Let’s start with me saying that I have had lots of great intents over the years but like many of us did not take action to turn intent into something. Does that mean I failed? Maybe or maybe not. I can state one thing for sure. Any intent with out action is just wishful thinking. I also know that wishful thinking does not turn into something unless you are in the world of make believe.
One of the things that I hear from our cleints is that we hold them accountable. For some this is a welcomed framework. For others it is the pain in their side that someone is looking over their shoulder and letting them know they said they were going to do something and did not get it done. This concept of being accountable to take action on an intent to do something is one of the reasons businesses and leadership stagnate.
Part of this challenge is that good intent followed by a lack of action creates lots of undertone in the culture. The organization hears of a direction or objective and gets excited that something is going to take place. Unfortunately the end result is more of the status quo. After a while the team gets numb of the items shared because at the end of the day they already know that nothing is going to change or take place regarding it. This creates the undertone of various individuals commenting on this, that or the other thing not moving forward. People like and want and even need to be part of something that is exciting, getting better, has great future possibilities. As much as people don’t prefer change, they also don’t like to be told something is improving only to not realize any benefits because no action was taken to move it forward.
A contributing factor to the absence of action is that we generally don’t know how to prioritize what to take action on. We see, hear or experience something and declare that we will do this or that to rectify the situation. Moments after that proclamation, something else drops in our laps and that now becomes the focal point of our time and energy. We already committed to one thing and now we commit to yet another situation. This cycle repeats and basically blurs our priorities.
Another contributing factor is fear of failure. We intellectually know we should be doing something. We are not skilled in that specific area so the actions needed to take of it are outside of out present comfort zone. The results is a the break in confidence. We pause, reflect and then pause some more. This procrastination builds a resistance muscle in us to begin to avoid things we are not 100% confident in doing. We begin to seek perfection at such a high level that we basically stop taking action.
We all like the comfort of knowing how and when and what to do. We enjoy the routine of all things in their place. We also know that in order to grow personally and professionally we must step outside of the boundaries which contributed to helping us be successful. These same talents that got each of us to this point will not move us forward into future success. Life is full of various risk taking adventures. We must be open to taking the leap to jump over the gap between the items we intend to do something about and the actual action we take to make things happen.
Need someone to hold you accountable to yourself? Engage a Promise Guide at JKL Associates by calling (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
One of leaderships most important role demands is staying informed about what is going on in the business and the customers it serves. Being informed allows for better and more timely decision making. You work from a point of knowledge rather than making guesses or assumptions which may or may not be exactly correct. I’m not indicating you toss out your gut level instincts but have them enhanced by input from various data points.
One of the data points are your finances. Sounds pretty straight forward but if your monthly financial statements are not timely – i.e. available to leadership by the 5th-10th of the next month then you might be making financial decisions based on less than accurate information. Slight trend changes in the numbers might now show up in your instincts as accurate. You can guess to high or too low. Both can be dangerous to future success and results.
Another data point is the pulse of your staff. Much like your financials, if you are guessing at what you think your staff is talking about then you are likely not getting correct insights. You need to allocate time each day, week, month to have short quality interactions directly with your team. Short 5 to 10 minute conversations to get current input on how they see the business, the customers, the industry and maybe most importantly – how they see you.
Businesses ebb and flow based on leadership. If leadership is driving forward with deliberate actions guided by a well communicated strategy then it is far easier for everyone to get on board and move in the same direction. If leadership is not engaged then neither will your employees be engaged.
You also need data points from external sources such as industry insights and most specifically your customers or clients. When was the last time you picked up the phone or stopped by a client without needing to address a problem or follow up on something prompted by them? I realize you are busy and have lots of things to fill up your schedule. I would suggest that you build a habit of contacting 3 clients each week for the 50+ weeks of the year. During that time you will touch about 150 clients. No, it is likely not all of your clients but a reasonable majority of the 20% which contributes 80% of the revenue. These are not lengthy calls. Just 3 to 5 minutes to thank them and remind them you care about their business. You can do the same thing with your staff. It must be done authentically and you will be amazed at the change in attitude and culture internally. Externally you will form a far stronger relationship which will in turn sustain long term customers.
This week take that first step and set up a calendar of internal and external contacts you will begin calling the following week. Set up the contact list for all 50+ weeks including name and telephone numbers. Yes, this may take a few minutes but once set up all you need to do is dial the phone. Should you get a voicemail, simply leave a message of your intent for the call and move on to the next business to contact. You may not hear back from them but you planted an important seed in their mind that you took the time to reach out to them.
Want to raise the level of your understanding of what is really going on in your business? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
The visual of a compass lends itself to pointing in a particular direction. Organizations around the globe use it to heighten awareness of an approach to give guidance to a person or subject matter. Even our “Promise Culture” logo uses the aspects of a compass to bring forth the concept of finding and taking a given direction on a journey which leads to something or someplace of a high destination or calling.
