Have you ever felt stuck?
I mean the good-ole' fashioned "paralysis by analysis" kind of stuck. If you have, then you are in some pretty good company. We've all been there.
"Paralysis by analysis" is the enemy of progress.
Don't give into it.
Plow through it…
with these 5 tips on how to choose well.
1. Leverage your past experiences: Turn around and stare the options you have in front of you. Ask yourself which ones will enable you to teach from your past experiences so that you multiply your future growth. Teach from what you know.
2. Leverage your current platform: Stop wishing you were someone else, with more contacts, followers or admirers. Start doing what you can, with what you have, where you are. Turn the door knob on the opportunity that allows you to be you, and walk away from the ones where you are trying to be someone else.
3. Double down on commitment: Walk towards the option that allows you to invest your efforts into what you believe in. No matter how attractive, resist the choice that has the potential to make you easily distracted.
4. Leverage your propensity to act: Something makes you want to get up everyday. What is it? Chase it. Do everything you can to make time for it. Any other door you choose is a combination of distraction from your calling and depletion of the energy you have to offer anything you put your effort into.
5. Go all in: Finally, choose the door that you will give 100% of who you are to. That doesn't mean you need to know all the answers now, just that you will give all you have ahead of time, to make it happen all the time.
These 5 things should make turning the right knob a little easier, so that the hard work of doing something meaningful is empowering…not exhausting.
Enjoy the journey, my friend!
Until next time,
Eventually your team is going to face difficult moments.
And as crazy as this may sound, it could even be an indicator you are about to accomplish something incredible as a result.
There is a fine line between that being the case, and chaos being the result instead.
Here is another way to look at it...
When something gets hard, our nature is to do these 5 things.
1. Look for the excuse
Give up because you didn't have a vision guiding you.
Giving up for the vision so that hard moments energize you.
2. We make the excuse
Give up because it's just too hard to do.
Giving up our personal preference to honor what we do.
3. Act like it’s no big deal
Give up because our approach didn't work.
Giving up our resources to double down on building stronger relationships.
4. Make it all about ourselves
Give up because of pride.
Giving up so humility could take root.
5. Lash out at others
Give up and walk away because we think we know better.
Giving up our wants to create an environment that takes care of others needs.
Have you seen the difference yet?
When we GIVE UP it's all about excuses, whining, comfort, stuff, and pride.
When we change our posture to GIVING UP it's all about decisions, sacrifice, relationships, humility and service.
The next time your team faces a challenge,
look at these 5 things, and ask yourself one question…
Are we about to GIVE UP,
or are we willing to start GIVING UP?
It's the difference between quitting and conquering,
stopping and doubling-down,
throwing in the towel and going all-in.
Who wants to change?
What comes first?
Where do I start?
When do I just throw in the towel?
Why should I bother?
Do any of those questions sound familiar?
If so, congratulations…you are normal.
You are human. You get frustrated just like the rest of us. You have the urge to become less than 5 years old and bang your fists and feet off the ground in the world's most epic temper-tantrum.
I get it.
So let's do something about it, instead of regressing back to it.
I've identified 7 steps that will help you turn chaos into order. I am going to give you the 30,000 foot view of them today. In the coming days, I will dive deeper into each one, so that you have solid practical application on your side.
I coined a term that reminds me to keep it practical. If you have an idea that is long on theory and short on practical application, that's crap. In short? Craptical.
Let's avoid that.
Here are the 7 steps to turn chaos into order.
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.
2. You've got to create healthy boundaries. You must do this so that things that appear attractive don't become habits that are destructive.
3. You've got to create systems and structure. You must do this so that you can multiply your progress in a healthy environment.
4. You've got to be able to measure your progress. You must do this so that you know if where you are at this point will help you get to where you are called to go.
5. You've got to create teams. You must do this so that you primary purpose of multiplying has a solid base to grow from.
6. You've got to have the right leadership in place. You must HAVE this so that everyone in your organization knows who you are, why you exist, and how to get to your ultimate destination.
7. You've got to rest. You must do this because you need it. If God needed a day to rest, take the hint. Find a couch, a good book, a great movie…spend time with your family.
That's the 30,000 foot view.
I'll walk out more of the "how to" and why it's an absolute must that you do in the coming days.
In the meantime…
Go read yesterday's blog,
"How to fall in love with going to work…"
(Psst…it's right below this one.)
It'll get your mind on what matters most, so that this 7 step process can help you truly turn chaos into order.
One last thing…
If you haven't sensed it, this 7 step process isn't just for business. It's an organization thing. It'll change your life at work, sure. If you let it, it can change your life at home, church, where you volunteer, school, government and everywhere else as well.
The weight of expectations at work will crush you if you let it.
At the end of the day one thing will help you avoid that from happening.
If you are struggling with this challenge at work, here is how you relieve the pressure.
Shift your focus…
from what other people expect of you,
to honoring the relationship they have with you.
You'll be amazed that you aren't just "doing work" anymore. It's not a task to be completed, or a transaction to be processed. You aren't just trying to make your boss happy, the bottom line better, or a problem go away.
You are bringing joy...to a person.
You are showing honor…to a person.
You are developing a relationship…WITH a person.
That's going to change your work experience.
Will it make things perfect? No. But this one small shift in focus and perspective will allow you to get up everyday and approach what you do differently.
Now you can say "I get to go to work today",
rather than "I have to go to work today".
It will change expectations from frustrating you,
into opportunities that excite you.
That's the thing about relationships and honor.
When they go hand in hand,
there isn't much that will keep you all from where you want to go.
And just in case you are all like, "but how do I start?"
Go decorate someone's office already!
You are passionate about what you are doing.
That's awesome. That's a solid start. You may just be on your way to doing something really remarkable.
Then why do some days feel so frustrating?
Because filling facilities with people and registers with money is a deceiving and unhealthy measuring stick of progress.
If you want to grow as an organization you have to understand the difference between building relationships and treating people like a transaction.
You have to stop chasing numbers.
It's a race that will wear you out, and turn people off.
This one simple question will tell you more about the health of your organization than almost anything else.
Do you get more excited about statistics or conversations?
You can accomplish more with 5 people who are sold out to who you are and why you exist, than 50 people who came because they heard something cool was going on….and leave when they realize the show to get them there had more depth than the people who invited them.
It's possible you may just have a really large group of really curious people. And curious isn't something you build on.
HOW do we shift from counting heads
to building relationships?
Here are 3 things that will help you start doing it.
1. Being ok with the fact that not every person that walks through your doors is meant to be on your team. (vision matters)
2. Give up what you want, and use it to meet what others need. (serving matters)
3. Care less about your title, and more about how clean the toilet seat is that your guests will use. (details matter)
I want to be clear.
Your desire to grow isn't a problem.
Your addiction to statistics may be.
Movements don't start with masses.
Movements start with relationships.
Pour into. Raise up. Send out.
That's how you'll end up growing. And before you know it, you will have a critical mass of people sold out to an incredible vision that is changing the world doing what you do.
Seeing yourself for the first time all over again.
It's likely something you've thought about. It's also likely that you dismissed that thought just as fast as it came, thinking it's not really possible.
If we are honest we just want the cash register to ring. We want to pick up a ringing phone and hear a donor on the other end pledging money to our cause. We want to check our online orders in the morning and see that "HUGE" order that happened over night from half way around the world.
That's all so very normal.
My encouragement to you today is to suspend the desire to see what we call "destination points" (transactions, donations and orders)…long enough to experience your brand for the first time all over again.
Look at the image in this post.
Slowly. Really take it in. How many people do you think actually line up two coffee mugs in a cafe and peer through them like they are a pair of retro frames of clarity? Probably not too many, right?
But the analogy hits home, doesn't it?
It's the perspective. It's seeing you, your organization, and your team through the lens of someone experiencing you for the first time.
Here are 5 ways you can do that right now…
1. Find one thing you've "meant to change" near your entrance and change it. Bring a visual appeal and experience that causes someone to pause, brings a smile to their face, and makes them want to reach for your door handle to see what else might be behind that one simple expression of joy.
2. Be intentional about affirming every team member you interact with. Don't mean to. Don't just think it. Don't wonder how they will respond to it. Be specific and intentional about letting them know how much they mean to your team. Say it!
3. Instead of asking someone "can I help you find something?" when they walk in, simply let them know how excited you are that they made the time to visit. They are after all a person, not a wallet. Treat them as such. Honor them for the relationship you hope to develop over time rather than just an order today.
4. Find a way to pick up some slack for a team member. Look early, often and consistently. It won't be hard to spot. Someone is likely having a hard day and you are the one that can relieve some of that pressure. You've got to fight to make sure your place of work is somewhere a team member WANTS to go to everyday…not HAS to go to.
5. As a leader it is going to be incredibly tempting to just "delegate" orders. Don't do it. Create opportunities that will be a reason to celebrate as a team when they are done. Be a leader of influence that excites and empowers, rather than a "boss" that tells them what to do.
If you'll embrace those 5 things,
you'll see your experience completely different than you ever have.
What happens if you don't?
If you ignore them? This is what you sound, look and feel like to your team and any customer/client that interacts with you…
You make excuses. I mean, you have the best of intentions…it's just stuff needed to get done because we needed more transactions, more orders. At the end of the day it's about you and your team knows it. They see you as an authoritative figure head that needs to tell others what to do.
It could look like this.
You are a decision maker. You are intentional about doing whatever you can to build relationships with your team and the potential customers/clients you have the honor of interacting with. Your efforts are outward facing because you'd sacrifice anything to make sure your team matters more than your personal preference. And as a result? Everyone sees you as a leader of influence that has created an incredible experience people want to be a part of.
It'll feel like the first day again. The joy. The butterflies. The expectation of incredible moments. Both for your team and for those coming to see you.
Every. Single. Day.
That is how you'll be able to…
see yourself for the first time again.
We've all been there before.
We were excited because we thought we were "in the lead".
And just when we were ready to raise our arms in victory,
it hits us.
We didn't win anything, our competition did.
Speaking from personal experience we tend to find ourselves here when we are preoccupied with beating someone else out rather than winning the race we were supposed to be running.
We become distracted, desensitized and otherwise numb to the realization that we didn't run OUR race.
We were running not to lose, rather than to win.
Losing a race the right way is more beneficial to winning it the wrong way.
It's in that moment that we have to step back and realize who we are, who the "almost client" was, and admit we let our obsession with beating the competition determine our approach to earning the business.
An obsession with beating your competition is about a transaction. A commitment to a mutually beneficial end with a client is about building a healthy relationship with them.
And if that client is simply lining you and every one of your competitors up like punching bags at a gym, you've got a decision to make.
Am I going to let them knock me around (on price, offerings, etc…) or will I simply step aside and remove myself from a game I'm not interested in being a part of anyway?
Here is the reality…
If they are going to beat on you today, they will continue to throughout your contract…and most especially when they feel they can get a better "deal" later.
You don't need that headache.
It's just a transaction. It will take twice as much time, energy and resources and earn you half as much satisfaction and revenue.
Stand firm on who you are, why you exist and what you bring to the table. That is the value that stands up under tough times. That is the value known as a relationship. Anything less is an auction for your services that they will happily dump if they think they can find the same thing…cheaper.
Run your race today.
Not your competitors. Not someone else's version of yours.
Be sure you are looking at the right screen so you can see where you really are.
And if you find yourself in a race you don't belong in?
Graciously step aside and go win the one you were called to run.
Our addiction to excuses will be our greatest limitation to progress. The 19 year old in the following video refuses to embrace the "I'm too young" and "I don't have the experience" ones…and instead is changing the world.
When you reached up to turn on your "open" sign, why did you do it? What was the motivation behind your action(s).
What are you "open" for, today?
Open to simply going through the motions of another day?
Open to hoping a customer will walk through the door?
Open to turning on the "Open" sign and, well…that's it.
When we fall into the routine of seeing our day as a string of transactions, we miss our greatest opportunity to make a difference in the world we've been blessed to live in.
Wherever you are today, whatever it is that you do…I would challenge you to think about your day from a different perspective.
Rather than transactions needed to stay in business, keep your eyes open for opportunities to honor the relationships around you.
It's the difference between going to work because you "have to" and because you "get to". The "have to" mentality counts dollars, hours and minutes. The "get to" side values relationships, a customer's experience and honoring them for who they are, not what they mean to your bottom line.
If you stay open to the latter, you'd be surprised how differently you see that "open" sign in the morning when you get to work.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.