Building Obscenely Profitable Teams
What are you doing as a business leader to maintain energy, drive, and focus, especially when you feel burned out, lacking new ideas, or just plain bored?
1. Are you setting impossible dreams?
If you want to hit home runs, swing for the fences; set impossible dreams. Think bigger. Goals change behavior. When you have a picture of the future you seek to create, it does something to you. But most likely the goals that you’re setting lately are doable, practical, and reasonable.
Practical goals are set to avoid discouragement, which defeats the purpose of having a goal to work from in the first place. Why would you ever invest your life spirit in a compromise?
Instead, consider your entire lifetime. When you look back on this time in your life from your very last breath, what would you be proud of doing? What appeared to have mattered most? To what end did you devote your life spirit?
When you set an intention conceived of the future you seek to bring into being, you’re providing yourself a sense of direction on your terms. Things may not also come together as you expect them. The universe is a wildcard and often times it doesn’t cooperate with your expectations. You must suspend them and show up with an open mind, judgment-free.
This process of suspension, and redirection to what is in the present moment involves making space for what I call “wise innocence.” It is where you take a meaningful leap with your intention into uncertainty. You leave the rest up to the universe to meet you half-way. Amazingly, there’s an organizing principle when you set forth with this kind of commitment and willingness. Unforeseen forces come to your aid and meet you there. Your intention and attention work in common cause, as if an invisible hand lines up strange coincidental events that foster your passage.
2. Are you looking for cracks and sparks?
Take a careful look around you, stop, and reflect. Take more blue sky time so hard work does not substitute intelligence. As you pay attention to what is going on right now, you begin to notice defining features. These features all the aspects existing, trending, and emerging the present moment that inspire you, surprise you, and move you. When you put what has heart and meaning at the center of your awareness, you open your heart to your highest future possibility. You bring an inner knowing to the surface that meets life in a cooperative manner.
Twyla Tharp, Author of “the Creative Habit” uses a powerful metaphor she calls “scratching the lottery ticket.” Think of this like scanning the sea floor for treasures. You can pre-sense what life is implying you to do, based on a reality check with current events. Sparks are places where the future is ready to begin. The creative process often begins with an itch, inkling or clue that activates your inner knowing that you must act. I think of it like in Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol,” the ghost of Christmas Future. You begin to see what the future is implying, and step into it with alacrity.
Cracks are those moments when the future is cracking an opening or an aperture like a signpost telling you “come this way, hurry!” What organizes new action is something coming into the present moment that opens the crack. You must act, in an instant, to help it expand from a tiny spec to a seed that tendrils to branches.
Consider where the cracks and sparks are right now in your life story. What is waiting to be born? And what is ready to die or end?
3. Are you rethinking your business capabilities?
When you started your business, you delighted the customer to the point they trusted you and remained a buyer. But as you’ve aged, your customers have entrenched their perceptions of you continuously. Although your brand may be strong, it may not have you totally behind why you do what you do, like you used to.
Rethink your business vision and mission again. What is the point of all this? Why do you and your team come to work every day? What could we do that would add greater value to your customer? What have we accomplished and what does that mean to us and our customer? What’s next?
“What’s next?” is an excellent leap-off point to renew your vows with your company. Consider where you want to land in three years? How will the customer, community, and competition see you? Re-imagine your business, in a way that is noble to you.
One of the biggest hindrances to small business is mediocre governing ideas. When you rethink what you do, and why you do it, you reconnect to the driving force, the real horsepower behind your decisions, actions, and communication. Innovation begins here as well as new potential for growth.
Don’t organize around what the competition is doing, instead tap into what your “A” level clients are up to? What do they want, expect, and desire? Just ask, and they’ll tell you what they want you to do. Tap into their dreams, their preferences, and their models of themselves and the world. These clients will be making up your future the most. Listen to them, and understand them.
When you hear them, listen for what they worry about most, as well as what opportunities they want to capture. Listen for what has excitement for them now and what to build upon it. Develop a series of deliveries, services, and capabilities that create a wow factor when their dangers are eliminated, opportunities captures, and strengths bolsters, because of your leadership.
4. Are you taking longer dream vacations?
When you take fewer vacations, you don’t put yourself in a position to lead, live better, or product results. Vacations believe it or not, are the secret to productivity. When you schedule a ten day vacation as opposed to a day or two, you have to 1) Think about how to get things handled while you’re away. You’ll depend more on teamwork, which inspires your support staff to step up and self-manage. 2) You’ll be rejuvenated more which gives more energy available for handling important goals or maximizing key opportunities. 3) You’ll be a gifted boss who’s less stressed and more creative and fun to work for. 4) You’ll have more breakthroughs and ideas outside work to bring back and put into play.
5. Are you ending tolerations?
Tolerations are aspects in your life that you’re “putting up with.” When you put up with something, you must draw forth unusual levels of energy and spirit. You inspire your own dread by doing nothing about its existence. When you eliminate a toleration, you restore the energy and redirect it to some better use.
Tolerations may include other people. If you’re putting up with behavior that you can’t stand from others, tell them it’s no longer acceptable. If they’re saying things to you that bother you, end it. Being complacent and silent communicates agreement.
Tolerations may involve things. If you’re putting up with a bad printer or appliance, stop it. Why do you tolerate a 10-year-old car that needs to be fixed all the time? You’re creating a ceaseless existence of lower standards. Take action. Eliminate the toleration.
When you proactively end tolerations, you begin to feel more confidence and aliveness. You cultivate a state of mind that is less cluttered, and are more available to pursue what matters most.
Tolerations may involve activities that you continue to accept. You put it off or do it poorly and just get by. Raise your standards. Don’t touch things you aren’t great at or get energy from doing. End the toleration and delegate, negate, or automate the task, but act on this now! As you get freed up from this, you’re creating a vacuum for other activities that matter to you.
Keep this bucket list:
- Set impossible dreams
- Look for cracks and sparks
- Rethink business capabilities
- Take a long dream vacation
- Eliminate Tolerations
Select one to work on for the next 30 days!
Copyright 2014 John Davidson