Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle
Interviews with people that I have met, work with or admire.
Relationships are important to our human experience on earth. Good relationships can promote happiness, inclusion and belonging. Time passes easily with great relationships. Poor relationships, on the other hand, can be absolutely debilitating to our emotional and physical health. Ask someone about a crazy ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. How about a fantastic boss or that manager from hell. It’s amazing how relationships can be so complicated and encompassing. Family, friends, classmates, teammates, coworkers, and even social media “likes” belong to us as relationships. Some are positive, some are negative. Some are influential and some are detrimental. Can relationships be quantified? Measured? We can quickly size up the value of a relationship as to whether or not someone is worthy of our time, love or commitment.
Here is a super easy scorecard that can be applied to every relationship. It’s an easy “yes” or “no” answer to 5 questions that if answered honestly, will give you a positive (+) or negative (-) score of an individual’s relationship with YOU. Ask yourself these 5 questions and honestly score your results. Avoid anyone that doesn’t at least have a positive rating. Better yet, surround yourself with people who score +3 or better.
Relationship Scorecard (value). Place a (+) or (-) by each component variable.
How do you feel about a relationship with someone? Add these answers for a total between +5 and -5.
__ Respect? “admiration for someone’s abilities, qualities, or achievements”
__ Relevance? “being closely associated, connected or appropriate”
__ Reciprocity? “practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit”
__ Empathy? “understanding the feelings of another person”
__ Encouragement? “Giving or receiving support, confidence or hope”
Over the years I have had many folks use different phrases to emphasize our need for Revenue.
Here are a few of my favorites….
“Nothing happens around here until someone sells something!” Dave H.
“Revenue and Margin are the only two things we care about!” Kevin E.
“Our paychecks are made possible by paying Customers.” John K.
“Even Government agencies need paying Customers called taxpayers.” Scott M.
So, the bottom line is this…
Money makes the world go around. Whether we call it revenue, sales, contributions, taxes, or even gifts. Even in today’s “WOKE” business environment, all companies need revenue via cash flow to promote their political agendas, pay employees, owners and/or stockholders. Before we can get political, we need to be cash flow positive.
Remember, we can’t manage an organization unless there is money coming in to manage. Back in the 1990’s, our paper paychecks at GE had a printed comment in the top margin that said, “this check is brought to you by our Customers.” Keep this in mind when you think about your business and growing your revenue. Customers come first.
A very wise manager of mine at GE named Jim Hoff, gave me some very important guidance regarding Customers. He asked me these two questions:
Does the Customer need what we are selling? If they don’t really need our product or services, they will analyze it to death and waste our time, and
Does the Customer have the money to actually pay for what they are buying from us? Nothing is worse than trying to wring blood from a turnip after the sale.
When you are working on your business strategies and doing your due diligence, select your Customers carefully. You might want to pass on some Customers and let your competitors waste their time on them.
So many times, the sales teams want to win at all costs and not think about the long-term ramifications of what the total cost of ownership is for the Customer relationship.
What both have found is a common thread that is remarkable. The best of the best performers have a way to hyper focus on executing the present moment.
Trevor calls this focus on the present “Neutral Thinking” and Dr. Rotella calls this focused “Single mindedness”. There are no positive or negative thoughts. The current moment (Present or NOW) is just is what it is. Neutral.
When elite performers are in the zone, they focus on what do to next. In the present. NOW.
Not what might have happened yesterday or celebrating a victory tomorrow but what exactly is needed to be done right now.
Think of two recent examples.
1.- Tom Brady was playing in the 2017 Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons and found his team trailing 28-3. What happened in the second half was unbelievable. The New England offense coalesced around Tom into a single-minded unit to hyper focus on executing perfectly the next play, stringing together series after series to score 31 unanswered points to win 34-28 in OT.
2.- Tiger Woods has won the Master Golf Tournament 5 times. Playing against the very best golfers in the world, he won the 1997 Masters with a score of 18 under par! What we saw was someone who can be so “in the zone” that nothing seems to happen other than the very next shot’s strategy and execution.
I encourage you to become your best self. Do the little things well in the present moment that propels you toward your goals.