How do you define success in your business and life? How clear is the journey that you are on? Do you have set milestones that give you comfort and confidence that you are making progress? Are you agile enough to make adjustments based on new information or trends? Do you listen to what is happening in your business? Do you see the changes in your life?
Running a business can be a lonely place. When you have peers, then you can bounce things and share frustrations with each other. You can give each other a sense of comfort that you are making progress and that you are doing a good job. However, when you sit at the top of the tree, there is no one else to bounce ideas or speak to. You are on your own, and everyone is looking to you for guidance. It can be very lonely.
It is critical that you find someone to sound off. It could be a mentor or a coach – someone who can be there for you.
The other essential thing is to create wins within your business. These don’t just have to be output wins, they can also be input wins. The type of wins that give you comfort you are on the right track.
I have taken over a new hockey team, and we are looking to make some changes to how they play. It is a very dynamic system with lots of rotations and combinations that require players to really think and be present all the time. This is a tough journey to go on and takes a long time to start seeing the rewards in terms of results. Therefore it is vital that you build and reward ‘input wins’ into the journey. We had one such input win on Thursday that gave everyone the confidence that we were moving in the right direction and making real progress. It reaffirmed the principles that we have introduced and the success that it could bring. The buzz around the squad after that was palpable.
The input win gave me that boost as well that we were on track. Without those small things, the big picture becomes quite scary. Little things are everywhere if you just keep your eyes and ears open. They could be in the subtle changes you hear in conversations, different language being used or more focus on explicit agreement and next steps. It could be in the shift to the quality of the output. They are everywhere if you know what to look for. Your role as the leader is to ensure that the small things are aligned to the big picture. Reward the small things that are and redirect those that aren’t. Now the world isn’t so lonely!
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