I love coaching my U16 football team and am always looking for ways to improve my coaching skills. A while back, I attended an FA Coaching Conference at St George’s Park, the FA headquarters. One of the workshops I went to was on sprinting and movement technique. At one point the coach had a group of children jogging lightly on the spot. He then asked them to move their arms faster but to jog at the same pace. Of course, the children found this impossible. As their arms accelerated their legs couldn’t help but follow.

In business many managers are focused on ‘increasing sales’ or ‘growing profits.’ This is the equivalent of demanding that someone run faster. Instead, you should focus on the actions under your control that you know will drive sales – the equivalent of moving your arms more quickly.

At one opticians’ business I worked with, for instance, we focused on increasing the number of eye tests as the key to driving sales and profit, while at a bathroom manufacturing client, the company’s ability to guarantee overnight delivery of its entire range was the critical driver of its success and growth.

So how about you? What is the key driver of growth that you could focus on to deliver your growth ambitions and to run ahead of your competition?

Off The Record: The Runner by Foals

Shadow, see how far I go

Step by step I’ll keep it up, I won’t slow, I gotta go

Through the embers, through the rows

Every shadow step I take, I’ll make sure that I won’t break

Oh, if I fall down, fall down

Then I know to keep on running

Keep on running

© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.