First, let’s define “The Next Level.” This is the stage of getting a company from “where it is to where you want it to be.” Whether the company is in a turnaround situation, finding a way to garner additional market share or even dealing with explosive growth, the same five steps must be applied in order to be successful. Let’s discuss these five steps in specific order:


Before taking your company from where it is today to where you would like it to be, you must first organize what you currently have. An organized operation serves as the foundation to implement the subsequent steps required to get your establishment to the next level.

This may seem like an overwhelming, or even impossible, task but it really is easier than one might think if you as the owner, president or CEO—the leader of the company—are committed to making the necessary changes. The primary change is behavioral; you must get yourself organized personally.

The vast majority of company leaders suffer from constant interruptions and spend a significant amount of their time putting out fires and dealing with crises and, in many instances, working in cramped, unorganized offices. Does this sound familiar?

Start with the basics and begin by cleaning your desk. While this may sound trivial, it accomplishes a number of things:

• It allows you to begin to think more clearly.

• It improves your efficiency and productivity.

• Most importantly, it sets an example to other members of the organization.

Like it or not, you set the tone and create the culture under which the organization functions. If you are truly committed to change, the change must start with you. You’ll be amazed at the results. The standards you set begin to carry throughout the organization; it’s up to you to lead by example. You can’t expect something out of people that you don’t expect out of yourself.

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