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In the past several years, I have been regularly impressed by leadership teams that have achieved “big” things. At the front end looking forward, it was logical for each team, based upon their history, to conclude, “There’s no way we’ll do this.”
So what made the difference? How did these teams of ordinary people succeed?
Certainly there are many contributing factors, but I think three things were necessary in all cases:
1) Belief. A majority of the team believed they could do it. Just because they hadn’t done it in the past didn’t mean they couldn’t in the future. That core belief was essential at the start. Initial unbelievers either became believers later or exited as the rest of the team moved forward.
2) Desire. Wanting to change and get to a better place was also essential. Leaders didn’t all share the same level of desire, but most of the initial team members wanted to advance from where they were to something better and they were willing to experience discomfort to get there.
3) The Way. All of these teams followed a systematic process (EOS), taking the specified steps to progress incrementally from where they were to where they wanted to be. Having the path clearly marked made it much easier for the teams to do what initially seemed unthinkable.
Just because you haven’t, doesn’t mean you can’t.
Believe it, want it and use EOS to get it.
Some leaders and managers have been tempted to deviate from the 5-minute rock review we teach in the weekly Level 10 Meeting™, desiring something more detailed than a simple, on track / off track, report. The concern that team members are inappropriately reporting rocks to be on track when they are not has lead some teams to create elaborate “rock crushing systems” that include breaking rocks down into smaller action steps, plotting those steps out across a timeline, tracking completion of those steps and reporting the progress in weekly meetings.
While I understand the motivation behind creating such systems, I want to urge you to treat root causes rather than symptoms. Not completing rocks and inappropriately reporting rock progress are symptoms with an underlying cause.
A person who exhibits the symptom of not completing his or her rocks doesn’t get it, want it or have the capacity to do what needs to be done. In other words, if someone can’t set and achieve proper rocks for their seat, you have the wrong person in that seat. Solve that root cause issue and you won’t feel the need to micromanage human activity in your organization. You also won’t need to waste valuable time in your weekly meetings. When right people say a rock is on track, you can believe it. Trust them and get the heck out of their way. Don’t slow them down by adding complexity to their lives.
There are lots of project/task management tools/apps available in the marketplace. Do you really need to create another one? Is that your company’s Core Focus™? Why not let your people choose the productivity tools that work best for them, and use your creative time and energy to build something to bring in an additional million dollars of revenue.
Simplify, don’t complicate. Trust right people, don’t micromanage.
Some of my teams hit an emotional wall after their first year of implementing EOS. Teams that begin with many large issues to resolve, can make significant progress in the first year and, because of what is still left to accomplish, still feel unsatisfied and a bit discouraged. It’s not unlike the marathoner who, after completing 10 miles, realizes there are still 16 miles to go. If you are feeling a bit exhausted from the first 10, the prospect of running out the final 16 can feel overwhelming. Dan Sullivan calls it “the gap” between where we are and where we want to be.
This is the moment when celebrating our progress becomes very strategic. Taking time to fully acknowledge progress can supply us with the inspiration we need to do the next 10 miles. Pick the few, most important things to do in the next year to continue making great progress. At the end of this year, we’ll pause and celebrate again, and now, with only 6 miles to go, and a lot of progress behind us, we’ll have the necessary inspiration and energy to sprint to the finish line.
The truth is, we’ll just keep on running and making progress, in short, meaningful, energizing spurts. It will become fun and the rewards will become significant for all to enjoy.
Run, celebrate, run, celebrate, run … enjoy the race.
It’s normal going into a new year to make all kinds of resolutions. Many of us think about doing things we haven’t been doing consistently in the past, things like exercising more, reading more, spending more time with our children, etc. The presumption is that doing more will produce a better life.
I’m going to encourage you to think differently about 2013. Consider doing less. Simplify your life by saying NO to anything that doesn’t positively affect the things that matter most to you. Do this:
- Set adequate time aside right now to identify the few things that matter most to you. In the EOS world, that means 3 to 7 things that are your highest priorities. This naturally means that some “good” things are going to get cut from your list to create more focus on the better things.
- Create your “stop doing list”. This is the stuff that has been consuming much of your time that has nothing to do with your highest priorities. If certain things on that list still need to be done, delegate them to someone who can take them on as their top priorities. Ultimately, you need to say NO to everything on this list.
- Going forward, proactively make all decisions with your few highest priorities in mind. You will be amazed at how much simpler and richer your life will become.
