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5 Simple Ways to Guarantee Improved Performance in 2013 - A CEO Gut Check

December 14th, 2012

Two-thirds of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year.

Approximately 5% of those who make resolutions actually keep them.

In other word… 19 out of 20 fail!

But we are obviously talking about others. As a business owner, we all know that you are one of those special people who always exceed your goals. Right?

Independent of whether or not you make resolutions, most results-oriented people do set goals and view December as a time of renewal and optimism.

“This year is going to be different.  We are REALLY going to achieve our KPIs THIS year.”

Business owners are planning to achieve new growth and profit targets. Salespeople are going to exceed their quotas.

“This year, we are going to stay focused and blow away our numbers.”

For many CEOs, it isn’t long before reality sets in.   By springtime, many businesses have already fallen behind their plan and are strategizing about ways to close the execution gap and playing catch-up.  Also, many salespeople and sales managers are formulating creative excuses for mediocre performance and forecasts.

The fact that 95% of resolutions are consistently broken and that most businesses consistently fall short of their goals all stem from the same set of fundamentals.

The universal language of business owners is PROFIT.   The following five tips will improve your chances of achieving your 2013 profit goals.

  1. Change your Self Talk:  All transformation begins with self-dialogue.   The conversation that you have with yourself is more important than the conversations that you will have with your Team.  Self-talk dictates one’s beliefs, behavior, and communication and effectiveness.  Organizational transformation begins with highly committed, future-based, assertive dialogue from the leader. Make a Declaration and Unconditionally Commit.  DECLARE to yourself (and to your Team) that you have decided and committed to transform your business and to exceed your (crystal clear) goal.  Failure is NOT an option.  Make it clear that you are All-In.  Write it down, and make it big and bright to everyone.  Then expect to succeed.
  2. Create a Compelling “WHY”:  Human beings can achieve practically miraculous feats if they have a compelling reason to do so.  Humans also behave the way they are currently behaving because they CHOOSE to do so.  Most people HATE to leave their Comfort Zone.  They will NOT leave their happy place unless they have a highly compelling reason to leave it.  In most cases, financial incentives (especially small or moderate ones) are NOT compelling.  Your hope (or their hope) that an employee will change and leave their comfort zone is even less compelling.  Hope is a pathetic strategy.
  3. Eliminate the word “try” from your company’s vocabulary:  Prohibit its use.  “Trying” is less than All-In.  Far less.  In fact, trying is a built-in excuse and will almost guarantee failure.  It provides unbridled permission for an employee to return to their Comfort Zone.  Given this permission, they will be back there in a heartbeat.  Say goodbye to accountability.
  4. Remove the Past from the Future:  I often ask business owners what they want.  They often answer by telling me what they are currently doing or have done in the past.  The past does NOT equal the future, but human beings have a highly self-limiting tendency to super-impose last year on next year.  This tendency destroys creativity, productivity, innovation, effectiveness and profit.  You can certainly learn from the mistakes or successes of the past, but make sure to plan the future on a blank slate.
  5. Don’t Fly Solo:  And don’t re-invent the wheel.  Help is everywhere.  Mentors, business coaches, profit-partners and experts are abundant.  Whatever your challenges or goals, there are many highly successful people out there that would love to help.   Set a personal goal (with a deadline) to create a success team.  Choose carefully.  Find people who have been there, who walk their talk, and who have achieved a great deal of success.   An Accountability Partner and Business Owner Peer Group can help immensely.  Investing in yourself and your leadership development in this way will have a huge impact on your organization, your growth, your business valuation and your profit.

By following these simple steps, your journey can be as rewarding as your destination. I’d love to hear about your new goals, your successes and your challenges, so feel free to email me as you continue to explore from outside your own comfort zone in order to achieve new heights.

Best wishes for abundant success, peace, happiness and prosperity in 2013.

Happy New Year!

Copyright © Joe Zente 2012. All Rights Reserved.