NOTE: I originally published this column in Inc. Magazine.
– Discontent is the first necessity of progress. ~Thomas Edison
Are you feeling stifled or frustrated about how to make big progress in 2017? The formula for growth and change is quite simple.
The path to massive progress involves 3 steps.
1: Own Your Choices. The first step to massive progress is to reflect on how you arrived at where you are. You did not arrive where you are by accident. You arrived either by action, or by inaction. They are both choices.
In your business, is your pipeline thin? Perhaps you didn’t hustle as much as you could have been hustling to connect with the right people and build the right relationships.
Perhaps you employ a mediocre sales rep but you concluded that it wasn’t worth the hassle to terminate him and bring someone else in. You chose inaction and acceptance of the status quo, instead of being temporarily inconvenienced to bring in stronger talent.
Business success happens when leaders relentlessly pursue market-share, and choose excellence. This is how Fred Schwam, Founder of American Christmas, has built the company that has been “passionately decking the halls since 1968” and transforms New York City into a “holiday paradise.”
Schwam shared, “I literally walked every block of Manhattan and called everyone that I could possibly call. It took a number of years, but slowly but surely, I started to gain a clientele.” He got his big break in 1997 when Radio City and Rockefeller Center got on board as clients.
Schwam wasn’t lucky. He took full responsibility for his position and his choices. Are you less than 100% satisfied with where you are? Make a change, or accept where you are.
“When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.” ~Eckhart Tolle
2: Define Your Outcome.
What do you want? You will never get what you want, or where you want to be if you can’t describe it. What is your choice for your life? What work do you want to do? What do you want your business to look like? Where do you want to live? How much do you want to learn?
As leaders build companies, they should strive for these 4 outcomes:
- The desired end-state of the overall organization: financial state, structural state, functional state, and people state.
- The desired culture: the spirit of the organization, the expected and accepted behaviors, and core values.
- The desired brand: how the company is positioned, why it is positioned that way, and the place it occupies in the market.
- The desired growth trajectory of its people: The growth of an organization depends on the growth of its people. If the people remain stagnant, then the organization will be stagnant.
In any aspect of your life, clearly defining current state versus desired state is required to get to where you want to be.
3: Create the Communities You Need for Support.We won’t progress without communities of support. You will need this support to help you fill in the gaps between your current state and desired state. You will need the people that are knowledgeable in ways you are not.
There are unlimited types of communities available to us once we clearly define our outcomes. We can join established communities (Chambers of Commerce, entrepreneurship organizations, local sales and networking communities, etc.) and we can create our own (advisory boards, mastermind groups, industry special interest groups, etc.).
We can develop one-on-one relationships with advisors and mentors, and we can hire coaches.
Massive progress requires connection to like-minded leaders that are committed to doing whatever is needed to move forward. Connecting with others must be a deliberate and intentional goal for anyone looking to grow in 2017.
Three Simple Steps for Massive Progress.
- Take ownership for where you are right now.
- Clearly define your path for where you want to be.
- Connect with others who can move your forward.
This is your secret weapon for your massive progress in 2017.
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We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.
Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
Learn about the 12 Habits of Horrible Leaders, and How to Break Them.
Wishing you joy and success on your journey!
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”