Condensing everything to the essential will transform your business and personal life. Why not start now?
At this special time of the year, many of us will be hitting the pause button on our businesses to reflect, rest and spend time with family and friends. So, I also wanted to pause and thank all of you who are part of our EOS Worldwide family.
Thank you for taking so much of your precious time to read the things we write.
Thank you for working so hard to become your best and grow great businesses.
Thank you for all the value you create to make our world a better place.
Warm thoughts and best wishes to all as we celebrate our progress in 2012 and continue to advance together in the New Year.
Team players are good at being where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to do. They execute well, play out their role on the team, follow the game plan and are technically solid. In short, you can depend on them to get the job done.
That said, all these valuable attributes don’t make someone a team leader.
Team leaders have that necessary, additional ability to see an opening – spot the opportunity – and engage the team players in capitalizing on that opportunity. As the business landscape changes in front of your company, leaders have their heads up. They’re always alert and watching for that next opening that will take your team to the next level.
So here’s the question. Going into 2013, do you have players or leaders on your leadership team?
If you have players, don’t fire them! You really need them to execute and run the plays. You also need a leadership team with real leaders if you want to advance your business to the next level.
Many of us are familiar with this proverb, but few believe it enough to set our egos aside when we’re around other people. When our focus shifts from elevating our team to elevating ourselves, “team” is destroyed.
It is REALLY refreshing when a person refuses to take a seat on the team because they know they aren’t right for the seat. Sharing the team’s values and getting, wanting and having the capacity to consistently deliver what a seat requires is what the team needs to function at its best. Whenever ego takes center stage, team decisions are corrupted. Damage happens.
It takes real courage to remove yourself from a seat. It’s almost certainly a blow to your ego and it may not be easy to find another empty seat that fits you, but that’s not a reason to make the whole team suffer. We live in a world where more companies fail than succeed, so set your ego aside and do the right thing. Don’t destroy your company to preserve your pride.
Some say EOS is simple, not easy.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System is simple – 20 simple, practical tools, implemented in logical order following a simple, step-by-step process to strengthen all 6 Key Components of your business. See below to hear what business owners are saying:
Keeping it simple, eliminating complexity, plays a huge role in making it easy. That said, there are aspects of running and growing a business that can be very hard:
- Choosing one path over another when such decisions eliminate something or someone good
- Setting our egos aside, allowing others to see who we really are and acknowledging we don’t belong in a seat
- Subordinating our preferences and personal interests for the greater good of the team
- Embracing change
- Confronting ourselves or others with the painful truth
- Honoring commitments when it hurts
EOS won’t eliminate having to do hard things, but it will make doing hard things easier. Applied as prescribed, EOS:
- creates clarity – making it easier to pick the right path and make those tough decisions
- gives you a framework to communicate even painful truths openly – making it easier to get right people into right seats and on the same page
- reduces everything to the essentials – making it easier to focus resources, execute with consistency, honor commitments and grow
Advancing a business is not easy, but it’s a lot easier with EOS. If you’re not fully running on EOS, I encourage you to take that important step towards a simpler and easier existence.
Compliant resisters are very hard to spot in your business. On the surface, they present a positive response, tacitly agreeing with the vision, the plan and the requirements. They are very careful about not communicating anything that might jeopardize their position in the company. Their seat isn’t their passion – it’s just the means to a paycheck.
The issue is that wherever they disagree or don’t like something, they quietly and stealthily don’t comply. You unfortunately presume they are doing everything you expect because they are so agreeable. In these cases, months or years can pass before you realize you have a huge problem with a pile of things that haven’t been done. The damage can be massive and even destroy your business.
Now that I have your attention, what’s the answer? How do you smoke out the compliant resister?
The first sign is constant compliance. If they never object, challenge, or express a different point of view, you probably have a compliant resister. No actively engaged player agrees with everything, so if you are seeing 100% compliance, that’s a red flag.
Second, you must define measurables for their seat to assure you they are doing the essential things their seat requires. If they fail to deliver one or more of those essentials week after week, you have a resister. They may not get it, want it or have the capacity. It doesn’t matter why, they are just the wrong player for the seat and you need to replace them before they do significant damage to your company.
Don’t let their pleasant demeanors fool you. Clean out your compliant resisters.
We have seen leadership teams do many things to highlight the values that matter most to their companies. Of all the things you can do to perpetuate your core values and build the enduring company culture you want, there are three things we feel you must do. Watch this short video to get the details.
Clarity Break Thoughts
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