Numbers or Stories?
Some years ago, Josh Phegan and I were working with a group of leading business owners in Melbourne. As we asked each in turn how they were doing against their budget, a pattern emerged.
Those who were on or above track stated their numbers, “I’ve billed $3million to date and will hit my $5million target.” “All good, should finish 18% ahead.” were two responses.
But those who were missing their goal and underperforming against their expectation told different stories.
“It’s really tough.”
“There’s no new business to be had.”
“I can’t find enough good people.”
“We’ve had three key people leave and that’s cost us a lot.”
“Our website has had issues.”
“A competitor is undercutting us.”
The “stories” were all about problems, and their perceived inability to do much about them. They all exhibited symptoms of ‘It’s not my fault’ syndrome.
When one of our members hits a tough patch, (and we all do by the way), whilst the numbers might be negative, the stories don’t have to be.
“We’re off target…
but I’ve changed the marketing,
put some extra investment into lead generation,
am interviewing three people following a major push on LinkedIn and thanks to a great recruiter I’ve engaged.”
We coach our members to switch their thinking from a ‘what went wrong’ mentality to an ‘even better if’ one.
Next time we meet, will you show me your numbers or tell me your stories?
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