs, like Lars, or executives to set up sound and effective processes.