As the saying goes, we are all creatures of habit. This is a very serious thought to contemplate when we consider that the effectiveness of our lives are the results of our habits. To be effective, we must develop good habits. Brian Tracy has said, “As it happens, everyone has habits. Unfortunately, many of these habits are bad ones, not particularly helpful or enhancing…Your job is to develop habits in each area of your life that make it progressively easier for you to do better and better in that area(Tracy, p.114).”
How are good habits developed? I believe Peter Drucker had it right when he said, “Effectiveness, in other words, is a habit; that is, a complex of practices. And practices can always be learned. But practices are always exceedingly hard to do well. They have to be acquired, as we all learn the multiplication table; that is repeated ad nauseam until ‘6 x 6 = 36’ has become unthinking, conditioned reflex, and firmly ingrained habit. Practices one learns by practicing and practicing and practicing again(Drucker, p.23).”
Just as effective individuals have good habits, effective companies have good habits acquired through repetitive practice. There are at least three good habits of all effective companies.
- The Leader Sets the Example– Leaders of effective companies have solid ingrained habits that set the example for the entire team. These habits include being on time, following through with commitments to their people, being financially responsible, treating everyone they meet with courtesy and respect.
- Regular Communication– Effective companies have habits of clear and consistent communication starting with the leader and that permeates the entire organization. Every company has their own ways of unique communication whether that includes regular staff meetings, daily huddles, or meals together. The important point is that clear communication is a habit.
- Everyone Knows the Score– Rigorous scorekeeping is kept and communicated so that everyone knows if the company is achieving its goals and winning. Is the company achieving its sales, profit, and cash goals? Are key performance indicators in each area established and measured? Everyone loves a winner and wants to win, but can only know if they know the score.
Commit to being effective by establishing good habits and following them every day.
*Tracy, Brian, (2002), Focal Point
*Drucker, Peter F., (2006), The Effective Executive