Don't get caught up with only what you can see today,
focus on what you know the world needs tomorrow.
Commit to your vision.
In the face of doubters.
In the face of naysayers.
In the face of critics.
Or you can give in.
And we'll all be in exactly the same place tomorrow.
And the critics?
They'll have done nothing.
It's what they do best.
Critics create fear.
You have a choice today.
Live in fear created by critics,
or hope built on your vision.
Which world would you rather live in?
When we stop...we give critics credit for their work.
Are you ready?
Will you go first?
Will you step up?
We are living in a time that desperately needs someone to do this work.
The "other shoe"?
Will you sit there and be crushed by it,
or be long gone...blazing a trail of progress?
If Ben & Jerry started a college.
What a thought!
Their enrollment would go through the roof because of these 5 reasons.
They've done what they can,
with what they have,
where they are.
That's why if Ben & Jerry ever decided to start a College they'd crush it.
Value Your People.
Seems simple really.
Yet so many Universities are stuck in the Vanilla ice-cream race,
trying to be just like that place down the road...or across the country.
Stop being a "me-too" University,
and you'll stand a chance of being the Ben & Jerry's of Higher Education.
The AmeriCone Dream.
Go create one the next generation wants to be part of.
Too many organizations are treating social media like a digital lottery ticket.
What does that mean?
Exactly what this picture says.
You are as likely to grow your business by random social media activity as you are to pick up a lottery ticket off the ground and walk away with millions.
So what is the answer?
Building a story that your current customers see as worth telling and sharing. I said it the other day on Twitter..."If it's not #sharable it's #forgettable." Try equipping those that already interact with your brand to be able to have an impact on those you'd like to be part of your brand.
When you are looking down in search of the digital lottery ticket,
you are ignoring your greatest asset.
Identify it. Tell it. Share it.
Build everything you do around it.
Equip others to brag about it.
Lottery tickets are transactions.
Stories are about relationships.
Guess which one matters more.
Yet...too many organizations still treat social media like digital lottery tickets.
So you might be thinking..."should I still use social media then?"
Replace random with relationships.
With intentional story.
Go have a conversation with a customer. Share your story with them.
And do the same thing in your social media posts.
Stop scanning the ground for luck, look up, and see that you have everything you need.
Story and relationships.
More on the images you see in a minute.
How does this word feel?
If you have ever tried to recruit anyone to anything, that word makes you cringe.
In four simple words, this is what it means.
Attrition is frustration that could be avoided.
Think buffet vs. steakhouse.
"Eyes too big for your stomach" is how most recruiting works. We pile on the plate, and toss out what we don't want later. Lots of waste involved in that process. Everything looks great at first, and then slowly we lose our appetite for it. Quantity rules the day, and waste is considered a necessary evil.
Be specific, clear, and say no to most options so that you can get the best fit for you. Be patient...it takes longer to prepare a better product. Time, seasoning, careful attention to detail. Quality is what we are after. Quality food. Quality fit for our taste buds. Waste is considered insane. It's too good to leave anything on the plate.
When we recruit like a buffet we end up losing people because "they can't cut it". The real truth? Them not cutting it later says more about the recruitment process than it does about the person leaving. When we recruit like a steakhouse we end up building an amazing culture that attracts the very best. The right fit means the best experience.
So the million dollar question...
HOW DO WE FIX IT?
Here are 5 things to get us thinking
about how to fix the process,
and recruit like a steakhouse.
1. Culture - Is there one where you are? If you don't have a clearly articulated vision and core set of values that EVERY SINGLE DECISION is based on, you don't. A culture is a group of people with a common set of beliefs, expressed through a common language. BOTH. Not one part. BOTH. And if you do have a culture now...who buys in? Who doesn't? Separating those two camps will tell you what your organization has to build on, and what it needs to politely excuse itself from. (P.S. That's not a bad thing. Holding on to staff that doesn't buy in not only hurts your progress, it robs them of the opportunity to link up with a team somewhere that they are sold out to. Life's too short. Help them find their team...and yes, that means some will have to be let go from yours).
2. Themes - Look at both ends of the spectrum. Those that are clicking on all cylinders within your team. What drew them to you? What drew you to them? Those that are constantly in a state of friction within your team. What changed for them since they started with you? How have you changed since they came on board? Find the themes...and you start to find a path to repeat. One for people who love who you are and why you exist and want to sell out to your vision. One to be able to refer people away from your team as early as possible. It's important for you, so that your team stays on point. And it's equally important for them, so that they can keep moving to find the team they were called to join.
