Setting the Pace in the New Year
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Taking care of business in a flash! I never knew this was the coined phrase of Elvis Presley—the King of Rock and Roll—until we arrived at Graceland where it appears often. I am writing to you from the guesthouse at Graceland, a welcoming place as is Graceland itself, where you can tell the motto continues to be followed today.

Last year, our office adopted the motto “Consistently Consistent”. We discovered that over the years as we grew and added staff, although qualified, many of them thought their value was in changing processes instead of following and improving on processes that were already proven to work. As a company, we are working as a team to set a pace to improve on the output of those processes over time to more efficiently take care of business requests from our clients.

Turning the calendar to 2019 gives every person an opportunity to set a pace for the new year. Executive leadership can not only adopt a motto, but take time to map out what the expectations for the year might be. What established policies are proven to work well in your business? What policy and procedure needs to be better defined to set a consistent pace that can then be developed upon with time?

Elvis’s entourage was known as the Memphis Mafia. Over the years the members of his entourage changed out without changing the delivery of his performances to his audiences. Each new entourage member got up to speed quickly by following procedure already in place and repeated consistently by senior staff members they could observe. The visual reminder through the TCB logo further reminded everyone of the motto that each of them shared with one another.

How do you set your pace for the New Year? Start by asking yourself these questions:

What worked well for you in 2018?

What did not work well for you in 2018?

Is your leadership team in agreement with the company goals for 2019?

Is your leadership team in agreement with the policies and procedures in place for 2019?

Is your leadership team training and holding others accountable to agreed-upon policies and procedures?

Setting the pace for the new year begins with the leaders at your company marching to the beat of the same drum whether all under one roof or in satellite offices across the state, country, or around the world.

To build a building, you must first have a blueprint and second have a permit. The blueprint is the design. The permit is the approval to move forward with the base design. We all know that the plans will have modifications along the way. However, the original design is like your baseline policies and procedures where you have a starting point to refer to with inspections along the way to ensure no one from the team gets too far off track.

Policy and procedure agreed upon by leadership and written out will take time, but once you have your blueprint in place to establish baseline pace you can then pick up the pace over time with minor adjustments. Companies that are constantly reestablishing what is working, never develop the baseline to increase pace over time.

Elvis and his entourage performed 1,684 shows between 1954 and 1977 performing in front of over 12 million people. Unfortunately, without the King himself performing at each show there would not be a performance so his body could not keep up with the efficiency of his team. Fortunately, in construction, no matter how many projects you complete a year, your company can get better with you setting the pace instead of running the race.

Will you take time to set the pace for your team?   What will your motto be? Consistently Consistent at Taking Care of Business in a Flash? It sure would make it tough for your competition to out-pace you and less likely your employees will leave you.

Cheers to you, The Pacesetter.

Suzanne Breistol

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