Pinnacleceo's Take

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Archive for the month “January, 2016”

Three Elements to a Consistent Winning Formula. Conclusion

So without further ado…let’s jump right into the three key elements to a winning formula. Before we do however, if you have not done so, please read part one to get caught up!

First you must have an “adaptable process”. Simply put, your philosophy, your approach must be adaptable to change and environment. This does not mean that you alter your values and beliefs; it means that your values and beliefs can be transferred time and time again. The key to an adaptable process is simple…know your environment and be prepared to make adjustments.  Again, I revert to a sporting analogy to make my point. If you watch any sports at all, more than likely you have seen games where one half of the game looks completely different than the other. It’s almost like two different games? What happened? Let’s take a look inside the halftime locker room for some clarity. Simply put, adjustments are made with the talent available. A team being defeated has to realize they can’t keep doing the same thing. If a weakness has been exposed it must be fixed. The point is, they do not change their values; they adapt and change their approach. If they do, and discover momentum, it becomes a game changer. If they don’t, they are doomed.

The second key element is that the adaptable process must be clearly communicated to accepting people. It goes without saying that the people are the most important piece to any successful endeavor period! To gain acceptance, the adaptable process must be presented in a manner that the team willingly “buys” into. Case in point: Successful college football coaches must understand the different environment the professional game brings. Many times their role in the pro ranks becomes more of a manager than a coach. Again, while they never sway from their value systems, the manner in which they convey their process must be adjusted so that the existing team “accepts” the vision and gets on board.

The way to gain acceptance is two-fold. First , the process must be adapted to the environment at hand…a concise understanding of the culture and the players and secondly a clear communication of the plan and the positive outcomes that will be gained by all. Please hear me, accepting does not mean relinquish, it means creating an environment that affords the best opportunity to create “buy-in” from your people. A final note on this topic, it is typically much more difficult to bring in a new approach to an existing organization versus a startup endeavor.

The final element to a winning formula is accepting people performing with accountability. When each person can clearly see the vision and has bought in to the process, their performance proves it. They are invested and thus become accountable to themselves and to their team members. This is why many teams that do not possess the greatest talent on paper perform so successfully. They have a clear understanding of where they are going, they have accepted the challenge or opportunity and they know the role they play MATTERS. Therefore, they hold themselves accountable to be the best they can be. BOOM! That says it all!

When this all comes into play, and you see it all the time, something great develops. It is the key in my opinion to the consistency of the winning formula. Ready…Chemistry! That’s right, chemistry: A mixing of the right ingredients to achieve optimum outcomes time and time again. You hear it all the time, analogies of individuals having chemistry between them. Many post game winning interviews you hear statements like “We knew what each other was thinking…we have chemistry!”  The right chemistry is not about the greatest individual talent, it’s about the greatest outcomes! In the movie Miracle, one particular scene depicts Coach Herb Brooks selecting his team choices with the following statement: “I’m not looking for the best players; I’m looking for the players who can play their best together.” I think that says it all.

So in conclusion, a consistent winning formula is comprised of three key elements. A successful adaptable process clearly communicated to acceptable people who perform their roles and responsibilities with great accountability. When this occurs chemistry is developed and defined that if nurtured will sustain long term success.  Just as the examples provided in part one, this formula is not an easy undertaking and as illustrated not everyone can be successful at every level and in every environment. The key is however that each of us understands the elements necessary and apply them to the best of our ability. I am confident all of those who are successful and continue to be successful in building and sustaining great teams most definitely have specifics they follow and do so to the last letter!

Stay productive!

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Three Elements to a Consistent Winning Formula. Part One

I am a huge sports fan. I love almost anything that has to do with a ball! Recently, I was watching a sporting event and on the bottom of the screen appeared a “breaking news” item. A NFL team fired their coach after just three years with the organization. While I was not expecting it…it was no surprise given the lack of success from the past couple of years.

This announcement got me to thinking how amazing it was that this same man, who was terminated for lack of meeting expectations just four or five years ago, was the most successful coach in major college football winning a national championship. My questions were: Is this not the same person with the same attitude? How could he be so successful in one environment and fail in another? Hang on…

This really got me thinking and I began to research the most successful winning coaches in various sports. One that really caught my attention was a major college basketball coach named John Wooden. Coach Wooden led his UCLA Bruins to 10 national championships. To put that in perspective, there are only two other coaches with four national titles and only one of them is still coaching.

