The Foundation for Building Your Workplace

In the competitive and volatile workplace of the 21st Century, employers can ill afford to waste time, money or resources. A loss of any type affects the bottom line. Experiencing too many such loses can close the doors of a business. So what can a business do to maximize these resources?

TIME: There are only 24 hours each day and no way to create more. However, there are many ways to become more efficient with time use. Without going into my time management seminar, let me share a key idea that, if applied, will make a difference. It’s simply this—work from a list. Your list consists of the highest priority items that need completion each day. In the evening, review your list for tomorrow. Be sure you are working on the most important items. Allocate a realistic block of time to work on each item. Minimize your social time, be disciplined with your work activities and commit to doing your best with each item. Re-prioritize each day based upon current circumstances and repeat the work process. This is an old idea that still works if you choose to work it. Imagine with me how proficient an organization would be if everyone worked on the three to six most important activities that would propel the organization to the top? Something to think about and certainly something to do.

MONEY: Every business has a “black hole” into which money is poured each and every day. It is your job to locate these bottomless pits and find a way to plug them. You might re-negotiate a contract with a supplier for a better rate. You might really focus on wasted supplies or materials in the production process that don’t go into a final product. Perhaps a waste can be recycled to recover some cost or sold to someone who can use it as part of their production. Get creative and ask everyone to help. Give a bit to those who help you stop the hemorrhaging. I’d rather share part of my new earnings than to never recoup anything. Remember, it’s in giving that we receive. Sharing the new wealth gained can only lead to more motivation to recover more wealth. That is a nice cycle for a business to incorporate as part of their operational philosophy.

RESOURCES: Your most precious and valuable resource are the people who work for you. Educate them to thoroughly understand their work processes in order to maximize their talents and time on task. Invest in the mind of workers. Teach them to think and be observant. Again, reward creativity that adds to the bottom line. Educate in such a way that it adds to profits. Focus on subject matter and equipment that brings proficiency to the task. Focus on growing both internal and external customer service practices. Without employees serving each other well, your bottom line will suffer. Without employees serving those who purchase your product, your bottom line will suffer. Is the message clear enough?

What Makes You Different?

Each of us is born with a unique set of skills and talents that are part of our DNA. Some have a good voice and sing magnificently; some have a skill for athletic endeavors; some are gifted artist. Add to those natural inclinations the studies and values we shape over our lifetime and the picture painted is one of a very unique and talented individual.

For development of peak performance, we must take full advantage of our gifts and seek to identify what makes us unique. What is our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that we can offer the world and can use to earn our living? Everyone has USP. It’s our charge to fully identify it.

As you seek to build your career or bring more success into your life, use your USP. It’s your strongest asset. It will usually be something you truly enjoy doing. If this idea is a bit fuzzy, why not take a piece of paper and pencil and begin to list all the things you do well or have a strong liking to do. Within these items is your true calling. Within these items are also the factors that will bring peak performance to the surface. Good luck with this search for success.

Aligning the Strategy and Actions

Organizations that achieve peak performance have a common trait—they do very little that can be classified as wasted energy. They align strategy and vision with actions taken. In other words, all activities engaged in by employees advance the strategy and help to make the vision a reality. The more efficient an organization is in developing this process, the more profitable it can ultimately become.

You can take the same idea and apply it to your life. Develop a clear vision of your professional and personal desired achievements. (Don’t forget to take advantage of your USP) Develop an action plan to accomplish them. Then, begin to work your plan. Your checks and balance here is to be sure that you do nothing that does not advance the achievement of your vision. Such activities are a waste of valuable time and resources. Alignment is what you want and must have for reaching success and peak performance.

It sounds simple and, in reality, it is a simplistic approach to success—decide what you want and only do actions that help you get that want. The difficult part of this formula is to stay on target and to never give up on your vision. Life offers many distractions. You must be disciplined enough to say “No” to those distractions and stay on course. Keep the outcome in mind. It is a motivator and stimulus that will help build your momentum. It’s possibility thinking that propels you forward. It’s believing and truly wanting that will ultimately make the difference once you’ve aligned the strategy and your actions.

Closing Thoughts

In his book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins and his research team noted that greatness is largely a matter of choice. Great companies pick and use the right people that can get the job done. They create a culture of discipline to do the right things. They choose the right technology to help with tasks and they strive to be the best in the world at their core business. Finally, they create momentum to eventually get that breakthrough from being good to becoming great.

This works for companies, this also works for individuals. You need to make the choice to be great at what you do, surround yourself with people who can and will help your move forward and be disciplined about every action you take. Use the right tools (good computer, software, etc) to bring efficiency to your time and actions. Doing all these helps build a momentum to take you over the mountain of obstacles into the valley of success.

There is excitement in accomplishment whether it is in a company or in the life of an individual. There are time tested principles that can help. Put them to work for you. If you lead a company, lead it to greatness by removing your ego from the process, remaining humble, and never giving up. The same idea works for individuals as well.

The bottom line is getting the results you want and need to achieve greatness. Those who are willing to do what must be done win. Those who make other choices can only sit on the sideline wishing for better things. Your choice is to decide whether you will watch from the sideline or get into the game.

Author's Bio: 

Billy Arcement, MEd—The Leadership Strategist, is a professional speaker / consultant / author and President of The Results Group. For questions about this article, call him at 225-677-9426 or email Learn more about his services at © 2009 The Results Group.