The Bottleneck of Your Success by Darren Hardy

I want to zero in on something because I have found it to be true, having studied lots of organizations…
Those that have gone on to dent or shape the universe, and those who could have, should have, but didn’t…
THIS is one of the biggest reasons why:
Wait…
Before I tell you…
What do YOU think is the main bottleneck to your organization’s greater success?
The answers I hear most often are…
  • The economic climate
  • Competitive threats
  • Technology issues
  • Hiring great people
  • Gas prices
  • Supply chain issues
Nope.
While all those might be considerations, the main constraint to the future growth of your organizations is…
drumroll…
drumroll…
drumroll…
YOU.
YOU are your organization’s greatest bottleneck. Period.
I remember interviewing the CEO of a multibillion-dollar homebuilding company in Mexico. At the time his company was building 200 homes a day, he had 16,500 employees and 6,000 vendors, and had been averaging a 2,000% growth rate for the last seven years. This is how he put it:
“The only constraint of the company’s growth and potential is the owner’s ambition. I am the constraint. The market opportunity is there. It’s up to me to set the pace, clear obstacles, get resources and create the conversations to grow the company faster.”
Even with 16,500 employees out there, as the leader he knew his company’s main constraint for greater growth was him. As it is for you.
Another great example is when I spent time with Joel Osteen and asked him the key to his successful leadership of such a large, fast-growing and thriving organization. He explained that when he first took over for his father he made a great mistake. He was involved with everything. He was doing weddings, baptisms and funerals. He was adjusting the lights that shined on the stage, editing the brochures and approving the bumpers that are shown on either side of his TV broadcast.
What he discovered is his entire organization stagnated. It could only grow as much as could fit on Joel’s calendar. He was taxed and stressed out—his entire organization was taxed and stressed, as well as stagnant.
YOU are your organization’s greatest bottleneck. 
Period.
That’s when Joel realized that he was the bottleneck.
He was his organization’s main constraint.
That’s when he removed himself from all those tasks and responsibilities and only focused on the ONE thing that he contributes to the organization that has the greatest impact on its overall success. For Joel that was the 22-minute sermon he delivers on Sunday morning that is (now) beamed to 40-plus million people. If that sermon is great, it fuels the entire enterprise.
So the lesson here to realize is this:
1) YOU are your organization’s main constraint.
This is the case 100% of the time, no matter your type of organization. If you are the leader, you are and will always be the main bottleneck, until you…
2) Find your ONE THING.
What is the most important function you deliver for the organization? It’s like you are the “rain maker.” My guess is whatever you do to make it “rain” is your ONE most valuable contribution to the organization is. Focus more of your time, attention, heart and soul, without distraction, on that ONE thing. You do that by…
3) Removing yourself from the neck of the bottle.
Meaning, YOU are the logjam; clear yourself out. Get out of being involved with most things you are involved with. Hire great people and let them do their thing… so you can do YOUR thing… your ONE thing… your rain dance.
4) Then do a little leadership as well.
Do as the home-builder CEO said. First of all, increase your ambition and “set the pace, clear obstacles, get resources and create the conversations to grow the company faster.”
So let me simplify your 4-point action plan:
1) Look in the mirror to find your weakest link.
2) Figure out and write down what YOUR one thing is.
3) Stop doing 90% of whatever else you are doing.
4) Make sure your people have the grand vision and have the clear path, resources and knowledge needed to do all that stuff you are no longer going to do or be involved with.
Now, go make it rain!

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