Your” Stake in the Game” How Your Personal Investment in the Outcome Impacts Your “Get-go”
“Right from the get-go” is an expression I have heard all my life. It simply means put your best effort out right from the start.. Obviously the purpose behind this is to quickly gain momentum that will catapult you to your greatest opportunity to succeed…to achieve the most from the “stake” you have personally invested in the cause. This is especially true when it comes to business. So with that said let me ask you “what is your stake in the game?” What do you personally stand to gain or lose based on an outcome, especially an outcome that impacts your livelihood? Your answer to this question will without question determine your approach to the “get-go”. Here are some tips to help you evaluate your personal stake
1.Be personally invested.
I believe for any venture, project or promotion of any kind to be successful those involved must be invested in it. I’m not talking about just dollars, I’m talking about time, effort and energy spent in something, a personal choice of sacrifice and commitment. I remember when I started my software company the countless hours I spent testing and retesting every component of the program. I did not “hand this off” to someone else. It meant to much to me. It had to be perfect because the last thing I wanted was to put out an inferior product that we would have to repair later therefore investing more time and energy unnecessarily. Furthermore, my name was on it as well as my reputation and my livelihood (I think you get the picture). I went through more detail on this project than perhaps anything I had done in my life but I felt it mandatory for you see I was fully invested in the outcome… I had an ownership stake in the results…both good and bad. Stay with me.
2. Clear rewards and consequences
For your stake in the game to mean something there must be incentives for rewards and consequences for failure. Case in point, I worked with an individual who was given the additional task of “testing the waters” so to speak on promoting a new company product. This person was a salaried employee that would receive the same compensation regardless of the outcome of the product promotion. It was not until the employee was give incentives to perform that their production went up for until that moment, there was no stake in the game for them, no reason to perform because their livelihood was not impacted either positively or negatively. If incentives are not enough, then consequences must come into play. For an employee, consequences can mean a loss in promotion opportunities, a demotion to another role or even termination. For an entrepreneur or business owner consequences can be loss of opportunity, loss of customer or client or even closing the doors. Until you truly have reason or purpose to perform because of the impact it has on you personally, you never really have a stake in the game.
3 Get competitive.
Any professional athlete will tell you they play every game to win. I have heard many say that there is no reason to go into the game if you do not believe you can and should win. Each of us must have a little competitive spirit within us if we are to succeed. I’m not talking about stepping on others on your way up. I’m talking about an attitude to perform to be the best you can be; to not give up or give in , but to leave it all on the field so to speak. That’s the competitive nature I’m referring to. It is the force that drives you to claim your stake in the game and pushes you out of your comfort zone. If you are in business for yourself, I challenge you to take a hard look at your competitive approach to how you run your business. It is something I do every day. If you hire people to be part of your team, hire competitive people as described above. I have found competitive people quickly find their stake in the game.
4. Celebrate and recognize personal and others success.
Look I know it is tough out there so when you taste victory, no matter how small, celebrate it! Small victories lead to big victories. Recognize those who had a stake in the game and helped achieve the success. One of the greatest feelings a team mate, colleague or staff person can have is when they are recognized and sincerely thanked for a job well done. Most of the complaints I have heard about employer/employee relationships stem from the fact that the employee feels undervalued. Remember however not to celebrate too long. You can’t afford to let too much time go by between victories.
Here is the point. I believe now more than ever, we as owners, entrepreneurs and team members need to take ownership and claim our stake in what we do! This is our game and it is game time. We need to be thankful for our employment or the opportunity to run our business and earn a living…pursue a dream! It is my hope to be fully invested in what I do, starting with the “get-go” so that I can reap maximum returns on my outcome. All the best to you for the best outcome 2013 can bring!