You’re probably wondering what I did differently. Did I change my brand of coffee? Start a new exercise regime? Or is this twinkle in my eye from spending time with a new love interest?
None of these results happened from what I did last month. They’re the culmination of many months of effort and accountability, using three key elements that I’m going to lay out for you today.
You may be striving for more productivity in your business and life – most of us are. If you think about it, productivity is really about achieving maximum results in minimum time. But what if you were to carry that even further?
When you apply leverage to your actions, you’re achieving maximum productivity with minimum time.
For example, a productivity approach to building your business network might have you attending a really large event so that you’ll have the biggest pool of people to meet.
A leveraged approach, on the other hand, would have you choosing your activities much more carefully. I suggest you identify every single friend, acquaintance, colleague and family member you know – don’t leave anyone out, even if they don’t seem at all related to your business life.
You’ll soon see that your database of contacts is much larger than you thought. It’s your own large pool, except this is a pool of people you already know you. And you can leverage those connections to achieve the results you’re looking for.
For example, I serve on the Board of Directors of a charity. Recently I called up some of the other Board members to set up one-on-one meetings. I didn’t call all of them, though, I specifically chose people who may know other people I can help with my services.
Who are you most energized and excited about working with? More importantly, where is your passion?
I didn’t show up for those meetings and try to sell people anything. I got to know more about them and their work on the Board. But what happened? At the end of one meeting, a fellow told me he’s been reading my newsletter and wants to introduce me to a VP who might be interested in hiring me for meeting facilitation.
None of the new business I generated in my best month ever came from making a cold call. It all came from warm referrals from the network of people I already know.
Are you leveraging your network?
Collaboration is a hidden profit center that most people in organizations are missing out on. CEOs don’t make use of it because it seems like a waste of time to have two people working on the same thing.
Here’s the powerful thing about collaboration. When you take one person working on an idea and add another person thinking about the same idea, you end up with more than two people.
It’s 1 + 1 = 3
When two people put their heads together in this kind of think tank session, it creates momentum and a higher level of brain power than either person could get to on their own. You can compare this to the biblical saying that whenever two people get together to seek God, he is there with them, bringing more power to their efforts.
This technique works especially well for certain personality types (and I’m one of them!) who think as they talk. Put me in a room with another creative thinker and the ideas are endless.
That’s what happened with my business partner, in the months leading up to my best month ever. We put our heads together, and came up with the innovative actions that led to these amazing results.
Who can you add to your equation and bring into the collaborative process?
Too many firms rush into one action or another in order to get more business. Instead, every move you make in your business should be strategically-based.
Be clear as to your objective. Know what is best for your client, know what is best for your firm, and from that weave a plan that best incorporates your talents to make happen what you want to make happen.
Actually map this out – script it to the word. That’s going to seem excessive or picky to some people, but the secret is that a script takes all the pressure of when you’re having these strategic conversations.
Even if this stuff comes so naturally to you that you don’t even have to think about, a script is going to help the rest of your team to keep up with you. It means you’re not the only keeper of the strategy – you’re able to transfer those skills to your people.
“Throw ‘em out there and the strong will survive…” Even though some firms are still using that mentality, that’s small time thinking that won’t get you anywhere.
Equip your people with a strategy. Plan it out. Write it down. Get it done.
My business partner and I collaborated on a strategic plan that leveraged my network and carved out the specific set of results we were looking for. And this month, we got them.
Are you ready to apply leverage, collaboration and strategy to grow your firm and develop your people? Alan M. Dobzinski is an executive consultant with extensive experience with all types of businesses and professional services firms. Contact him today to find out how he can help you.