3. Scarcity - If you aren't willing to be exclusive, you are leaving value on the table. And let me be VERY clear about this. This is not being exclusive at the cost of inclusive. It's a "both-and" posture. Very simply put...you need to be exclusive first, so that you can be inclusive later. If you let every person join your team...regardless of their vision, you'll have a massive disaster in short order. If you are diligent about selecting those that believe what you believe, care about what breaks your heart, and are willing to go all in for your values...the conversations later can be 100% inclusive of every person's opinion in the room. Why? Because you will have already separated personal opinion and preference from the process. Why is that important? Because the vision leads, and every idea tossed on the table goes through that filter. Without that filter, you have a mess on your hands. Think back to the buffet example at the beginning. Lots of waste. Translated to what you do? Waste of time, energy, and resources. And bluntly...A TON OF MONEY! According to the people at SHRM (really, super-smart HR professionals)...It costs about $3,500 per year to recruit, hire, train and retain an $8.00 per hour wage employee. And those numbers are from 2006! So that figure has to be conservative. Still don't think it's important to get it right up front?
4. Invites - Start life earlier in the process with your potential new recruits, and you do a few things really well. You start to develop a relationship with those you want on your team. You honor the time of those who won't ever be a fit on your team. And the third reason is HUGE. You begin to create a culture of brand ambassadors that will cast your vision as well. It's like having a seas of sales reps on the road. You won't be the only ones telling your story. It will reach more. When it reaches more, the quality goes up. More people fight for the top spots. It gets harder to get in. It becomes a little more exclusive. And when you reach that tipping point? You'll have a dream team that is explosive for all the right reasons. Momentum and progress unlike anything you've ever seen.
5. Net Casting - This will allow you to go further than ever before, differently than ever before. Think digital. Virtual. Instead of waiting to get a sense of who someone is when they meet you in person, you'll have already begun to develop a relationship from a distance. That allows a free-agent to sign on the dotted line on a first visit. It implores a college student to make their deposit on the day they meet you in person, on your campus. You won't lose that rock-star employee to your competition, because their first in person visit with your team confirms they are "home". Skype, text, email, and video vs. job and career fairs, table set up in HS hallways with free pens (because that's unique), etc... When you cast your net(s) intentionally where the fish you want are you stop dropping a net for sheer volume not knowing what fish are even there.
Those 5 things start the conversation. The one thing that weaves them all together is the secret sauce that makes the meal undeniably created by you and your team.
Culture. Themes. Scarcity. Invites. New Casting.
Learn from those 5, and let them inform your story-telling process.
Every great book, movie and experience is re-told for one reason...
I hope this has jump-started some brain-storming juices for your team. If you are stuck, don't be a stranger. I'd love to hear from you. I'd be honored to work with you. It's why I do what I do. Your recruitment is a reflection of your commitment. I know your heart is in the right place. Sometimes it's just hard to get the story to match. I'd love to help.
I exist to help other people discover WHO they are, so that they will know WHAT to do.
And I'd love to help you articulate your story, so you can dominate your space.
Let's have one last look at the pictures we started with...
Is there really any doubt which experience you want your recruiting, hiring, training and retention process to resemble?
The "attrition special" on the left is cheaper. But something tells me the cost of the "choice culture cut" on the right is worth every penny you'll invest in the process.
Want to be more productive?
Here's a little trick to make sure we are ready to go, not on the sidelines...exhausted.
It all depends on what we choose to engage, activate, and launch every day.
Which way we flip the switch matters.
The direction that keeps us on point with who we are and why we exist is what we are looking for. That's a lights-on situation.
The one that tries to impress others, will exhaust us...because very simply put...it's tiring trying to be someone we are not. That's a lights-out, bad choice.
So think of a light switch today.
Every decision we make is like flipping a switch.
It'll brighten the room every time we choose ourselves.
It'll darken the room every time we try to be someone other than us.
Choose the activities and make the decisions that engage, activate, and launch the very best part of who you are today! The world needs it, and you deserve it!
Plus...it's no fun wandering around in the dark, bumping into stuff.
Have a GREAT day...and an AMAZING weekend!
So you have an idea.
How do you turn your idea into into something that actually changes your situation?
Know the difference between an idea and a decision.
Ideas, left to themselves, are based on feelings.
Decisions, inherently, are based on your vision.
One flows from a whim, the other from who you are and why you exist.
It's great to have ideas.
The way you turn them into an actual innovation in your industry?
