Monday, September 27, 2010

Do it like you own it.

I have a friend who is an employee at a company that is struggling.  In a conversation with him today, he commented on some of the dysfunctional activities of a few of his colleagues.  As he spoke particularly of one of the management team, I shared a thought that hit a chord within me as I said it.  I told him that in order for a struggling company to have the best chance at success, the entire group must work as though they own it.

Upon reflection, I realized that past team efforts that I've been a part of were successful in large part because the entire group bought into and "owned" the opportunity to win.  To me, the difference bertween an owner and a a 'regular joe' is that the owner will do whatever it takes to give life to an opportunity, while 'joe' simply does what he perceives as his job, and leaves the rest to "everyone else"--not caring terribly much about the ultimate result.

The problem with the 'not my job' mentality at any level (but especially in a team struggling to accomplish their objectives) is that it leaves the important parts of the plan to "someone else", when really there is no one else.  . . .or even if there were someone else, timing is critical to successful performance.

So, how do you "do it like you own it"?  I think the key is believing in success.  An owner feels the lifeblood of his opportunity because he owns it.  He cares at a level that a non-owner usually doesn't get.  Giving that kind of care takes effort, belief, and passion.  It's not easy to get there if you're not an owner, but if you want success, you have to find a way.

The much tougher question is how to help those on your team with 'regular joe' mentalities to change their views to that of an owner.  It's espcially tough when it's a manager who, rather than looking for what he can do to help, looks around for what's "not his job".  How to help?  For me, the answer is to be an example of an "owner" work ethic.  Give all you've got to make good things happen, and simply expect the same performance of those around you. 

Like a wise advice-giving loved one at wedding time once commented:  marriage is not a 50/50 relationship.  If each of you only gives 50%, there will always be an expectation that the other gives something more; and that expectation will often go unmet.  No, marriage is a 100/100 relationship.  The only way it works is if both parties are fully committed.

While a company, project, or objective doesn't include similar vows as a marriage, the commitment necessary for success is similar in nature:  unless the whole team really gives a full effort, it may never produce the success it otherwise could.  I hope to do my best at giving 100% at all that's mine to do.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Follow Intuition - Immediately!

I was in the middle of a conversation with one of our sales reps when the thought occurred to me to contact a particular business associate that has a deal going with me that's looking a little shaky at best.  In fact, the way the deal has been going down, I felt like it has put our relationship on a little bit shaky ground.  Rather than disregard the thought until after the conversation I was having with the sales rep, I (rudely--but my conversation partner wasn't offended) sent off a quick text message to this contact and I coordinated a call with him for after my current conversation.

I called my business contact and had one of the best--most personal--conversations I've had with a business colleague since my employment in this new job (as of about 4 months).  We discussed the purpose of life, best business practices, as well as made great headway towards accomplishing all we hope to in business together.  In the course of our half hour call, the relationship was built at a level I have rarely ever built business relationships--which is saying a lot for a guy who has built a career in building business relationships.

What if, at that moment, I wouldn't have listened to what Thomas Magnum of Magnum P.I. would call "that little voice inside my head"?  What if I wouldn't have called the guy?  At the moment I did call, he and I were both in the right frame of mind to have a real and meaningful conversation that moved things forward at a new level--both personally, and for the business.  If I hadn't called at that moment, I don't think we ever would have had the conversation we did.

I'm grateful for intuitive impulses to do the thing that needs done in any given moment.  I need to get better at recognizing and doing those simple things. 

And that's just the kicker:  I really think that 9 times out of 10, they ARE simple things we feel impressed to do that will benefit us far more than our personal inginuity and "make it happen" plans will ever give us the ability to do.  Immediate action is the key to capitilizing on all that is available from the directions offered by the "superconcious mind" (as motivational speaker/business training specialist, Brian Tracy, refers to these intuitive impulses).  If I hadn't acted immediately on the thought I had tonight, I don't think I ever would have achieved the result I did with my business contact.  For this an countless other experiences--how grateful I am for the intuitive impulses I receive.  Now--if only I can learn to act on more of them.