The interesting thing is that many of us do not even know how to actually use a compass. We universally understand to a large degree that the intended use is to point us to a given destination. Beyond that, the actual process for using a compass can be hit or miss depending on your exposure to using one in real life. This is not intended to teach you how to use a compass. I might suggest a search on the internet or talk to a boy scout or girl scout for some training.
The idea here is that as business leaders we use tools, and reference points to bring clarity to goals and processes but do not always make sure the audience links back our connection to the desired direction we may be asking them to travel. How often in the past few months has their been a discussion about a project or some business demand which everyone thought they were on the same understanding only to find out a short time later that there was a scattering of directions taking place.
Take for example the conversation which takes place when a new hire comes into the workplace. Their first few moments and initial onboarding effort is critical to how they will ultimately get pointed in the right direction to success in your business. Yet this can sometimes be shortcut for any number of reasons. One that I have witnessed far too often is the assumption by the organization that because the new hire did a similar role at their prior employer that they must already understand the job at your location. Not only does the new hire feel alone and possibly abandoned on their first day but when something goes sideways they begin to get frustrated which only leads to more challenges for them and the organization as a whole.
Getting everyone pointing in a common direction and understanding common expectations makes an organization operate at a much greater frequency of performance. The best way is to communicate on a recurring basis the destination, the direction to take and the expectations along the path. Communincation needs to be in a variety of forms. You just can’t send an email and think everyone gets it. You must verify and validate your communications as everyone listens and hears differently.
This week as you continue on your 2020 path, take some time to really look at getting everyone pointing in the same direction. Communicate your direction and the associated expectations so that each and everyone is participating in the same journey with the same level of understanding and feeling part of the overall plan.
Do you know if your team is all pointing in the same direction? Do you understand the makeup of your team members? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and let’s discuss how we can bring value to pointing you and your team in the best direction.
Let’s face it, the current economic landscape is definitely on the positive side. Reminds me and scares me a little of the mid to late 1990’s when business growth came a bit more simply than it did in the late 2008-2011 time frame. (I know major understatement). If you participated in both of those unique times in the business cycles then you can reflect on how one was all about getting it while you could and the other was all about saving your backside from losses.
I find it interesting that during the positive times we become complacent about tweaking the performance side of the business. Taking a designed time to look deeper at how we can align and refine the business structure, system, processes and procedures. We just keep running until the inevitable contraction happens in the business cycle and we scramble to tighten down the organization.
If you were to flip these around and be disruptive by taking the good times to invest energy in tightening down and the not so good times to exploit those tweaks, the mountain and valleys would be far less treacherous.
For example, due to the low unemployment numbers, most businesses are scrambling to recruit and engage talent. There just does not seem to be talent to go around to meet the demands and needs. In some proactive companies they are using this time to innovate some of their processes as a means to relieve some of the pressure of not enough talent and to make their processes and overall business leaner to operate. Rather than having to hire more talent they are causing creativity to build to find more effective and efficient ways to do the business of being in business.
At a recent “People First” #R3ttisi conference many of the presenters and the keynote speaker gave various views at the employment landscape for the coming years and the availability of talent is not going to significantly change. Even if their is a slowdown which may cause some increase in available people, we are still running at a longterm shortage. With this in mind, now is the time for you as the business leader to take charge of disrupting what is good and working to let creativity completely rework your system to not just do the same things differently but to do them even better on many fronts.
This week look at just one area of your business which for all intensive purposes is operating well and consider if by flipping it 180 degrees you could have a longer term positive outcome with better results.
Not comfortable being that much of a disrupter? Start by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida for an initial call of understanding.
There is so much to be learned from history. From those who have passed before us and have weathered the various storms and battles to come out the other side victorious even if in failure. A common thread which tends to be weaved through all of their lives is the concept of having a daily routine which they developed and stuck with for long cycles of their lives.
Maybe reading this 3 minute weekly insight is part of your Thursday morning routine. Or maybe it is some other information medium such as an audio book or pod cast or heaven forbid the actual picking up and reading from a hard cover or soft cover book. Maybe you get your day started with a jog in the park or walking the dog. Possibly your daily routine starts with making breakfast for your kids and getting them off to school. You could possibly do yoga or sit in silence and pray. Whatever your daily set of events are, they are shaping your outcomes whether you want to believe it or not.
A few weeks back a colleague of mine and a family member both on the same day brought up this area of focus surrounding having and establishing a daily routine. What an odd coincidence that two very divergent people arriving at the same point on the same day. Not sure what cosmic energy might have been spooling around that day but it got me thinking. So many things in our lives are built on routines. These routines can be contributing or they can be detrimental.
For example, getting up each morning and eating a healthy breakfast to start your metabolism is very contributing to your better health. If at the same time you have a routine of heading out to the fast food restaurant each day for a greasy hamburger, fries and pop then that could very well be detrimental to your health. Both are feeding your body. Both are routines you control. Both have an impact on your health.