The thing about Coach Wooden that really impressed me was the consecutive manner in which he won. Here are the 10 years he finished on top: 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1975. At the beginning of every season, when Coach Wooden looked at his team, while there may have been some returning players, his team had a completely different dynamic. Other schools in his conference beefed up their talent pool and the competition across the country improved and regardless of all of it…he won! How…Hang on!

The Olympic world was shocked at the 1980 Winter Games when a group of college hockey players defeated a Soviet Union team that on paper looked impossible to defeat. I will never forget those famous words Al Michaels spoke on that February night “Do you believe in miracles!” On that given night a bunch of determined no-name young men defeated a team that most would have said you have no business even being on the ice with…yet they made history. How did they do that? Hang on!

Finally, this last analogy does not apply in all cases, but I have seen it happen more so than not, ready? Why do all-star teams made up of the best team money can buy players not always win?

In 2015 the Kansas City Royals won the World Series with a payroll of about $113,000,000.00. This compared to the 272,000,000.00 of the New York Yankees. Wouldn’t it make sense that if you put together the best team that money can buy, that they should always win…yet they don’t. Why?

So let’s summarize: Why do some winning styles work great in one environment and fail in others? How do some individuals and organizations consistently win regardless of team mates, circumstances and competition? How is it that an organization or a team with a lack of experience or great talent comes out on top? Finally, why is it not a given that the best team money can buy is a guaranteed win?

There are three parts to a formula that when combined in the right way and committed to, create a winning outcome time and time again. The answer to the questions raised above and the three parts to the formula will be presented in my next post. So one more time…hang on!

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The Great Get Productive Stay Productive Challenge of 2016

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I hope 2015 was great and 2016 is even better. It’s hard to believe we are flying through the 2010’s. It seemed like yesterday we were gearing up for the big Y2K scare…remember that? Well just to put it in perspective that was a decade and a half ago!  Okay, enough of that, on to the topic at hand.

I know I use the term productive a lot. But to be very honest, we are either productive or we are not; we are moving forward or we are moving backward. I do not believe for me personally there is a middle ground. If I am not striving to move forward, then I am headed backward. The key is the pursuit, the drive forward. I know we face obstacles that can slow us down or take us off course, BUT a productive mindset will keep us focused and get us back on track in the right direction.

So here we are again at that time of year for new beginnings, new resolutions and new goals. With this, I too have found myself thinking about my 2015 and also what I want to achieve for this year. So with that being said, I would like to share with you my plan, my resolve for this year and ask you to join me in the challenge: Here it is…

To Be Productive and Stay Productive:

What: Define what productive means to you. How do you know you have had a productive day? What happened to deem it so?

When: At the end of the day, take a quick look at all your activities and determine what productive things were accomplished. These things can encompass a variety of accomplishments ranging from a huge deal or sale to taking an exercise class or computer course to spending time developing or maintaining great relationships.

How: Create a “Productivity Journal”.  Nothing fancy necessary, just a place you can go and simply jot down what you did each day that was productive. It can be as simple as: new client, started new program, spent time with kids…I know you know what I’m referring to.  Please note you may find some days that you just aren’t productive,  that’s fine and also natural.  The key however is that you do not find yourself in a pattern of unproductive performance. You can recognize it when you know what to look for, and when you are tracking it daily.  Ignoring patterns of non-productivity can knock you out in a hurry.

Why: To inspire you to discover productivity and then stay there! When you keep score, if you have any ownership in the outcome, you will strive to do something productive…so you can record it!  Similarly, when your productivity goes up, it goes without saying, life in general goes up! Think how your livelihood, your life and your world will look at the end of 2016 if you look back and find that your “Productivity Journal” is filled with entries. Boom!

So that is my challenge. I started my “Productivity Journal” today with a couple of entries. One was I took a spin class at workout today…something I have not done in years and yes, it was brutal on me!  Secondly, I posted this blog and if it inspires just one to begin a more productive life…well there just isn’t anything much more productive than that. So get started today. The only thing left is Who will join me? Will you?

Best wishes to each of you for your best year ever and oh yes…stay productive!

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