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The title of this episode is called Submissive Growth. There is a lot of talk about submission in business. A lot of it has to do with management submitting to the culture of the organization. A lot of it has to do with middle management understanding the power. I even like to call it the military power of submitting to their superiors. I don’t mean a blind submission. I mean the understanding that if you’re in middle management, the one or two people above you are clearly in meetings that you’re not in. They have a vision you don’t have. There’s a lot of power about submitting to your superiors in a little bit of blind faith. You’re trusting them that if there was something you should have known, they’re not going to harm you by giving you a directive without a full explanation. You want to be able to have the maturity to take that directive and deliver it to your team as if it was your own idea. There is so much strength and power in that, but it takes a while to build up that trust with your direct reports and the people above you. What I want to cover is the power of submitting to a system or a tool. I’m going to explain it through my eyes.
We’re a 200-person company. We are in multiple countries. I am an Adhoc type of entrepreneur. I like to lead very much from the front. I like to see around the corner a little bit, test things a little bit figuratively. I want something put in motion because I know that I know. It’s the type of entrepreneurial leader that I am. It’s my style. It’s my personality. However, just because I lead this way doesn’t mean my employees, my vendors and even my customers want to be treated this way. I have to mature myself and realize that I want to listen very carefully to the employees, to my company’s culture and how they want to be led.
What I’m finding out is I have a team of much younger people. I’m close to 50. Most of the people working here are under 30. They live in the world of apps, tools and dashboards. I’ve come under the power of submitting to a piece of software called Rhythm. It’s a Six-Sigma-based software in which you put in a gold or a directive. You put in who’s running that goal of the directive, meaning who’s managing it. You even put in the people doing the meaningful work. Somebody came up with an idea, let’s say launching five websites or expanding the team into a new city. Somebody agreed in the company to take the idea on and manage it. It could be the same person. Somebody is going to do the work and it could be the same person.
Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment. Click To Tweet
The point is you’re going to put this project into Rhythm. You’re going to set weekly goals for thirteen weeks. You’re going to do a thirteen-week sprint. The year is broken into four thirteen weeks sprints. The key is you come up with a goal. You come up with a victory. Let’s say launching five websites. In a thirteen-week goal might be to get them to 100 users a day. Whatever your numbers are, you put your goals in. You break that down into thirteen weeks. As you’re progressing along with your numeric goals, the lights stay green. As you status every Friday or every Wednesday, the numbers you put in turn the lights from either green to red or green to yellow. You get the idea. It walks you through. Simply put, are you on track for this goal? Here’s what’s phenomenal about this software. What I want everybody to think about in your own company is, “Is there a system, a tool or even another person that you could submit your goals to or put your goals into where the tool or the person could hold you accountable?”
I’ll give you an example. I’ve completely submitted this company to the Rhythm software. Not only have I submitted the company to the Rhythm software, but I’ve also talked to the company of Rhythm. It’s going from a person flying out once a month to coach us to their top four executives flying out twice a week to be the quasi-CEO, COO of us. They’ll walk step-by-step with our company for the next six to twelve months to ensure the 1,700 goals and directives that we have installed in this software do not get mismanaged or forgotten. My old way of running things was I would meet with a handful of people. I would throw out a goal or something that I think we should do. They would all acknowledge by nodding and taking notes. They would then run to their corners and deliver these goals to the team. A month or two later, they would tell me if it did or didn’t work. There was no inspection by me. There was no real lifting the lid on a regular basis because we have 3,100 domains. We manage half of those for other people and half of those in-house. We have a lot of moving parts.
The power of this tool is physically indescribable for me. It is so liberating that I now have a tool that can help our people look at what they’re doing on a weekly basis. It tells them a couple of things immediately. Number one is it tells them if they have too many projects on their plate. The fact that we had one episode where a gentleman said, “I don’t even have time to status,” meaning update this tool on the amount of things. We did a deep dive. This one gentleman was going to be asked to status something 1,700 times in a week. I don’t care what the project is. Who’s got time to open something 1,700 times in a week? Clearly, we mismanaged the process. Had we not used this tool, we might have been blind to this whole thing. Even though 1,700 little things could take a few seconds, we didn’t have enough people touching the levers. You don’t have to use the Rhythm software. Let’s start with something fundamental.
Let’s say you wanted to lose weight. When was the last time you downloaded an app, put a stretch goal in, broke it into weeks or days and had something remind you as soon as later today if you are already off track? These are called KPIs, Key Performance Indicators. How many KPIs do you have in your life? Do you think you’re ten feet tall and bulletproof, where you don’t need these key performance indicators? These indicators tell you early if you’re on or off track. Could you imagine a train that has two tracks? Sometimes the trains have a lever that brings you on to a different track. Could you imagine being headed from Chicago to New York and somebody, without telling you, hits a button and you slide onto a different track, and you don’t realize until you’re an hour in that you’re not heading straight south towards Atlanta? Wouldn’t you want to know the very second that somebody accidentally hit a button and you’re on a different track? Most people will go, “I would.”
Why don’t you instill some of these Key Performance Indicators in your business, in your dieting, in your exercise routine or in your marriage? Why don’t you put some of these in play through some apps, some tools and some accountability buddies? If you don’t want to use a tool or an app, call your buddies, “Do you mind if I call you once a week and tell you how my marriage is going? Let me tell you once a week what I did for my wife last week. Let me tell you the three small things I did for her, the one big thing, one big project in her life that was giving her stress that I took away.” Why don’t you do that and have somebody check on you? If you don’t have Key Performance Indicators with some form of an app or a system, you are efficiently ineffective and confusing activity with accomplishment. I hope this helps.