Hey Leaders, I have some good news and bad news. Well, not bad, but it could be eye-opening. We are approaching the end of the first quarter for those operating under a calendar year. That can be sad news for some. Like, wow, 25% of the year is gone. The good news, if that is your situation, you have 75% left to correct.

Over the years, I have found a simple process to “check in” from time to time. This is an opportunity for you to put some eyes on four critical areas of your business plan. I call it the 4 S’s. They are:

STRUCTURE: Do I have the right people in the right roles? Do I have too many layers or not enough? Do you need to address an underperforming area?

SYSTEMS: Is there a process that I need to examine more carefully? Should we create a new method for better efficiency? Be careful of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Sometimes there is a crack you may never discover unless you look for it. Always ask, “How can we improve this system/process?”

STANDARDS: Is it possible in some areas, I have allowed below-average performance? If so, address it now; you only have 25% of the year left, and it may be too late. Do I need to raise the bar in some areas?

STRATEGY: You have a well-thought-out plan for your most important objectives. Now is the time to re-examine each one. Is it the right strategy? What have you learned about that strategy? Be sure you are obtaining feedback from those responsible.

Remember one critical point, in the end, you will always have what you allow and what you create.