The curse and blessing of “WHAT IF?”

The Blessing and Curse of What IfA couple of weeks ago, I had a morning appointment with a business owner, and an afternoon appointment with another executive (from a different company). The two meetings couldn’t have been more different. One was excited about her future, knew where she wanted to go and was asking… what if we need to hire more people, where will they sit? What if we have so many orders we can’t fulfill them on time? We proceeded to make plans for these situations and put the plans into action!

The afternoon session was filled with, “What if our clients leave, what if that person quits, what if we fail, what if our supplier raises their pricing…” and his list went on. His comments to my suggestions often began with… “but I’m afraid that…”, or “what I fear is that…” and “I’m afraid that he will…”.

Can you feel the difference in their approach to solving their issues?

Hone the art of prediction based on data, not fear

None of us have a crystal ball, but as leaders and business owners, we need to hone the art of prediction. Excellent leaders are good predictors and predict on data, not fear. The true leader was gathering data from her SCORECARD that we developed together. She was seeing a trend, anticipating that the trend would continue. She was able to anticipate hiring additional staff and will not need to do it under duress or pressure! She was able to start negotiating now for better shipping times on her products, negotiate bulk pricing, etc… all because she asked herself “What if?”, and sought her answer from her SCORECARD with an underlying principle of abundance, confidence, and a clear vision.

This week, I challenge you to live in a world of objectivity and abundance. If you find yourself using fear-based language, change it. Start to gather data and start making decisions from that data.

Here is a quick way to start measuring what matters:

  1. Think of 3-5 numbers that you would want to see, that would indicate your company is doing well… (cash in the bank, contracts signed, new leads, etc.)
  2. Assign each of these categories a weekly goal (5 new leads, 2 contracts signed)
  3. Start tracking them on a weekly basis, as you start to collect data you’ll see trends, and opportunities for improvement. And here’s a bonus…as soon as your people know you are tracking data, the phenomenon of “what gets measured, gets managed” kicks in. Which means, that simply by measuring the data, more attention is placed on those items.

Imagine how your fear will melt away when you start to make decisions with facts and objectivity! “What if”, you really could get everything you want out of your business?

Next Steps:

  • Unlock the EOS Toolbox™ to download the EOS Scorecard tool
  • Learn more about strengthening the data component of your business

 

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