Within 12 weeks of deciding that every store needed an HR manager, Home Depot had interviewed 3,000 people, hired 1,300, trained them and had them in place. Also, during their peak growth year of 2004, they opened a new store every 48 hours. What do you make of such things?
Most of you know my favorite Iaccoca story, of impulsively having the roof removed by blow-torch, to test drive a new convertible. However, reading Iaccoca’s autobiography’s account of his turnaround years at Chrysler, you’ll find many more stories with three similar themes: speed; massive action; and many initiatives launched simultaneously….in his case, even while under financial duress.
At Glazer/Kennedy, in just 12 months, we launched the local advisor program, developed and launched the Gold+ online community, went from two to five events, developed and launched the new Peak Performers program – and the list goes on.
On the flip side, I see companies actually bragging about getting one new thing done all year. You’ll read their annual reports and discover they spent the whole year to get into the catalog business or get a web site up or create a slogan. These are companies to avoid investing in, or get money out of if you are invested.
Here’s the uncomfortable truth about success: you do not get there as taught as a child…one step at a time.
One of the things I learned, in part, thanks to Dr. Maltz and his Psycho-Cybernetics work is that instruction and advice given to us as children may have been valid and useful at the time but needs to be jettisoned like old skin as we mature; it can be crippling if carried into adulthood, especially if you choose to be an entrepreneur or sales professional. “Don’t talk to strangers” is a classic. Good idea for an 8 year old; bad idea for a 28 year old. ‘One step at a time” is a very similar admonition. Useful for the toddler learning to walk. Crippling for the entrepreneur.
People often ask me – puzzled – how I get so much done. The answer is not comforting at all. I put all sorts of things in motion before I am prepared and ready to give them all due attention or they are fully crystallized as step-by-step plans, then I chase them. I over-commit myself, then press to juggle and honor the commitments. I create then complete; I don’t create complete. I rarely do one thing at a time. I never take one step at a time. It’s my observation other high-performers follow this same path.
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