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CEO Scorecard – Staying on Track and Accountable in an Overwhelming World

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CEO with playbook - examining his scorecard

We’ve been focusing on ways to keep your employees happy, productive, focused, and accountable. Long for someone to do the same for you? I’m certainly here to help with that, but I’ve been working with a tool that essentially helps you mentor yourself. The CEO Scorecard enables you to clarify your broad and specific goals and track your alignment with them over time. It’s a quick and dirty rundown of your strategic plan that provides you with a view from the top. That way, you can save your time with me for deeper matters!

Take a look at the CEO Scorecard and let’s do a brief walk through.

Start At the Top: Mission and Vision Statements

If you don’t already have a written mission and vision statement, now’s the time to put pencil to paper. If you know you’ve got them somewhere….let’s get these statements down in one place, make them memorable, and consult them often to ensure alignment.

Your mission statement is a one sentence declaration of the inspiration that drove your business creation. What did you want to accomplish? By way of example, here’s the Strategies for Change mission statement:

To help stuck professionals and businesses get unstuck and stay that way by teaching behavioral tools that inspire and generate positive change.

Your vision statement is a one sentence declaration of your longterm aspirations for your business. It’s not simply your dream of the future. You can make your dream a reality by using your vision statement to guide all strategic decisions along your way to the dream. The Strategies for Change vision statement is as follows:

Provide problem solvers with a framework for breaking free when they – like all humans – inevitably get stuck in harmful behaviors and circumstances, to transform shame and suffering into opportunity and growth.

If you’re just writing these now, please don’t obsess. Start with your gut feeling, don’t concern yourself with elegance, and don’t worry if these start out longer than one sentence. As you live with these statements, they will evolve into the final form that truly expresses your intentions. In other words, don’t let yourself get stuck!

Values Alignment/Leadership Scorecard

In this section, you will list your values in the left column and rate your adherence to each on a monthly basis. Rather than a set of abstract ideas, this is a “values in action” list of behaviors that demonstrate and support your company’s values. This information is mission critical. You can’t successfully lead your company in the desired direction without constructing clear values and consistent associated practical actions.

In the same way that your values guide your choices in your personal life, you can use this set of values to create a top-down consistent company culture. Decision making is greatly simplified: You’ll hire, fire, promote, manage, and lead from this set of perspectives. When you model adherence to these values and provide your employees with specific ways to implement those values, you wind up with an aligned company culture where everyone is committed to the same vision.

The list of values on the sample CEO Scorecard is based on the concepts promoted in the Small Business Breakthrough book, many of which we’ve already discussed in previous posts. You may have other values to add to this list. Just be sure the items added are objective and measurable behaviors. This is meant to be practical and not esoteric.

Strategic Themes

This list includes your highest priority company-wide objectives. It might include items like, “Increase sales by X%” or “Reduce Employee turnover by X%,” for instance. Keep this list trim: more than three strategic themes will probably be overwhelming.

Recap Sections

The three recap sections include your top priority items in each category. There are independent lists for processes to be standardized, projects to be improved, and problems (switchboard issues – see previous blog entry) you want solved. These sections will focus your attention and guide your meetings, as the managers responsible for these issues will regularly report on their progress. Everyone stays on the same page.

Prime Path

This section basically provides a quick capture of where you are in your process of implementing the Small Business Breakthrough model. We’ve already discussed items one through seven in previous posts, and will address the remaining two in the next few weeks. The beauty of this section is the at-a-glance summary of your company’s progress and where you are presently.

All Set

That’s it. A one page snapshot of the company’s intentions and your adherence to actions that are aligned. Now you’re your own best mentor!

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