Friday, January 11, 2013

Njuguna, aren’t you working too hard?: Part 2

Njuguna worked quite hard and he must have realized that by working harder he was doing better. He must have have gotten sucked into long working hours maybe without noticing. Most likely other areas of his life got neglected. He was most likely eating poorly and probably never exercising. If this continues unchecked the guy will run into health problems and he’ll wish that he found a better balance in his life.

The biggest error of omission or is it commission is failure to create a system that works for him. How do you create such a system? We can learn a great lesson from the business mogul, the late Njenga Karume (RIP). He planned the succession of his business empires to able to run without him. He needed to have gradually let go of his direct involvement in running the businesses:

1.            You need to spot talents and build a team that shares your dream. The team will get you to your goals faster. He ought to have a manager for the hardware who deals with operational issues. The manager would probably have some sales person, procurement person, a person in charge of delivery, person in charge of receiving cash, etc. Njuguna would maybe be getting some periodic briefings and he’d probably concentrate on looking for new ventures and generally strategizing on the business and where it moves.

2.            But how would Njuguna trust that these fellows won’t steal from him? He ought to create controls at different levels to assist tighten any loopholes in the system.

3.            How about his land business? I see no reason why Njuguna would be chasing clerks at Kajiado when he can get someone to do such errands for him. I am sure he can afford to a person or people to take clients to site, chase documentation at lands office, chase consents with DO, etc. Most of these operational tasks need to be delegated.

4.            He should also take advantage of having people in his team who specialize in some areas. The jack of all trade mentality never works well. Isn't it better to know everything about something as opposed to knowing something small about everything?

5.            At that higher level, Njuguna should be able to organize his days in such a manner that he will cover all the facets of his businesses and spare some time for his family and he should rest more. Probably eat better and exercise. That way he’ll be a more complete person.

Let’s get deeper into what Njuguna ought to be doing?
1.             High Level Strategic planning : Setting realistic goals and tracking the attainment of the goals

2.             Looking for new ventures and investment options: How about going around the outskirts of Nairobi and looking for land…at the state he was in….he thought that the best land deals are only found in Kitengela… How about exploring other areas where timber is available? How about expansion into new areas…replicating the Kitengela success say in Rongai or Ruiru?
3.             Strengthening his team to help achieve his vision faster and spotting new talents. He can also build on the strengths of the existing staff and resolve some weaknesses.

4.             Creation of sales and marketing strategies…after all his business is sales driven.

If all this is in place, I think Friday afternoon he can join a member’s club and play golf. After all this life is short and he can afford the nice things in life.

I never got the chance to talk to him and I am sure this message may have never reached him before he collapses in a heap due to exhaustion and weariness. I hope someday I’ll bump into him and talk some sense into him. I hope he can listen to me...he sounded too arrogant to listen to some young man who may not be as successful as him…

That reminds me of some businessman I met who was so arrogant and was really blowinghis imaginary trumpet….Next post I’ll touch on that topic.

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