There is no shortage of guidance available for entrepreneurs and business leaders. A new book by Mike Michalowicz, titled Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself, offers some basic direction no matter the type of company one is building.

A quick summary from the book:

Have the right people, do the right things, in the right portions, right. Here’s how that sentence breaks down:

  • “Have the right people . . .” This means that you know the super strengths of your team, that you know their zones of genius. Not what they do most, currently, but what they are best at doing and get the most joy from. When a person is great at something and loves doing it, they will excel.¬†

Unfortunately, most business owners and leaders don’t know the strengths of their people. Determine your people’s strengths (and evaluate the strengths of people before you bring them on) and use this knowledge to put them in a position where they will excel.

  • ” . . . do the right things . . .” Identify what your business needs and what it doesn’t. Trash what it doesn’t need so that no one is distracted by these tasks. Transfer the work to the right people. Trim the work that can be made more efficient. When you do that, you are aligning the right people with the right things.
  • ” . . . in the right portions . . .” People and your business both need balance. All the doing in the world will fall short if there is no clear direction. And all the direction in the world is useless if no one is taking action on the strategy. Even if they are great at something, your team needs balance, and they need their own appropriate amount of variety.
  • “…right.” This is about education. Provide your people with the relevant captured system. Have a clearly defined outcome and process to follow. Educate them on what the QBR is and the necessity to serve and protect it.
Bill Waltz is vice president of taxation & public finance for the Indiana Chamber. He is also an attorney and has been with the organization for nearly 15 years.