94th Edition – November 22, 2020
The method of the enterprising is to plan with audacity, and execute with vigor; to sketch out a map of possibilities, and then to treat them as probabilities.Christian N. Bovee
1. What’s Your Why?
While working in a corporate finance position in the early 1990s on a side gig, I had the chance to help a small management team obtain the necessary financing to purchase the business they worked for. I also installed a new accounting, costing, and reporting system.
The project took me about 4 weeks working many late evenings and on the weekends. Even though the $7,000 I earned was put to good use, something else happened that shaped my career:
- I found a line of work that I loved doing – project consulting
- I learned that I wasn’t a bad teacher as I was told I could make the complex seem simple
- I loved the autonomy – I determined the work from start to finish, not someone else
- I enjoyed having to figure out a roadmap for my client that would lead to success
About 8 years later, I would act on my why which was very scary. How about you, have you acted on your why? Do you even know yours?
2. I Finally Listened to Sinek’s Book
I’m betting you’ve listed to Simon Sinek’s TED talk where he talks about the golden circle. I’m still amazed his presentation is not the most-watched TED talk at 52 million views.
According to Sinek, visionaries start with why. As a financial leader, we tend to start with what. That’s okay. Actually, it’s normal.
How comes next. I’m not trying to downplay the why, but remember that Drucker states that all effective executives start with what needs to be done. Subsequently, the why validates the significance of each ‘what’ that we need to address.
3. The $4 Billion Goal
Bill McDermott is quickly becoming one of my favorite CEOs. He was the CEO for SAP for 9 years after a long tenure in many leadership positions at Xerox. Today, he’s the President and CEO at ServiceNow.
In 1996, XBS’s outsourced business services generated $1.3 billion. When McDermott took over that Xerox division, revenues were at $2 billion. His goal was to double that total in about 3 years. Did he get it done?
They got close finishing at $3.8 billion. Was he frustrated? Not at all. “The point of setting audacious goals was that we could almost hit them and still accomplish something amazing. Had we never strived so high, we never would have hit as high as we did.”
Spoken like a true leader. Always keep improving.
By the way, Bill’s book is outstanding. The title is Winner’s Dream.
4. Why Does Performance Measurement Work
Since buying her first book in 2014, I’m a huge Stacey Barr fan. I like the way she compares measuring performance to gravity in her second book:
It pulls our attention and action toward a center, toward the most important things we should focus on and improve. When we measure the important performance results, we move more directly toward those results and we achieve them sooner and with less effort.From the book Prove It!
5. Remembering Alex Trebek
Bruce: Alex, Startups for $1,000.
Alex: “They abhor complexity, bureaucracy, and anything that gets in the way of the clean execution of strategy. They are obsessed with the details of the business and celebrate the employees at the front line, who deal directly with customers. Together, these attitudes and behaviors constitute a frame of mind that is one of the great and most undervalued secrets of business success.”
Bruce: What is the founder’s mentality?
Alex: Correct for $1,000!
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Always be learning.