Make the decision to implement the idea if it aligns with your vision.
Equally important is to make the decision not to, if it doesn't.
But this whole thing gets a lot harder if you haven't taken the time to articulate your vision. Spend a few moments today to start that process if you haven't already.
Fill in this sentence...
We exist to _________________________, so that _____________________________.
We all exist to do something, so that something else happens.
A legacy left.
Once you have a sense what that looks like,
you'll know how to turn your idea into an innovation.
If it fits, act on it. Be intentional. Don't be afraid to fail. It isn't failure if it doesn't work...it's only failure if you fail to learn from it.
if this big idea doesn't fit who you are and why you exist...
walk away from it.
You'll leave yourself the time you need,
to turn the ideas that do fit into the innovation you want.
And above all else...
ENJOY THE JOURNEY TODAY!
What if you let your team loose with their smart phones today?
Simply put, it's
WHO you are and WHY you exist
as an organization. (In business, education, ministry, family, etc...)
You exist to _______________________, so that _______________________.
You exist to (do something specific), so that (a specific thing happens as a result).
When you can articulate who you are, what makes you tick, what breaks your heart, what keeps you up at night, what you'd do if you could spend all day doing it...you are getting close to your vision.
The key word there is articulate.
Yes, it's important.
If you can't be clear, you'll never be able to explain it to anyone else.
You can't give clear directions
where there aren't specific boundaries.
That is what a clearly articulated vision does for you and your organization.
It's the starting, middle and end point of your conversations, meetings, brainstorming, etc...
It keeps you on track.
It's your filter.
We exist to help you discover WHO you are, so that you will know WHAT to do.
That is what drives us at WHOBIX.
That is our vision.
It's clear. It's concise. It's our filter.
Notice we aren't calling it a "vision statement". Unfortunately that term comes with some serious baggage. It makes us think of some paragraph of general drivel with big words. Boiled down, I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a single person in any organization that could repeat, much less explain one of those from memory.
When you get who you are and why you exist into a single sentence, something cool happens.
It gets you past incoherent babbling, and into intelligent conversation.
It enables you to cast your vision to me.
It empowers your team to do the same with others.
It gets me, as the listener, excited to hear more about you.
It allows your team to process opportunities more effectively because it keeps you on point.
It helps you avoid getting distracted by something that looks cool, but ultimately isn't who you are.
Do you see where all of that is going?
Having a clearly articulated vision will keep your team focused.
Having a clearly articulated vision will help you lead with confidence.
Having a clearly articulated vision will launch your team into it's calling.
Having a clearly articulated vision will attract others to join you on the journey.
Who are you?
Why do you exist?
Start brainstorming thoughts, words, phrases.
It will take some time, but the most beautiful, simple, articulate, and meaningful things always do.
Put this on your whiteboard.
Pin it on your corkboard.
Place this on your bathroom mirror.
We exist to ______________________________, so that ___________________________________.
I can't wait to hear your vision.
I get excited when other people find theirs.
And if you get stuck, send us a note.
Maybe we can help you discover yours.
I've identified 7 steps on how to turn chaos into order. (See yesterday's blog for the overview). Today we are going to start with Part 1. It includes a word that can mean many things (vision), and I will show you how to make sure it's not just lip service.
Here is STEP 1:
You've got to have a solid vision.
You must bring things into the light so that you can determine if they belong or need to go.
Now let's talk about how to make it happen.
The quote in the picture above is pretty cool. And before you bail because you think I am saying you need to be the next Steve Jobs, hang on. Being able to act on vision isn't a key-note-speaker-only thing. It's an everybody-all in-working together-to accomplish something greater thing.
The vision "pulls you"
when you do these 4 things.
1. Let your voice be heard. Again, I'm not asking you to get behind a podium (although some of you may need to). I am asking you to start a conversation with someone on your team. Bringing things into the light requires someone to shed light. That's you. Do a little homework. Go re-visit the "vision/mission" statement of your organization. Go soak in the core values of your organization. And then whatever chaos you are going through, simply apply them as the filter for the next decision you make. If your organization doesn't have them, you have two choices. Offer to help create them OR…start looking for an organization that does. You'll never accomplish anything great wandering and wondering where to start. Letting your voice be heard as it encourages others to make decisions based on who your team is, why it exists and what it believes? That's a solid start. That's called casting vision. That crushes chaos and brings order.
