plan

Why Bother with a Business Plan?

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What’s the value of a business plan?

It’s not the plan.  All plans quickly become out of date from the moment we write them.

No, the value is the act of planning and the concrete goal that we put into making a business plan. By setting a goal and planning how we’ll get there, we get everyone on the same page, expose and deal with obstacles, and show ourselves that, hey, our dream is possible.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: marco antonio torres cc

cures

A Cure-All

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There is a cure that is good for reducing unsightly politics, itchy inaction, painful apathy, and embarrassing turnover. It is also good for vigorously increasing sales and meaningful impact.

It is not a pill, tincture, tea, or cream. It doesn’t come from a dispensary; it comes from all of us. We as leaders (with or without title), can prescribe this powerful medicine. But what is is? It is a clear, commonly created, commonly understood, and compelling goal.

Everything is made (all) better when we understand and can get behind the goal.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Joe Loong cc

success

Has Success Eluded You at All?

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Past performance is not an indicator of future results. That success may have eluded us in the past is no indication that we will not be successful now. If we set a goal, go for win-win, raise our buzz, and act as inspired, we will succeed.

Only our expectations or fear of failure, usually steeped in a desire not to be disappointed again, can ever stop us.

Jump in.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: jjMustang_79 cc

What It Means When They Aren’t Getting Stuff Done

Posted on Posted in What=Compelling Focus
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That they are not getting valuable stuff done (or are just doing the wrong things) is a sure sign that we haven’t done our job of

  • establishing a clear, compelling, commonly understood goal and
  • constantly reminding people of how what they do contributes to the goal.

Of course, we need more than just that goal to succeed. And sometimes we have the wrong person in this role or that. But it is far too easy to believe that everyone always understands the goal and their part of it. And it’s far too easy, then, for us to blame the wrong things when we see people going off in the wrong directions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

paradox

It’s a Paradox

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 2 min.

Any success demands both a clear, compelling description of our desired outcome and a complete acceptance of whatever we have now (that, presumably, is not that outcome).

I want to sell more and I completely accept my current sales volume. I want to reduce turnover and I completely accept the current turnover. I want a promotion and completely accept that I am not yet receiving that promotion. I want to lose 10 pounds and I completely accept my current weight. I want more time with my family and I completely accept how much time I have with my family now.

When we fail to completely accept whatever we have now, we short-circuit our ability to get what we want. We remain so subtly but strongly fixed on fighting what we don’t want (current sales volumes, turnover, promotion status, weight, family time) that we keep missing the boat of what we want.

We may resist accepting what we have now because it sounds like we are agreeing with it. Nope. Agreeing implies living with some limit. Accepting means acknowledging what we don’t want and not fighting it. Fighting feels bad. Accepting does not.

We completely resolve this paradox by shifting our focus to what we want. That feels great.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Anders Sandberg cc

boats

Is Everyone Rowing In The Same Direction?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
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Here’s an exercise: Ask everyone at work today, “Who are we? What does our organization do? For whom? Why do we do that?”

If your organization is like most, you will get as many answers as people you ask. And that’s quite a problem. A big part of the success of any organization is having a clear, compelling, and commonly understood goal.  In order to have everyone rowing in the same direction, they need to know what that direction is and why it’s important.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: The organization’s goal includes descriptions of what we do for whom, why, and what we get out of it.

PPS: We do not mean for them to regurgitate verbatim the mission statement hanging on the wall of the break room. If everyone gets the general theme, they should be able to say it in their own words. And it’s okay to have variations on the theme. Each person’s unique impression of the theme adds richness and strength.

PPPS: The next question to ask everyone is, “How does or should your work contribute to and benefit from the work of this organization?”

 

Today’s photo credit: Philip Kraaijenbrink cc

just start

Choose Something

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, What=Compelling Focus
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Success demands we first clearly declare what we want to achieve. Yet we are often afraid to do that. We worry that we will be disappointed if we set our hearts on something and it doesn’t materialize. We fret that we won’t be able to handle or hold on to the success. Or we are concerned that we will choose the wrong goals.

Let’s choose something anyway. While we worry and delay choosing what we want, success remains elusive.

And, once we get started, we will see that we get to choose more and more success adventures. They keep coming.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

big goal

Goals Must Feel Good

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There is a caveat when setting large, nutty, impossible goals: they don’t work if you feel bad while you are setting them. If it feels bad–like a weight on your shoulders or a punch in the stomach–you are getting insight that the goal is not right for you. You may be selecting this goal out of guilt, because you think you should. You may deep-down-believe that you can’t/won’t/mustn’t achieve the goal. Or that another goal would serve you better.

Here are two things you can do. First, you can set a slightly less large, nutty, impossible goal. Look for a reduced version of the goal that is still compelling and that you believe you can achieve. Second, you can stick with your original large, nutty, impossible goal and reset your beliefs about what’s possible; try using the Ladder tool.

The rule is, “goals must feel good.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Cindy via photopin cc

impossible

Large, Nutty, Impossible Goals

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Strategy, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

“I want to make an extra $100,000 this year.” “I am going to run an ultra marathon.” “I am going to lose 50 pounds and keep the weight off.” “We are going to triple our sales.” “I am going to get a meaningful, rewarding job that lets me balance my life and still pays well.”

What happens when we consider very large goals? Frequently, we back away. They seem too impossible. “That’s nutty. I do not want to push as hard as I would need to in order to hit this goal. No, thanks.”

Yet the apparent impossibility is the very thing that makes large goals possible.

Consider the large goal of earning much more money. From a certain perspective, making and extra $100,000 or even $1,000,000 per year is easier that making an extra $1,000 per year. How so? Because you can make and extra $1,000 by doing a bit more of what you do now. Making an extra $10,000 might mean pressing even harder. But I don’t think anyone can push so hard that they can make an extra hundred grand or mil. No, jumps of that scale demand you think differently.

Unable to rely on our old ways, new ways become the solution. New ways start with new thoughts. “If I were to make an extra $100,000 this year, what would I have to believe, think, or do to make that happen?” These thoughts are only different, not difficult, to think.

What might be your large, nutty, “impossible” goal?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Suraj Manandhar via photopin cc

vision

Enough with the Calculus of Fate

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

When we look to the future, most of us have very little idea about what we actually want.  If pressed, we mention some generic notions like  having more money, more success, more time, better relationships, or staying healthy.

Oddly, we actually resist getting specific. We kick up “yeah, buts”  like, “What if I dream of something specific that doesn’t happen?”, “What if I get what I dream about but it ends up not being as satisfying as I had hoped?”, “I don’t usually get what I want,” and  “Too many things could go wrong; I have to plan for all the options.”

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there. — Yogi Berra

Instead of this calculus of fate and ‘what may be,’ let’s dream. Let’s paint a picture of where we are headed. Looking just beyond our “yeah, buts” we see that  know exactly what we want. We can describe in specific and exciting ways the future that would make our hearts sing. It feels terrific to do so.

And which is more likely to deliver what you want: a specific, exciting, detailed vision of what you want or not that?

Riiiiight.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Want to make your exciting vision come true? Don’t jump into action. Start by having your heart singing.

 

Today’s photo credit: Lettuce. via photopin cc