“Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.” – 1 Timothy 4:15
Meditation teacher Stephan Bodian defines discipline as “the capacity to do something again and again.” Discipline then leads to joy, peace, love and clarity and ultimately to a successful life.
At the end of this month, I would have completed 23 consecutive years of writing this weekly column. Meeting a publishing time target every weekend, wherever I am in the world, is one example of discipline in my life. I celebrate this discipline by noting the joy it has brought to me by way of mental stimulation, positive feedback, international contacts, business relationships, public speaking engagements, and documenting the mature segment of my professional career, for what it is worth.
Whenever I engage in Shepherding a start-up business, I encourage the entrepreneur to “start your business with a board meeting”. The response I often receive is one of disbelief: “A board meeting? But, I have not even launched my business and you think that I should start with a board meeting?”
I then indicate that the purpose of the board meeting is to lay a sound foundation of discipline which will serve the entrepreneur well as the business embarks on the journey to business success. After the initial shock and after viewing the template of the agenda of the first meeting, the entrepreneur usually acquiesces and recognizes the risk mitigation role of laying a sound foundation of discipline.
More specifically the board is to: (1) endorse shareholder policy; (2) set plans for the next period, one to three months, say; and (3) monitor performance at the end of that period and take corrective action as required. This management cycle continues again and again and usually settles at a monthly frequency as the business matures.
There are three other types of meetings which should take place in a well-structured business: (1) a weekly meeting among the management (even if the size of management is only one and a Shepherd, as is often the case in small companies) to monitor the stewardship of the staff who have been allocated activities in each of the five business systems – the cumulative output from these meetings will feed into the board meeting; (2) a quarterly motivational staff meeting to monitor the “happiness” quotient of the business family; and (3) an annual strategic visioning retreat for all staff to review all of the business systems in the light of a dynamic and changing business environment over the last year.
Successfully coordinating all these meetings requires much discipline but my experience is that the benefits of a well lubricated and disciplined company redounds to the benefit of the employees, managers and owners of the business and brings happiness to all and sustainable success to the company and by extension the country.
Let us steadfastly put the “Regular Meeting Culture” into practice and devote ourselves to high levels of proficiency, so that all may see our progress and that our nation may thrive, one successful business after another, as we journey on.