I'm sitting here in the office. It's late at night.
I've been working on the content of our new program HelpBot, and suddenly wrote something that inspired me.
Like many people these past months, I've found it weird.
It's caused me to doubt myself at times. I've felt my enthusiasm wane a little as the task of juggling homeschooling, running a business on half-hours, and dealing with a situation that has been changing almost daily.
Lots of ups. Lots of downs. Then tonight, whilst writing I suddenly reconnected with something powerful.
I'm a coach and my job is:
- Find what the people who trust in me to help want to change or create.
- Create a plan to make it happen.
- Bring to the table the what and the how.
Not that different from you.
I have tried to make the program that has been my focus these past years the most comprehensive resource I can, and for most people who join the program, it's the catalyst for them transforming the way they manage and grow their advice firms.
If that was all that was needed, it would be simple, but often it's not.
After all, people are people, right?
And as I sat writing the words below I felt compelled to share publicly, it awoke something...which is why I wanted to share it.
The truth is all the content, tools, coaching, and community alone usually doesn't get people all the way.
Or, as one of Australia’s leading fitness professionals and someone I am privileged to call a friend - Jim "Chief" Brabon - has shared with me more than once about the hard hard truths about getting fit and ripped (in his own words)...
"I can give you a great program. I can show you the exercises that will make the most difference and show you the right form. I can tell you what to eat and what not to eat. I can make you feel guilty about not getting up at 6 am in the morning to exercise and feel awesome about yourself when you do."
"No-one else can do your push-ups".
Out of the (touch) woods
Fingers crossed, the worst is behind us, but there is still work to be done.
The world may have stopped, but it won't stay that way.
If you know what you want your business to look like, and you know how to create it, and you implement everything within the required timeframes, your future is bright. This is one thing that is common to everyone I work with — optimism about the future of advice.
If you're a client and we're working together to do it, I want you to look back on your time in the program as the best investment in your business you ever made.
However, there is no "turnkey" solution to creating a success story that wouldn't require us to hand over a portion of our businesses whose value would far exceed the investment made in any program.
We all need to bring the batteries.
We all need to bring the doing or get good at bringing together a team to do the doing.
I wanted to share this because reconnecting with this, and the five key strategies that I first wrote about three years ago, that I maximises implementation velocity.
They are five common behaviours that are consistently displayed by those program participants who achieve the best results from Leveraged, and I think they are as relevant even if you're not working with a coach.
1. The 48-Hour Rule
Nothing will hamstring results more than delaying action.
Those who get the best results on the program implement their first action within 48 hours of identifying their next steps.
Perfectionists (of which I am one, deep down) take special note. The shift needed is not to work out all permutations, get the formatting just right, or wait until every written word is perfect or the time is just right to launch.
Get things to 80% finished and launch.
You’ll learn more from getting it out there than you ever will leaving it on the drawing board.
2. Ask Fast(er)
Sometimes the problem with making a living being an expert is that when you get stuck or your next step isn’t clear, asking for help isn't the first option.
This is something I often have to remind clients on the program of (and maybe myself too...)
That they didn’t join the program and get a coach to solve problems in isolation, and that instead of labouring away toward losing all enthusiasm for a specific project or problem, the better option is to book a call, send an email, or ask someone else.
3. Plan to get it done
Three times a year, I run an event at which part of the agenda is about sitting down together as peers to plan the next part of the plan.
Whenever someone can't make it (which is sometimes unavoidable), the numbers show that their statistical likelihood of success drops, which is my cue to get on the front foot.
The best goal and clearest, most compelling vision of what you want your business to look like isn't worth a thing without clear steps and time set aside to do the work.
Without that grand plans are nothing more than a well thought out wish.
Make time for the planning and the doing, even when you don't (think you) have it.
Take control of your diary and book out the time in your diary to do the work, prioritising it ahead of stuff you won’t remember twelve months from now.
You can’t change a single thing in your business if you allow the day to day to be consistently prioritised ahead of what you need to change things,
4. Commit publicly
This one will split people, and I get it.
I'm naturally an introvert, so the "group" thing isn't always my default mode.
Sometimes I see clients come onto the program and I know they feel the same way. It's a "distraction", too hard or whatever reason they have for not engaging fully from the start.
However, peer group pressure can be the best tool you have, and this isn't me saying it. It's scientifically proven.
Tell everyone what you’re aiming to achieve, book it in the diary to provide regular public updates along the way, and watch the level of importance you assign to getting it done skyrocket.
When you're surrounded by a strong peer group, the tangible risk of publicly letting them down is leverage worth using on yourself.
(Trash talking is an option too, and very effective if truth be told)
Equally importantly, don’t be shy in sharing wins, as well as being prepared to share when it doesn’t go according to plan.
5. Drive (instead of expecting) accountability
I've left this one to last, because it may go against what some believe.
A common reason people give me for coaching is to be "kept accountable".
Would you like to know what 1:1 accountable looks like when it's not a two-way thing?
- We agree on a plan and I'm asked to keep someone accountable.
- It all goes well for a while - regular check-ins. We're on track.
- Something goes wrong. An obstacle gets in the way. This is normal.
- We identify the issue, then revise the action plan.
- Something else happens. We're on the slope.
- I email. No answer. I phone. Message bank. I request a meeting. The line goes dead.
- Repeat until "the conversation".
This is when the force we've told ourselves will make it happen (in truth, a delegation of true responsibility) has become a "have-you-done-your-homework" person; a nagging voice, reminding you of the thing you didn't manage to achieve.
It's called a negative feedback loop. Trust me, it feels just as bad on both sides of the equation.
People don't want accountability. They want the result of it.
In truth that's not about someone else driving it. It's the convergence of the right plan, the desire to make it happen, and the steps that make it easy to execute.
What's a lot more useful is, when it goes off track, being open to exploring what's interfering with the doing, assuming it isn't a personal flaw, and fixing the real problem.
Accountability doesn't work when it's one person coming after the other.
It works best when it's a "meet halfway" thing, where you both show up even when it's not going to plan and figuring out how to fix it.
I know it's been hard recently.
I know we've all had our work lives blend into everything else a little too much, but the truth is it doesn't change a thing when it comes to the End Game.
The destination doesn't care about the journey. Only we do.
And just like that, I was pumped.
PS. Goes without saying. If you want to work together, let's make it happen.