Today’s post is all about those 5min jobs that are preventing you from achieving anything!
The ‘mean no harm’ time vampires that will have you achieving their goals at the expense of making any headway on your own!
How many times are you asked for 5 minutes of your time? How frequently do you give it? and how many times does it turn out to be just 5 minutes?
I was asked yesterday by a new client if they could “Ask 1 quick question?” and were a little stumped when they were advised, “Sure, bring it with you to our next session!”
You see, whilst I WANT to maintain our relationship with the client, want to provide them with the help, support, guidance and accountability required for THEM to make the Significant and Sustainable Growth within THEIR business.
Whilst I recognise we have a reputation to uphold, and my respond MAY have come across as uncaring and aloof. There is also the necessity in EVERY relationships to set boundaries.
We know (often by having made the mistakes of our past) that allowing that “1 Question” to be answered will ultimately destroy the relationship between us.
And that might sound rather exaggerated, but my experience tells me it is not!
I recall as a young child having a book entitled Aesop’s Fables read as bedtime stories. Every evening after we had finished our glass of milk, we would scurry upstairs to brush our teeth and then snuggle up in bed, ready for our bedtime story. It would always start with a story (of dragons, or damsels in distress, in castles on far away shores) and end with one of the fables from Aesop.
One which has stuck with me throughout my adulthood is:
For the Want of a nail (originally authored by Benjamin Franklin in the Mid 1700’s)
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.
You may wonder as to what this has to do with that 5 minute question. But it’s all to do with respect of boundaries!
You see, it was rare that I had to be told “It’s bedtime”. Once the clock reached 8pm it was expected we would have had our milk, brushed our teeth and climbed the stairs to bed.
Asking if we could “Stay up” was simply not the done thing. And would have not be received well. We respected that the ‘rules’ were that IF we wanted both a story and a fable, then we needed to have done what was required of us BEFORE 8pm that the story could begin at 8pm!
In the same sense, we know what we provide to our clients is both the most up to date, most well considered and with the best intent having taken the time required to really get to know them, their business and their BFHAG!
With this in mind, we structure the content of our delivery accordingly that it is provided to the person, at the right time and in the right format for them to do what is required to make the biggest difference to them and their tomorrow.
We frequently ask our clients:
“What’s the one BIGGEST hurdle you are currently facing, which once resolved will make the biggest impact on your tomorrow?”
Whilst we do work on long term SCALE strategies, there are also times when we simply have to roll our sleeves up and get to work on the immediate issues preventing them from looking up to see and concentrate on the long term strategies!
However, our clients will only ever have the trust, belief, faith in us and what we do for them if we maintain the same level of discipline and respect throughout ALL our undertakings.
And it starts by setting ground rules!
In order for me to know WHAT you require, WHEN you require and HOW best you require the #ADDAZERO information we have to share in order for you to significantly and sustainable take your business from growth to SCALE. I must first determine where you and the business are? where you want to get to (Your BFHAG) and the route you have already taken whilst trying to get there.
Whilst I wasn’t ‘top of the class’ in trigonometry at school. I do recognise the importance of understanding where you have come from and where you are trying to get to, when plotting where you are now and the best course of action to keep you heading in the right direction. (It’s the essence of why we are called My TrueNORTH).
But in return, clients also need to understand how to get the very best out of what we have to offer. We have to be confident in what we are providing and clear in the way in which we do this. Those who ‘get it’ understand that in order for us to deliver our best work to them, we also need to be able to expect the best work from them. Only when the ‘Ying’ and ‘Yang’ are equal does everything fall into place and work at its best.
By answering the question, breaks this balance. It damages the relationship of trust and respect we need to build and maintain between us, that the REAL work can begin.
I wonder, Do you have the same confidence and clarity within your business?
I’ve previously written about how to get busy people to say YES, and how saying NO is GOOD for business. I wonder if you have the absolute to which you and the business work. A set of ‘rules’ to which you operate, and are not willing to go beyond? I wonder how rigid you are in sticking to those? And the impact this is having on you, your business and the relationships within it (both internal and external)