Listen to the podcast here:
If Written It GROWS!
We sat through a couple of preset meetings where we’re presetting January. We do a lot of campus retreats in January. We rebuild the company, rebuild the models, rebuild the teams and we’ve been doing that for 26 years. We had a couple of meetings in which I continually stated the phrase, “If it’s not in rhythm, it’s not real.” For those of you that are new to this blog, a little bit about myself and what we do, my wife and I are the founders of what will now be a six-time Inc. 5,000 company. All that means is over a four-year span, we have grown faster than pretty much all eighteen million US companies. We’ve done that six different times over six different four-year spans. We have some fundamental growth nuggets down the path. We’ve hit those lists with three to four different product lines.
One of the recent changes in 2018 is we brought in a consultant, Patrick Thean from Rhythm Systems and we’re implementing his Rhythm software. It’s a little bit of a Six Sigma module where you put a goal into a piece of software. Maybe you want to build five websites a month as a company. You would put a goal in, “The goal is four websites.” If we do that, it turns green. If after a week you’ve built one website, it stays green. If after another week when you should be two or four halfway through the month and you still only have one, it’ll probably change to yellow or red. You’ll know as an employer or a manager when you open that dashboard that something is not right. You’re off-track. You can check on annual quarterly or monthly goals way ahead of time.
If it's not written, it's not real. Click To Tweet
I began saying that we’re going to stop managing people and we’re going to start managing numbers in every minor area of this company. It’s a great way to run things. You still, of course, have to manage people. We have 140 employees. In a semi-facetious way, I want to focus on the numbers. To do that, we put every goal in the Rhythm software. I’m not recommending everybody to go up and look up Rhythm software. It’s not the cheapest thing out there, but if you have 100-plus employees or even 30 employees and you want to cook, you can go ahead and look at that software. Conceptually, forget that back in ‘94 Brian Tracy wrote a book, Psychology of Selling, in which he said the phrase, “If your goal is not in writing, it’s not real, you’re probably afraid of it.” I want to talk about that because take the software out of the picture, you don’t need software to write a goal. If you have a weekly goal like I do every single Monday, I put goals for the week in writing in front of me and in front of other people.
If you don’t put the goal in writing, I do believe Brian Tracy when he says, “It’s probably not a real goal.” Probably somewhere along the line, you’re afraid of it. Either you’re afraid of the work it’s going to take to get it done. You’re afraid of the result or the lack thereof. Something is going on psychologically there. In the concept of this whole thing, Brian Tracy is talking about the mantra is based on the historic psychology that we underestimate what we can do, meaning as a body, as a person, think back in your life. Do you often underestimate what you can do? I think you do. More importantly, historically we as individuals, we overestimate what we will do in activity. We overestimate what we will do most often for one simple reason, we know what we can do in five days. We don’t account for the additional to-do’s that get piled onto our calendar in those five days, thus it stops us from putting in the five days of activity to accomplish the goal. It’s not a knock on us other than poor planning and poor forecasting based on historical data. Conceptually, if we’re underestimating what we can do as a person, as a body, and as a company, and we’re overestimated what we will do, is there anything out there that can be strong enough and hold us accountable enough to actually set goals you will hit?
There is. If it’s not written, it’s not real. If you’re not putting it in writing and then putting it in front of other people, it’s not real. Here’s the key. If we put all major weekly goals in writing and then put them in front of other people, speak over those goals, “Here’s what I’m going to do by Friday, here’s what I’m going to do by Monday. I actually did this on Monday to a group of people. This is what I’ll have in place by January 3rd.” If we do that and then we visit those goals weekly and daily and other people visit those goals and hold us accountable, the result of putting those goals and commits in writing is staggering. If you do it, growth appears to happen instantly. The reality is it is because all of a sudden, we have to start doing what we say. The simple act of writing it and posting it forces us to walk through the week with a magnifying glass for ourselves and other people to see what we have committed to.
When it’s in writing, it’s real. When it’s in writing in front of other people, it’s extremely real. The fact is we embarrass ourselves to success. It truly is that simple. I challenge everybody reading this blog to take a simple goal in the next five working days. I want you to post it on an Excel spreadsheet or Word doc on your computer. I want you to write it on your desk on a piece of paper. I’d like you to write it somewhere you could thumbtack it to a piece of drywall or sticky tape. More importantly, I would like you to email it to three people and then simply call them on the phone and say this one simple thing, “I just want you to know this is my goal for the next five working days. You’re an off-site, arm’s length accountability buddy. I’m going to call you in five days and tell you if I did or did not hit the goal.”
When our goal is in writing in front of other people, it’s extremely real because we embarrass ourselves to success. Click To Tweet
You’re not asking them to email you back. You’re not asking for their feedback. You’re not asking for their coaching. You’re not asking for Jack Diddly outside of, will they take your call five working days from now to allow you to say that you did or did not hit your goal? I’m telling you, this will be one of the most liberating exercises you will ever do in your life because if you start with a simple one and you hit it, you can’t wait to do something that’s a little bit stretchier. You push yourself a little bit more the following week, then you’re going to push yourself a little bit more and then lightning is going to strike and you say, “What if I teach this to my employees? What if I teach this to my vendors, my affiliates, my partners? What if we all become goal setting fanatics and we put them all in writing. I remember doing a 91-day consulting for MCI WorldCom and to my shock, on the very first Monday they said, “Do you want to sit in on our Monday call?”
I’m on the phone on a conference call with the VP of sales, three different branch managers, West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, 100-plus sales reps. They went through 100 salespeople, reading their commitment out loud for their committed closing deals this week and the numbers they did last week. I immediately thought back to the Brian Tracy book and I said, “This is pure psychology.” All they’re doing with these sales reps is making them publicly state their number, but then they have to state the number they hit the week before and did they or did they not hit their goal. They didn’t even have to say why. They just say, “I didn’t hit my goal last week. Here’s my commitment this week.” It is powerful and at the time WorldCom was doing it, they were the fastest growing stock in Nasdaq five years running. Why don’t you try writing some goals and then emailing them to someone else and asking them if you can call them in a week to state if you did or did not hit the goal? I hope this helps. Take care.