As an operator, do you ever feel like you are bombarded with ideas from your leader? How do you help your visionary identify what ideas are the right ones to pursue?
Today we are talking about how to help your clients prioritize their projects and plans. This is necessary if you are helping leaders figure out which projects they should be focusing their attention on, and how to help them minimize the distractions that come up.
How to Help Clients Prioritize
Visionaries think very big-picture, and they don’t see details like you do. A visionary needs to be paired with an operator that can break down that vision into smaller pieces. Oftentimes visionaries want to go in several different directions, so when it comes time for making visions a reality, your job is to help lead them and prioritize.
Understand Their Mission
Who do they serve and how do they do it? What is the way in which they serve their clients and is there anything unique about it? Take the time to help them determine their mission.
Understand Their Strategic Priorities
There are 7 strategic priorities in a business:
- Financial steadiness
- Customer-client experience
- Professional/personal development
- Operational excellence
- Team development
- Product development
Understand how to rank these strategic priorities based on their current day mission.
Understand Their Vision
What is the vision for the company? What does their role in the business look like? Ask them what their business will look like 5 years from now, and get very clear on the direction they want to pursue.
Also, take into consideration the vision for their personal life. What do they want their life to look like, and how can you facilitate them towards that goal? What priorities will help that vision become a reality?
“If you understand where they are going, you will understand what strategic objectives will be ranked highest.”
If they are in a scaling phase and need to double down on operational efficiencies, you will need to navigate and lead this conversation. Help them understand that they don’t necessarily need to be involved in the day to day operations.
“Understand their vision and prioritize their objectives based on the vision of their company.”
Look at every single project and understand what the outcome is going to be, and what that outcome will bring to the business. Help them understand how to connect current day projects to the vision of the business.
Understand Future Goals
If your visionary has a big goal for the future, help them break down that goal and start laying the groundwork. Your job is to leverage their ideas to make money today. This way, you will help them create less resistance for when the time comes.
Focus on Operations
Don’t forget to leverage SOPs (standard operating procedures) and streamlining in the business. Identify the projects you can do that will move the vision forward, without pulling time and energy away from the CEOs. In this way you are providing structure to the business behind the scenes that the visionary might not even realize they need.
Benefits of Prioritizing
We as operators like direction and plans. With priorities aligned and directly tied to the vision, the team will be on board with the plan. They will feel a natural momentum and see the benefits. You are the bridge between the business owner and the team, and you are able to paint a precise picture for the team who is doing the work.
Create a Decision Making Matrix
Does this project connect to our mission and vision? Where is it in the strategic priorities? If it is number 7 on the list of the strategic priorities, that’s an indicator that it is not a top priority. This also helps with communicating to your leader, and helps reign in their ideas. You want your leader to express all of their ideas, and then you will help them identify which ones are quality ideas.
Understand what is in scope or out of scope, and this will help you definitively say yes or no. You may have to do some market research to understand if this new idea should move forward or not.
Predict Work Volume
Another benefit is that you will be able to predict the work volume for your team, and know the support that will be necessary. By creating a project plan you are able to see what is needed and forecast for staffing resources.
All of these conversations take leadership. I wanted to help give you tactical advice on how to prioritize all of the ideas of your visionaries. By having these conversations you are helping them understand why prioritization is important and how it ultimately ties back to their mission and vision.
Weekly Ops Activity
Meet with your clients to re-establish or create their mission and vision. Then, come on over to The Ops Insiders Facebook Group, and share what you learned through the process.
If you need a guide to help you in your conversation, grab the Mission, Vision, and Values Guide.
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