So ask yourself what are your daily routines? Write them down on a piece of paper and keep track of them for a few days this week. Are they the same each and every day or are they more variable? Do you hold yourself to a standard of accountability to make sure it happens each and every day? Do you find yourself taking short cuts when you have more on your schedule than other days and rationalizing your reasons for deviating from your routine? Do you differentiate between contributing and detrimental routines?
It has now been a couple of weeks since you maybe made those New Year’s resolutions. Did you make routines to support them? Have you held yourself accountable to those routines? If you are like most people you have already fallen off your resolution plans and have gone back to your prior routines.
This week take note of your routines. Evaluate them on the basis of contributing to your objectives or pushing you further away from your goals. Your routines impact not just you personally but impact the outcomes of your business. so as you review your daily routines, don’t leave out those which you either do or don’t do for your business and how they are impacting your future.
Need someone to hold you to a routine? Start by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
If you have ever driven a car, flown an airplane or piloted a ship in foggy conditions you can appreciate the need for very good instrumentation and navigational systems to keep you out of dangerous situations.
The element of reduced vision coupled with the unknown in front of you raises the blood pressure and makes the adrenaline flow. Your eyes dilate to bring in more light so you can possibly see what might exist just a few steps in front of your vehicle.
This environmental situation to a large degree is out of your control. If you need to travel from one place to the next in some vehicle and the fog exists, you must navigate under those circumstances. When you do, you take some particular steps to help insure the safest outcome for you and your passengers.
You understand your route. You evaluate alternatives. You use all the available input from weather to traffic advisories. you can even include communication with others who are traveling the same direction. You become a sponge to the various items which will make your travels as safe and as timely as possible.
So why is it that when it comes to navigating your business to its next higher level of success that you might sometimes do it in the fog with out reaching out to all the various navigational tools and inputs to help guide your organization safety to its next destination?
Unfortunately, I see too many business leaders believing that they must do it all on their own. Reaching out to others is some strange sign of weakness. They would rather fail than win with the help or assistance of others who might just have traveled that same road in the fog on a prior day.
This week as you move into the swing of 2020, give yourself the opportunity to open up your eyes and let some more light into them to help you navigate to a more successful year. Give yourself the opportunity to gather some insights from others who have walked the path you are on and give you guidance on what might work best for a given situation. Give yourself the ability to stop trying to navigate your business success while driving in the fog of your own mind.
Need a “Promise” guide to assist you in the navigation to your next big success in 2020? Start by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
Business is back in the saddle and moving forward in 2020. The new year gives each of us the opportunity to look at ourselves and our businesses through new lenses and filters. Yes, we all use both on a daily basis to either focus in on certain things or push out of sight those things we just don’t want to deal with.
Sometimes the lenses and filters serve us rather well. Sometimes we hold onto these lenses and filter so long that we don’t allow new and different perspectives to enter into our lives let alone our businesses. In these cases we are missing out on potentially better ways to achieve results both individually and collectively.
As we start 2020 let’s think about eyesight being 20/20. The better your vision to see, the more you can take in and use to better your circumstances which allow you to make better and more complete decisions. If we continue to exclude new information we begin to constrict our growth and start the withering away of future achievements.
This week as you get started into 2020, take a much bigger perspective of yourself and of your business. Strip away the blinders which you might have had on intentionally or unintentionally in 2019 and take a look at all the possibilities. Begin to not be overly optimistic but allow yourself the privilege to look beyond what you have grown accustom to and reach further into areas which can produce new riches both economically and in self growth.
This week identify just one thing or area you can look at through bigger lenses and remove the possible past bias you might have held regarding that item or situation. Consider how things could be improved if you allowed new ways to filter into your sight and then be moved into action. What new adventure might you travel to a bigger result in 2020?
Looking for a journey guide for 2020? Start by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
The holidays are now complete and we are back to the start of a new and fresh calendar year. The progress made in 2019 was just the foundation to better things to come in 2020. So what might some of those better things for 2020 be? If you have not already done so in preparation for the new year, it is now time to get real serious about what you intend to focus on for the next 12 months.
As you consider where you will invest your time and energy, give some consideration to looking at your complete self and business. Here is a little walk through to get your mind thinking.
For yourself –
Need a Promise Guide to help you navigate to a more contribution focused 2020? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
The New Year is upon us and 2020 is shaping up to be an even better year than 2019. You are wrapping up or have completed your efforts for the current calendar and are looking ahead to what 2020 will bring to you.
Today is the time to unleash your full potential and grow to new heights. Dream big, plan well and execute with focused intent and 2020 will deliver all and more than you can imagine.
Don’t find ways to limit your success and results. Find ways to engage strategic thought through risk and enjoy the journey.
May 2020 be your best year ever!
As we wind down the last days of the calendar year and prepare for the Christmas holiday, we at JKL Associates want to take this moment to wish each and everyone of you the Merriest of Christmas’s. No matter how you and your loved ones celebrate this time of year, may you be safe and blessed in all of your celebrations!
Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.Peace be to you and your household.