I am sitting poolside in a small, rustic resort in a quiet corner of Seminyak in Bali waiting to meet Tim Bradley the CEO of Feed Starving People Inc. (FSP). FSP is a US registered charity which has, for the past few years, been running missions into the poorest and often forgotten villages across SE Asia.
Tim and FSP has a simple core mission; to feed, clothe and educate the poorest communities on the planet.
The reason I am here is because I sit on the board of FSP and advise Tim on the future strategy for the charity so that it can deliver sustainable impact versus isolated aid.
But here is the point of this post; As FSP scales, implements processes, secures partners and transforms, the job of the CEO becomes broader and with that comes overwhelm and distraction.
With so many moving parts, where does Tim focus his time and focus?
This is a common challenge for leaders in businesses that are undergoing transformation and/or growth. So many moving parts, scattered focus and diluted impact.
So what is the answer?
With Tim, we zeroed in on five priorities; three of which were core to the mission of FSP and the other two were internally focused initiatives that supported the three mission critical priorities. Everything else was delegated or parked for a future date.
We stripped out the noise and returned to core; Pure and simple alignment to the purpose and mission of the charity.
Let’s look at examples of when this works and doesn’t work in business:
Apple (sorry to use the obvious example) is now the most valuable company on the planet and is very focused on a narrow band of products and services. So narrow in fact that it cannibalizes it’s own winning product lines (iPod vs iPhone). It is less focused on market share than it is on profitability; and it seems to be working.
Hewlett Packard is a stunning example of the opposite. Very broad, unclear central offering and is literally fracturing.
Both big companies but one far superior.
It is the same for leaders. Stay true to the central core mission. Strip out the noise and distraction. Prioritise key initiatives and align everything to support the end game.
Tim and FSP will be better for it; and so will the world’s starving people.
…but what about you?
Visit www.feedstarvingpeople.org and find out more about Tim’s mission.