Dollars and Sense: Getting your business in the zone?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Have you ever heard someone described as being &8220;in the zone&8221;?

The term is most often applied to athletes, but it can occur in other parts of life as well. For example, a business can operate &8220;in the zone&8221;.

Unfortunately, such a state of operation occurs far too infrequently.

Competing successfully in business is the result of a series of small advantages. Great success does not just happen; it happens when the small wins happen repeatedly. The leader of such a business understands why the small wins occur and keeps the business in that winning zone. Such a leader understands the metrics of the business and is acutely aware of when a particular ratio gets out of the zone.

While each business has its own unique characteristics, there are several attributes that all successful ventures tend to have.

A business operating &8220;in the zone&8221; is in balance.

The number of projects and the desire to deliver excellence is in equilibrium. When the amount of work exceeds the motivational limits or operational capacities of the people, the process soon shifts out of balance and a negative spiral begins.

The good leader maintains a keen awareness of this balance.

The zone of efficiency tends to occur when everyone involved feels the excitement. Simply stated, that means people are doing what they enjoy and they are normally doing it with people they like. Working with and for people you like helps you operate &8220;in the zone&8221;.

Great businesses flourish when the people involved are doing what they do best.

Good leaders always do what they do best and delegate away those things they do not do well.

Don&8217;t push people to do a job they don&8217;t want or don&8217;t like. Match the task to the person.

Being &8220;in the zone&8221; is fun. If you are not having fun in your business, you are probably not in the zone.

Measure how much fun you&8217;re having, and compare it to your competition. If they&8217;re having more fun than you are, you&8217;re losing ground.

Sports psychologists counsel their clients to keep detailed records of thoughts, habits, activities and even the color of shirt or socks they wear during times of peak performance.

Do you have good information about yourself when you&8217;re operating at peak efficiency?

Find your balance, do those things you enjoy and work with people you like.

The result will bring excitement and you will find yourself &8220;in the zone&8221;