My plan for this blog originally was the irony of freedom. The past three days working with an enthusiastic and dedicated group of leaders from a new customer who started with me in February for a private two day Rockefeller Habits Workshop. They’d previously attended the Four Decision Workshop in November.
Each quarter we begin our quarterly planning by reviewing and highlighting victories each individual leader’s team achieved. We spend additional time bragging about others in the to recognize and ensure no victory or achievement is missed.
We started 1st quarter planning late (about a month into the first quarter), and while this diminished the number of victories a bit it didn’t diminish their magnitude. The company achieved record revenue for the quarter, months and weeks. They achieved equal or greater success for profitability. They’d also discovered some breakthroughs on bringing products to the market and marketing testing. They completely blew away their original revenue projections on one campaign, set at $300,000, by over 600% to achieve $1.9M in revenue. It is a remarkable group of achievements.
Their One Thing for the 1st quarter was Strategic Discipline. One of the main reasons they’d decided to hire a Gazelles Coach and specifically Positioning Systems was their desire to improve accountability and develop more discipline in their organization. At first blush it would appear by results they made remarkable progress. It would be pretentious to suggest that Positioning Systems Strategic Discipline alone led to this record breaking quarter. No success like this is achieved without significant preparation, dedication, and exhaustive work honing skills, talents and systems. The seeds of this achievement were planted before the instruments of Strategic Discipline and Rockefeller Habits ignited it.
Looking back at achievements is not only rewarding, it builds confidence. Too often we never stop to smell the roses. We fail to admire what we’ve achieved and thus lose perspective on the time, effort, energy and necessary preparation to achieve the results we’ve accomplished. As recently retired Bobby Knight, Basketball Head Coach, ESPN Analyst notes, "The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win."
Beyond first quarter victories our customer spent time to review “What we learned”, “What we can work on”, and whether meeting rhythms were working well and how things might change to produce more productivity. All these are steps to reinforce what made this outstanding success possible. What should we avoid, what needs to be done for the future, and how can we duplicate this success? What can be done to ensure future objectives will be as successful? Learning from your mistakes is important. Learning from your victories and wins can be just as critical.
We invested a good deal of effort into planning the 2nd quarter, adopting a philosophy of less is more. Several times during the session we discussed the frequently overlooked axiom that we overestimate what we can achieve in the short term, and underestimate what we can do in the long term. It helped to keep our focus on what we want to solidly accomplish. The pruning of priorities should help them focus on those intended to provide the greatest ROI.
Lest you believe we invested all of the time on planning, we dedicated most of one day to working on the Four Decisions of Strategy and People. On Tuesday we looked at BHAG and specifically their Hedgehog concept. As noted in Without a (Core) Purpose Any Problem is Too Big during the first quarter we’d discovered their Core Purpose. They’d previously had a mission statement. In an effort to align with the One Page Strategic Plan we reduced what had previously been a two to three sentence mission into a concise four word statement. It emotionally provides their passionate why for their business.
Core Purpose is one of three elements Jim Collins lists within the three circles of the Hedgehog Concept. This would prove extremely valuable as we went through the exercises for discovering this and their BHAG which is frequently discovered within the intersection of the three circles of:
- Core Purpose is your answer to what are you deeply passionate about.
- Brand Promise is what you can be best at in the world.
- Profit per X is what drives your economic engine.
The group is a highly intelligent, creative, and energetic group of Christians. I say that because we started each meeting with a prayer and each meal also include a prayer lead by one of the members. I feel it’s one of their Core Competencies since it drives their culture.
You might think that working with a group of Christian men would be incredibly boring. In fact this group I often felt as if they were having too much fun and not focused on the task at hand. You see part of their Core Values is “Make it Fun!”
I believe it’s the shared sense of values, purpose and belief in Jesus Christ that makes them the most authentic and genuine group of leaders I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. If you’re familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team I believe it’s why they had such significant 1st quarter success and have been growing so fast.
Whether all this inspired a truly productive afternoon, or having spent nearly 36 hours together built an uncommon synergy, the result late Tuesday was a BHAG that inspired and led to several members (Including Me) indicating they felt tingling when we uncovered it. You might say it felt divinely inspired.
An intention to Heal 1 Million people in the next ten years can do that.
I’ve had few more satisfying and rewarding days than working with this group. This is what I love about my passion for helping businesses.
The two days together (we did have an additional day dedicated just to fun activities) started with a focus on achievement/victories. Positives bring out the best in us. This group is truly dedicated to achieving positive results on a global scale I’d reveal more about this, however this appears to be a future BHAG for them.
Achieving results like this requires several steps that lead to greater freedom. We’ll explore these in our next blog.