Successful business owners and managers need to be very clear about what outcomes they want. Whether you call them goals, objectives or targets, these are factors that you're ultimately judged on. Outcomes determine whether your business is a success or a failure.
If you're an employed manager, you'll find them in your job description or contract and I'm sure your boss will concentrate on them at your next performance review. Outcomes are what you're paid to achieve.
Many business owners and managers allow themselves to be distracted and diverted from their outcomes. They get involved in all sorts of situations that take their "eye off ball."
I regularly run a workshop for managers called - "Managing Your Priorities." At start of workshop I ask managers to draw a map on a large sheet of flip chart paper of all things they do in their job. They almost inevitably fill that page with all sorts of tasks and activities. More often than not they surprise themselves with what's on page.
I then ask them to identify and mark with a large cross, their real priorities, and outcomes that they're ultimately judged on. Out of all tasks and activities on page they usually cross only five or six priorities and sometimes less. (You might want to try this exercise yourself sometime).
What we do find however is that priorities that they cross are not allocated time they deserve on a day to day basis. The managers will often blame their senior manager for many of tasks which divert them from their priorities, which is perfectly fair. However there are many tasks that a manager takes on because:
1.They don't like to say "no" or - 2.They don't trust anyone else to do it or - 3.They just 'like' to do it themselves.
I then spend time in workshop showing managers how to communicate with their senior manager and their other colleagues in order to minimise number of tasks that don't contribute to their outcomes.
Many managers fall into trap of believing that their manager will understand why they haven't hit their target or quota. They seem to think that because senior manager has handed out all sorts of other tasks, then they'll accept your failure to achieve your target.
Well let me tell you now - they won't!
Some business owners believe that their bank manager or investors will understand all reasons why they haven't achieved their business outcomes. However, as I'm sure you know, bank managers and investors only want to hear that you've achieved what you said you'd do.
The successful business owner or manager keeps very focussed on outcomes and doesn't allow anyone or anything to divert them without good reason.
It's also important to focus on outcomes as far as your team are concerned. Sometimes people in your team will be only too happy to do other little jobs and tasks that you ask them to do.