It's 2016 and we are still only getting into the new year. You may have already met with your team and discussed your goals for the year. For some it may have been increasing sales, creating new marketing initiatives or expanding into new locations. For others it might have been hiring new talent or creating a more enjoyable customer experience. We all have different wants and yet we all have the same need: results. The question is what motivates you to get results?
Recently, I had a discussion with “Mary” who is the CEO of her organization. Her team met in January and developed a plan to have a successful year. She told me it’s now April and things couldn’t be worse. Since the meeting in January, sales have fallen off a cliff and revenues are dropping at an alarming rate. Mary shared with me all the things that were not working for her company. She said it was very important for her to turn the situation around immediately or she would be in hot water. It was clear, Mary was motivated to avoid something more than she was to achieve something. In life we, individual(s) and/or organization(s), move towards or away from things. When we are attracted to reaching a certain goal it means we are moving towards something. When we are fearful of not being a certain way or being in an unwanted position it means we are moving away from something. Do you know which one you are? Knowing which one you are is very important because it helps you to navigate towards your outcome in a way that works best for you. It is possible that you move towards things at work and away from things in your personal life and vice versa. Understanding who you are and what motivates you is a powerful tool. In the example above, Mary was motivated by avoiding (moving away) the pain of having her company experience a drop in revenues and upsetting the board which in turn would make her job/life more difficult going forward. Mary is a smart person and has the support of everyone around her. The thought of losing support from her team was enough motivation to get her fired up to start making things happen. Maybe you are like Mary and you get fired up when you are getting close to something you do not want. Maybe you are not like Mary and you are the type of person who moves towards the things you want. Once Mary learned what triggered her motivation, something changed. Mary and I created a plan to get her far “away” from what she did not want. She knew what she needed to do and was ready to get started. Mary immediately started to move “away” from what she did not want and was on the high road to getting results.
The following is a simple and proven strategy that helped Mary and it will also help you get results. During the process you will go from where you are now to where you want to go.
1. Identify where you are now. 2. Be clear about where you want to go or how you want to be. 3. Create a list of resources you will need. 4. Apply the resources and don’t look back until you have reached your destination.
The first step in this process is to explore your environment. This means knowing the internal and external conditions affecting your organization such as: what is your company doing now, who are you working with, how you are working and what is missing. The companies that fail to deliver are typically the ones that are not honest about where they are now. If you have trouble or feel more comfortable asking for help, now is the time. In this second step you must be very clear about what you want. You may consider spending the most time here exploring your needs. It is very important to be crystal clear about what it is you want most. You may also consider who you are doing this for and how this will benefit your company before moving to the next step. If this want or need does not serve your company, you may consider exploring new options. Having a purpose or meaning which is greater than your own increases the possibilities and success.
The third step is important and may require outside services. It is here where you might list all of the resources needed to achieve the results needed. This is the “how to” part of the process and must have all its parts working together in the same direction and towards the same goals. Resources could mean having the right people, partnerships, equipment, technology, money, or anything else required to have the outcome you desire. Other resources may require outside consultants, coaches and advisors. In Mary’s case one of her resources required sales training for her outside sales team. Surrounding yourself with quality resources is the difference which makes the difference.
The fourth and last step is applying the resources. Here you may have time frames, responsibilities, checks and balances, guidelines and or anything else you may need to accomplish your goals. You may consider appointing a person or committee to oversee the implementation and to monitor the performance.
What is going to get you going? Do you move away from things you don’t want or do you move towards things you do want?