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This week’s riff: If you’re the leader of a business, what’s the most important thing you can do to deliver success? My answer is that your most critical task is to set the challenge for your organisation. Establishing a #1 goal – a single, quantitative performance target – that sits over and above all of your other objectives provides cut-through and focus for everyone to help deliver.

For the past few years, for instance, I have been working with the executive team at Topps Tiles. One of our first tasks was to clarify the retailer’s #1 goal, and the team settled on to profitably grow market share from 25% to 33%. In a little over three years, their share has already exceeded 30% and is on-track to achieve the 1/3 share goal. Over the same period profits have doubled.

Topps Tiles’ CEO, Matthew Williams, said, “At the time establishing a single and measurable #1 goal felt a little scary, but in reality it has helped align our people, made decisions easier and got our collective competitive juices going to enable us to make it happen.”

As you take your Christmas break, why don’t you think about potential #1 goals for your business and in January work with your team to settle on a preferred goal and then build your strategy and lead your people to make it happen?

You can find out more about our work with Topps Tiles here, access our archive of articles here or contact us to find out more.

Off The Record: Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield

Just move on up

And keep on wishing

Remember your dreams are your only schemes

So keep on pushing

© Stuart Cross 2014. All rights reserved.