Does your business have a specific culture? Of course the answer is that it does whether it is conscious or not. For instance, at my firm we have the JW Way (http://www.jaburgwilk.com/mission-statement). It is a mission statement consisting of twenty one fundamentals. We believe that since making these fundamentals of our firm’s culture a conscious part of our firm it has improved what already was a good place to work and guided us to better hiring decisions, all of which has had a positive impact on our bottom line.
This should not be a shock, though if you ask most business owners about the culture of their company it is not so easy to put into words. Sometimes putting it into words honestly may lead to the realization changes are needed. Change is hard, but if you invest in doing so the results will reflect the time and effort.
For instance, I read last year about Incheon Airport in Seoul, Korea. It is ranked No. 1 by passengers every year. When one employee was asked “What is it? What’s so magical?”, he responded as follows: “It’s because everyone – airport and airline personnel, security, concessionaires – we all share the same vision and we all deliver the same level of customer service.” They have a culture at that airport that allows that to happen. They all are pulling the rope in the same direction.
When that happens it is no surprise that success follows. When there is culture like that it tends to weed out those who don’t or refuse to follow the culture. That is what you want because it allows you to bring on people who appear better suited to be part of the culture and thereby help improve your business.
On a side note, a number of years ago my wife and I had a pretty long layover at Incheon Airport. Still to this day it is the best (and cleanest) airport we ever have been in, which sure made that long layover easy to make it through.
If you have my attention, blow my mind. Impress me and make me want to know more or invest in you or spread what you have shared. Opportunities are everywhere, but you need to treat them like they can be life altering.
This can be something general like just being nice to everyone. Was that millennial dressed more casual than you think she should be and seemingly on her phone too much a slacker or a tech innovator with a company more valuable than you can imagine. It is impossible to know and judging people on dress and looks will hurt you in today’s world. Talk to someone and see what happens. Worst case you cut the conversation short. Best case is the sky is the limits.
This can be something more specific like getting an audience with someone you really want to meet. Do you mumble and stutter trying to get your thoughts out or did you plan for the presentation or conversation? Practice a presentation, many times. Plan the conversation and possible questions in your head. Maybe practice this too so you can work out answers and what you want to say. This can help you hone your answers and not talk too much. Delivery counts.
Sometimes a certain opportunity only comes along once. Will you be ready??
Not sure what I mean by this? I will explain. I mean set goals, both short term and long term. And once you set the “goal,” which you should do in writing, write the action steps to get there. If you have no roadmap how can you expect to ever find that goal, let alone reach it. One roadmap you can follow is turning your goals into SMART goals:
- Specific – target a specific goal or area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify what you will do.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
This works both personally and professionally. Want to learn to play an instrument? Find an instructor good with beginners and take weekly lessons. And then practice, practice, practice. Even if it is fifteen or twenty minutes a day, make sure you carve out time in your schedule to do so. Putting that time on your calendar is even better because it is much more likely to happen.
Want to write a blog? I set out time to write these posts and to post and distribute them. Sometimes I block out time to write one post. Sometimes I write number at one time because I know upcoming weeks are really busy. Next, I block out time to send and post them. It helps that I enjoy doing this, but if I didn’t take the steps I do, I likely would have stopped years ago after a few posts.
So what is your goal? Once you know, determine the steps to reach it. If you are not sure, talk with a mentor or someone you think can help you formulate goals. It also helps to receive feedback from others on goals and action plans.
If you don’t set goals everything will stay the same. That may be fine with you, but if you think so, you should be asking yourself why. It equates to being a lifetime learner and continually trying to improve personally and professionally. Try it and see what happens.