If you’ve listed down the top three obstacles your company will be facing as you move forward, you know you already have a plan and not a wish. Strategy happens when you know your weaknesses and strengths, and you know how to match those two up so you can get to the next level. Applying strengths to weaknesses is a ninja strategy most business owners do to keep their business going. If your sales team is a weakness, train them to be great at marketing or call in a sales trainer with a lot of experience and wisdom you can use for leverage. Learn how you can master these ninja strategies and know which weaknesses can be blasted away with any of your strengths.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Ninja Strategy To Take Down Obstacles
I have noticed and heard in the last 30, 60 days expressly that there are two huge things that I am not seeing in certain peoples’, in certain companies’ strategies and I needed to write this down as to not forget to podcast it because missing these components when it comes to a strategy session is not optional. Number one, by definition strategy is strength wielded against weakness. If your biggest weakness maybe is sales, what if you brought a world-renowned sales trainer in your company? I’m not saying you have the money, but would that not be a huge strength against your glaring weakness? Number two, if your top three obstacles are not clearly listed in your written strategy, then you don’t have a strategy. You don’t even have a plan, you have a wish.
What exactly do you do to start a strategy for your division or your company? First, you define your top two strengths. What are they? Some company’s strengths are cash on hand. Maybe you’re sitting on a ton of cash. That’s a strength. Cashflow, which is not the same as cash on hand, that could be a strength. Maybe you have a superior product, maybe you have a great marketing, maybe you have great salespeople or sales channels. Maybe you have what very few have, which is visionary management. Maybe you personally are nimble and quick to change, maybe you have intellectual property knowledge, niche, wisdom or trademarks or patents, and maybe you have ingenuity and energy. Maybe you’re a young spitfire and you’re not going to stop until you’re there. All of these could be and are strengths for some companies.
Second, by definition, you have to apply a strength against a weakness. You have to define what are your weaknesses and I’m going to give you probably the top six, not necessarily, but probably for most companies. These are not in any order. Number one is sales, which means you’re not selling enough of a product or service. Maybe your management is insufficient. Experience, you don’t have enough experience. Research and development, you fail at all starts because you don’t R&D first. You just go, you just sell. Maybe you lack vision or maybe your company has an even worse challenge, which is split vision. Maybe have two strong leaders at the top. Here’s the key. You write these weaknesses down, then you match up what would be the strength you would need to be great at leveraging against that given weakness. What strength would you need to leverage against that weakness?
Let’s say your sales is your weakness. Great marketing or a great salesperson or a great sales trainer could be a massive strength to leverage against that weakness of sales. Maybe you’re weakness is management. Visionary management, maybe a major, major consulting firm or a world-class consultant in that one niche topic could come in. Maybe your weakness is experience. Visionary management could be the strength you need to go get. How about an R&D department? Maybe ingenuity and energy is what you need there. Maybe you lack vision. How about visionary management? It could beat that one. Split vision, visionary management. You write these weaknesses down and then you match up the strength.
Here’s why I love this exercise. I want you to notice that cash or cashflow is not the recommended strength or answer for any of the six most popular company weaknesses. This should give a lot of people hope. The challenge is finding the number one strength to go against the number one weakness. Here’s the key, four of the six answers of the six most common weaknesses in a company, the strengths to go against that is visionary management. This is where the difference between experience and wisdom comes in. Experience is you as a company or division leader, figuring things out on a fly and using your personal experience as your wisdom. Wisdom is when you are smart enough to reach out of your own experience and go bring in someone from the outside with much greater personal experience and that’s using their wisdom. You’re literally leveraging their experience. That’s wisdom.
Many business challenges are already solved; they’re solved in different industries. That’s why Frost & Sullivan and Accenture earn billions each year as consulting companies. Many companies get to a point where they realize, “We have literally everything in place except what order do we need to put this machine in?” Meaning, we communicate first, then we construct, then we market, then we communicate some more, then we sell them and we communicate some more. Then we do accounting, then we communicate some more. The question is what order and how often should you be working in each of these divisions? Often, it takes somebody, some consultant, some Sherpa that has been in companies two, three, five, ten times bigger than you that has already seen the map, the plan, the vision, and the systems to walk into your office and in three meetings go, “I got this. This is what you need to do. You do this, this, this. You meet this many times. You discuss this. You look at these numbers,” and you sit there and go, “We would have never figured that out.”
Most companies are three feet from gold. They’re so close, but yet they can’t and maybe never will get over the finish line. Finally, once you realize what strength or what super power you’re going to need to go out and purchase or borrow or steal, you then have to list what are your top three obstacles. Obstacles can be cash on hand, cashflow, lack of vision, lack of education, lack of systems, lack of leadership. Here’s where this gets fun. Once you’ve discovered your strength or your super power that you need to go acquire, very often, that strength allows you to blast past the top three obstacles in your way. Here’s an example. Maybe the number one strength you need to acquire is visionary management.
Let’s say you hire a large consulting company on a one-year contract, like we have two super studs under a one-year contract. We have a guy that literally reverse engineered one of the biggest pizza companies in the world, and then we have a world-class SEO coming in that has clients like Zappos and Volvo, two superior ninja studs coming in to save us time. Let’s say you bring in a very big consulting company as an example. You need visionary management. You’re cooking with gas and then you realize, “As we list out our obstacles of what’s in our way,” maybe something that’s in your way is a lack of cash. Maybe you don’t have the cash to fund this next product or this next division, but what’s beautiful about finding that strength or that super power that you need, often that same strength like visionary management, is the same strength that can remove that obstacle.
Say you need cash. Sometimes it’s funny that that consultant, that visionary manager that comes in on a part-time basis can literally make a phone call, get a hold of somebody and hook you up with a private lender and you no longer have a cash problem. It’s funny how that works. Eagles don’t flock, but eagles know other eagles. That’s a previous podcast. It’s eerie how often this exercise plays out that way. I recommend you replay this podcast with paper. Write down each of these examples. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Which one goes against what? Only then, stop and say, “I got the strengths and weaknesses down. I know what lever needs to be leveraged again what weakness. Now, what three obstacles are in our way?” I am fairly certain the strength you need is probably going to help you with the obstacles as well. Happy hunting. Hope this helps. Take care.