As we kick off this new year, how are you feeling? If you’re like most of the business people I interact with, you’re probably feeling pretty excited. Hey, when you have 360 plus days in front of you, anything is possible.
But, as I’ve talked with my clients and with others over the past week or so, I’ve found myself continually asking them one key question, “So, who do you need to become to generate the kinds of results you want?”
Now, why is that question so critical? Because history teaches us that most of us will end this year, similar to last year. Why?
I don’t care what the level of results are that you’re getting. You could be generating $250K, $2.5M or $25M worth of results. Whatever that number is, it’s a reflection of who you are as the leader of your business.
Let’s just pick a $1M business to make this simple. There are a lot of people who have businesses well under $1M a year. The fact that you’re at $1M says a lot about you. Chances are you think, act and feel a lot differently than the people who are making $100K per year—and you know that.
Furthermore, let’s suppose that you’ve been hovering around $1M for the past three years. So, what makes you think this year will be any different? Your plan may call for a 15%, 20% or 30% increase (or more), but what makes you think that will happen? The past three years you’ve set similar goals and nothing has changed. Why?
Because, for good or for bad, everything always flows down from the person at the top of any business or organization. Who you are as a strategist, leader, manager, marketer, and money manager sets the high water mark for your business.
In other words, the key to growing your business faster is to make sure that you’re growing you ahead of your business (or organization). In fact, I love the way that Rick Warren puts this (Note: if you don’t know Rick he’s the author of the multi-million copy best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, and the senior pastor of a 20,000+ per week attendance church in southern CA).
The harsh reality for all of us who lead businesses and organizations is that, at the end of the day, we’re responsible for the growth or plateau or decline of our businesses or organizations. Why? Because they’re always a direct reflect of us.
So, back to my original question. If you want to grow your business or organization this year, how are you going to change you? Who do you need to become to be the person (in the case of our illustration above) to lead a $1.3M vs. a $1M business (or, even better, to lead a $2M business. Why? Because you need to change ahead of your business).
To make this incredibly practical, here’s what I’d recommend. Take out a sheet of paper (or open a mind map on your computer) and put a circle in the middle. In the middle of the circle write, “Who Do I Need to Become to Lead a ______ Business (insert your revenue number for the blank)? Note: For organizational leaders like pastors, you could write, “Who Do I Need to Become to Lead a 1,000 Member Church?”
Next, if you want to create change with anything in life, there are only four options (more, less, start, stop). Write these four options out like four spokes on a wheel and then write your answers out from each of the four main spokes. So, what are the four options that form the four main spokes?
1. What do I need to STOP doing that I’m already doing?
No matter what your level of success is, there are things you’re doing that YOU shouldn’t be doing. You could stop them completely. You could delegate them away. You could outsource them. Etc. But, to get to the next level, there are some things you have to stop doing. If you’ve been following me for any time, you know I keep saying, “Before you can add anything to your plate, you need to subtract first.” So, what do you need to stop doing this year, that you were doing last year?
2. What do I need to START doing that I’m not currently doing?
This list is usually a little easier than the last one (though the last one is more important). To get a new result, you know you need to do new things. So what are you going to start doing this year in order to function at a higher level?
3. What do I need to do LESS of that I’m currently doing?
Though this sounds similar to question number one, it’s not, In other words, there are some things that you’re currently doing that you shouldn’t stop (like responding to email) but that you should do less of (like not checking it 20 times a day). So, what do you need to do less of this year if you want to become the kind of person who can deliver the kinds of results you want?
4. What do I need to do MORE of that I’m currently doing?
Once you get past the administrivia, chances are there some very good things you’re already doing that if you did them more often, would help you become a better leader of your business. For example, you know I have a program called Delegation Mastery. Most owners and entrepreneurs know the concept or idea of delegation—and occasionally do it, but if they want to get to the next level, they need to do more of it (and at a higher level). So, what do you need to do more of this year in order to become the kind of person who can drive significant growth?
Once you have your answers to those four questions, you have a road map for this year. Then it’s just about execution.
1. Some of these you’ll have to do on your own (like stop checking email first thing in the morning)
2. Some of these you might need a coach for (like developing a certain skill or ability)
3. Some of these you might need a counselor for (hey, we all have baggage)
4. Some of these will be mental changes you’ll have to work on (like, stop playing small and start playing big)
5. Some of these you’ll need to read books on or take course on or do research about.
But one thing is absolutely clear. If you want to ensure that this year is better than last year, you have to become a different person than you were last year. Remaining the same is not an option!
So, who do you need to become this year to drive the kinds of results you want?
To your accelerated success!
P.S. Since most of us struggle with question one (stopping doing something), why don’t you share something that you know you need to stop doing this year to help the rest of us get a handle on some of the things we need to stop doing. (Note: If you’re reading this by email or RSS, click HERE to make a comment)