This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

What Is Your Main Thing?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- We all muse about not being able to see the forest through the trees. But in reality, we spend most of our days staring at bark. It's July -- the first month of the back half of the year. It's an ideal time to hover and ask, "What is truly important?"

We've read about missions, strategies, values and critical success factors. Sometimes it's confusing. So, let's be clear and simple. What is "the main thing for your organization?" What is the most important thing to get right?

IBM (IBM) semiconductor's main thing is to "Fill the Fab." Many of today's fabrication plants cost more than $1 billion to build. It is simply impossible to turn a profit if the fab is not full. That may mean selling more, offering contract manufacturing, or partnering with competitors to balance loads. At IBM Semiconductor, the general manager repeatedly drives focus around filling the fab, "How do your key performance indicators help us fill the fab?" "Does this business meeting help us fill the fab? If not, how will we change it or shall we cancel it?"

The main thing is not a financial goal. The main thing is what is required for you or your organization to survive. It is the most important thing to do well to achieve your financial goals.

For FedEx (FDX), the main thing is to get packages to the destination on-time, every time. While competitors have historically provided more specialty services, such as shipping whales to theme parks, FedEx prides itself on reliably delivering basic services.

For Sam Walton the main thing was a well-managed store. Walton famously said that if you take care of the "box" you take care of the business.

The main thing is not a strategy. Disney's (DIS) main thing is to provide customers a magical experience. Disney's strategy to create that magical experience begins with an animated movie. A successful movie generates toys for distribution through a Disney Store, a new ride at Disneyland, a Broadway show, new characters on Disney Cruise Lines, and more.

Stock quotes in this article: IBM, MCD, FDX, DIS, WEN, BKW 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,424.85 +162.29 1.00%
S&P 500 1,862.31 +19.33 1.05%
NASDAQ 4,086.2250 +52.0640 1.29%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs