Most businesses have either already finished their 2020 planning or are in the process of closing the details. I was having lunch with a CEO of a growing B2B company and we were discussing 2020 and what she wanted to achieve. I knew she had over-achieved on her 2019 and goals and I asked her what was her secret? What was the special ingredient that made her and her team excel and over-perform?
What she told me didn't surprise me - she called it Passion!
After discussing this in detail - I'm going to share with you and break down what 'Passion' means to her with the hope that it will help you to achieve your 2020 business goals.
Yes - she is a very highly motivated person, organized, with clear priorities and goals. I wanted to understand what she means by passion. She started by telling me how she deals with problems. What is her stategy for dealing with what might seem like 'brick walls' - where it looks like there is no way around?
Stage 1 - Her 5-step strategy for ensuring her business plans work;
Recognize - Identifying when there is a problem
• A different company I am working with is not managing to close 70% of the opportunities they have. Every sales person has a different reason that if taken on its own – could sound legitimate. But when you look at the issue from a company perspective – there is a problem.
Understand - Defining what is the main change that needs to happen
• It’s easy to blame external factors on why there is a problem. Whether you are trying to get an investor, hire management staff or close deals it’s critical to stop and analyze what you need to change internally in order to effect a change. In the above example - the management of the company refused to work with local agents/consultants and yet was trying to penetrate S.E. Asia with no prior knowledge of the culture and customs.
Accept – Simply said; putting ego aside and accepting that there needs to be a change.
• When you have created a system and it’s not working, it’s not easy to admit it and make changes. I always recommend to connect to the ultimate goal of why you are in business in the first place. That usually makes the change much easier. In the example above – the Management will have to accept the fact that in order to penetrate new territories, they will have to work differently than they had originally planned.
Responsibility – Actually taking action
• Change is not easy – especially when there are so many conflicting factors that every CEO is dealing with. In order for change to occur, the manager in charge (at whatever level) needs to take responsibility. In the example above this could mean having to make uncomfortable changes within the organization or changing priorities in order to have the budget to make the change.
Resolve Quickly – Execute plan in a timely manner
• Once you have identified a problem and have a plan – make sure it is implemented with a quick Test/Change/Test strategy so you know your new plan is actually working.
Stage 2 - In addition to understanding her strategy, I wanted to really understand what Passion meant to her - What was the belief system behind the word Passion? I have broken her meaning of the word Passion into steps that you could take and emulate according to your needs
Open Communication - Key to Business Success
Everything can be Resolved - Don’t take No as an answer
Efficiency & Setting Limits – Only start projects when you know you have attention and resources to follow through
Team Work - Involve all levels within organization
Balance - Work & Personal Life
‘Walk the Talk’ - Set a personal example
‘Don’t know everything’ attitude - Bring in experts as needed
Patience & Containment – Embrace the culture of the organization you work in and ‘buffer’ problems to maintain employee motivation
Wishing you a successful and productive 2020 filled with Passion and achieving your goals.