2. Let your eyes and ears listen. Yes, I realize that I just told you to let your eyes listen too. Your eyes can tell you just as much as your ears sometimes. Body language in meetings, around the break table, in the hallways. It all adds up. After you've started conversations based on your organization's vision, pay attention. You'll either be met with resistance (confrontation) or excitement (conversation). Resist the urge to engage anything confrontational. Run towards those who want to continue talking about who you all are, why you exist, and brainstorm how to get there. When you can start to see the difference, you will know where to spend your time. You will also feel a sense of order and calm replacing the previous feeling of chaos.
3. Let your hands and feet take action. This step is the difference between sitting around and talking about feeling good, and actually accomplishing something great. You will have to separate based on intentions. Those who stop short of action many times have the best of intentions. What you are looking for now is the intentionality to act. It doesn't mean everything will work out perfect. But you'll be closer to your destination with each step you take at this point. When your propensity and default is to act on who you are and why you exist, you not only replace chaos with order…you will see others start to do the same. You will start to attract passionate vision-casters.
4. Call it what it is so others can do the same. When you clearly articulate your vision, you are creating the opportunity for others to do the same. When they can, you'll start to sense a feeling of community. It's based on the relationships you are building. All the time you've put into speaking up, stepping back to listen, and walking out next steps has lead you here. The bottom line…be clear. Trade clever in for clear.
Continue to use your vision as THE filter for all decisions.
Continue to invite others along for the ride.
Continue to replace chaos with order.
And as weird as this last statement may sound, listen carefully.
Enjoy the bumps along the way.
They will help attract more people willing to ride with you over them, and separate from those who were only in for a smooth ride all along. (You don't need those kind of people on board)
I realize these posts are a little longer than normal. I'm not sure which parts will help which people…but I know that the content is changing the lives of many, many clients I work with. My hope is that by acting on these steps you and your team will as well.
Part 2 is coming in the days ahead...
"You've got to create healthy boundaries."
You must do this so that things that appear attractive don't become habits that are destructive.
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a GREAT day!
(Psst…No, this is not a plug for Peter. He doesn't know I exist. It's a plug for how much I believe in you.)
Here is why I am sharing this with you today...
Four years ago I needed help.
Four years ago I was in over my head.
Four years ago I was drowning in my own pride.
Four years ago I needed to…
What did I do?
I didn't pick this book up thinking it would solve all my problems.
I didn't pick this book up trying to be Peter Arnell.
I didn't pick this book up because I had lots of free time to read.
I did pick this pick up because…
If I didn't start to learn from others, I'd stay stuck.
If I continued to believe I had all the answers, I'd stay stuck.
If I didn't change my attitude, I'd stay stuck.
And I have a bookshelf FULL of other books I read for the same reason. Some are "business" books. Some probably fall in that dreaded "self-help" category. Some are written from a Biblical perspective. And others are stories of great coaches, athletes and other high level achievers in their craft.
The point is simple.
If you are stuck,
you need a break from your own head.
You need to let some great words of wisdom, mentorship and advice in. The walls of your brain may need to be re-painted. It's time to take down grandma's favorite wallpaper, and let a re-design happen.
I'm not talking about taking every word someone else writes as absolute truth. I am talking about letting someone who can pick out a wall color better, challenge your's and my ability to do so.
I'm challenging you to step back from yourself long enough, to be better positioned to take the next steps you need to.
As a business owner, employee, dad, volunteer, pastor, mother, sister, or your brother's friend's second cousin twice removed…
YOU NEED TO.
What you are called to deserves to be challenged. If it's meant to be it'll stand up to it. If you are called to it, you'll learn something new along the way you can use to leverage your progress.
I'll end with this quote from SHIFT by Peter Arnell…
"…if you are embarking on a major personal change - whether your goal is to quit smoking, get more fit, or reinvent your approach to your work, life, and career - you need to hear a compliment when people tell you "You're crazy"…It means you're finding the inner focus you need to keep from wavering from the mission at hand. It means you are being you - clear, focused, concentrated and powerful."
What are you trying to change in your life today?
Part of Peter Arnell's journey is in the picture at the beginning of this bog post. Pretty awesome stuff!
Whatever it is…
You don't have to go it alone.
Grab a book. Actually, grab lots of them. Let them encourage, challenge and inspire you to SHIFT.
Go after your personal change
like it's an absolute must…
(*If this blog post is something that is helpful, please leave a comment below. A "yes", "yup"…or anything along those lines is great. If it is, I will bust open my bookshelf, and continue to share many of the books that've helped me over the past 4 years get to where I am. Who knows, maybe they'll encourage you too.)
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.