What if your business had set an annual priority and failed to achieve it?
What would you do for the subsequent year? Would you set the same priority or would you decide to choose another that was less impactful or more likely to be achieved.
Suppose you set the same annual priority the subsequent year and failed to achieve it?
What then? Would you dare set the same priority after
If your One Thing is the most important thing you can do to impact your business why would you change simply because you failed to achieve it.failing to achieve it two years in a row?
Persistence is one of my strengths.
When one of my customers failed to achieve their annual plan’s One Thing two years in a row the leadership team and the owner and CEO saw no reason to alter it. They decided to press forward to achieve it the third year. In fact in our annual meeting I admonished them for not achieving it, yet spelled out the path I believed they needed to follow in order to reach it. You can find that discussion in my blog: Practical Discipline #3 Where to Put Your Best People: Good To Great.
This might be a good place to insert any number of quotes about failing.
I’m not sure this is the best one to provide, but I like it, “Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. ~ Steve Jobs
It suggests that if you’re one thing is your one thing, why change it simply because you fallen short.
The good news to report here is after failing for 2 years this year my customer is about to blow away their One Thing for 2015.
There priority was to reduce corporate vulnerability since one of their customers dominated their revenue stream. In 2014 this customer reduced its commitment by 75% sending ripples throughout the business. They were fortunate to have been working on this objective to manage to bring their revenue in at a breakeven with the prior year.
This year they began to pick up momentum having succeeded in acquiring new large customers to help compensate for the reduced investment their largest customer had been providing and they’d been dependent upon. Through the first two quarters they were running about 14% ahead of their revenue objective.
While the owner, COO, and marketing department kept their persistence and commitment to this former largest customer, something fortunate occurred. This previous dominant revenue source decided to come back at a level beyond any of their previous investments. Nearly $2.5 M in revenue will be added to this year’s numbers. The result: my customer should achieve a 50% increase in total revenue due to this customer and the outstanding efforts they made to reduce their corporate vulnerability by adding new large customers.
While it’s easy to look at failing to reach the One Thing for the two previous years, by achieving a 50% increase in sales, its equivalent to have achieved a 16.66% growth rate over the past 3 years based on this years achievement alone.
What would have been the cost of my customer choosing something else as their One Thing?
In Gary Keller’s The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results he notes, “Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”
Finally Keller notes, “The ONE Thing shows up time and again in the lives of the successful because it’s a fundamental truth.”
Just so I’m clear, I’m not advocating that it’s okay to fail for 2 consecutive years achieving your One Thing. But if your One Thing remains your One Thing (Most impact on your business) than stay true to your priority.
Again from Keller’s book, “Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results.”
Brian Tracy in the Psychology of Achievement notes when you set a new goal for yourself very often because what you are presently doing is not conducive to the achievement of that goal, your life will be thrown into turmoil. You will have what appear to be setbacks, great adversities will occur, great disappointments. And in retrospect when you look back over your life, and look back on the bad things that happened, of the difficulties that occurred, you'll say, "boy it sure was lucky that occurred, or that thing happened, or this good thing wouldn't have come about later.” A person will set an income goal and find two weeks later they're laid off and later get a new and better job within which they are capable of achieving that goal. Or they'll be in a relationship and their goal is to have a happy harmonious relationship with the right person and the relationship that they're in will fall apart and later on they will meet the right person. "Boy I'm sure glad that relationship didn't work out because if it hadn't I would never have met this person or found this situation."
So be prepared for adversity, struggle, turmoil when you begin to set high new positive goals for yourself. Because of then the super conscious mind will put your through a series of experiences necessary to get you where you want to go.
If you set high goals for yourself you need preparation to reach them. Very often there are a series of steps--- a series of payments you must go through in terms of adversity and struggle. If you keep on keeping on, in retrospect you will understand that this was an important and intergal part of the ultimate achievement of your goals.
The wizard of Westwood, John Wooden stated, "'Why do we dread adversity when we know that facing it is the only way to get stronger, smarter and better?"
Never fear failing, it is always the cloak that hides victory and allows us to learn from our failures in order to improve.