I came across a letter that I want to share with women. This letter is VERY Blue Zone and meant to inspire the overwhelmingly male managers within the company to achieve the 2013 financial goals. I am curious as to women’s reaction to this letter. Does it inspire you?
This is the actual letter – I have not changed much – I left out the company name and specific financial information. But I did keep in all the exclamation points!
As we embark into 2013 with our financial goal to reach, we all need to look in the mirror and say “Are we ready for the challenge, are we ready to take our game to the next level?” We all have to be doing one more thing to get there.
How motivated are we to take the Company to the next level? Do we want to take our motivation as leaders to a level of uncomfortable? Or do we want to take it to a level of exhaustion to achieve our goals to success? The question will always come down to how bad do we want it? We all say we want it bad, but realistically speaking, you probably kind of want it…do you want it as bad as you want to sleep? To breathe? You have to want it bad enough that you are willing to sacrifice whatever gets in your way.
The one thing that can change your whole world and change your life is an instance is ACTION! This is the first step – without taking action, you can’t get started. You really have to ask yourself, where do you want to be a year from now? What is your part in achieving the financial goal? How will you achieve it? Every day of the week, we need to continuously do that one more thing to make ourselves, our divisions better…whatever it takes to achieve your results is what will take you to the next level. No one ever said this would be easy, but the one thing that stands in our way is fear, the fear of not achieving our goals. You cannot let fear stand in the way of your dreams, you cannot think, what if I don’t achieve my number? If you believe in the process, in our systems, success will be there. You have to see it through with all you got to the end!!! We have to take that leap of faith…we can’t just put our toe in the water and see if it’s cold, jump in head first!! The process itself will feed the fire! You cannot be trapped by your fears, because limits like fears are just illusions…disregard them!!!
You are a Company manager…an elite position within the company but are we performing at an elite level? What makes someone elite? It’s the concept of taking that little idea and executing it to its fullest! Taking it as far as your imagination holds, but it will take every breath of your body to get to that single cause! Don’t settle for second best…be the best you can be…but the question always comes out “How bad do you want to be elite? Are you willing to do the things that make you uncomfortable or exhausted? Sometimes it’s not just about talent or innate ability, it comes down to how hungry are you? How big is your appetite for success? Do you just want a bite, or are you willing to starve for it? What are you doing to reach your dreams and goals? The elite in our business don’t care about what others are saying. They don’t make excuses for what they are missing…THEY JUST DO IT!!! They don’t take days off…they are 110% committed to achieving their goals!!!!!!!
But the question still comes out…what is the difference between the elite and you? The elite are willing to knock on the door of COMPLETE exhaustion every single day!!!
Definition of Exhaustion: Where it is so painful that you can’t push anymore…that it hurts so bad, you can’t think straight, that there wasn’t one more thing you can do, that you did everything in your power to make it happen that hour, day, week, month and year!!!
Are you moving closer to producing at elite levels or moving further away? What are you doing right now? Are you knocking on the door of complete exhaustion? Or just uncomfortable?
Uncomfortable is not exhaustion, uncomfortable is just your mind quitting before it reaches exhaustion. It is easier to buy the ticket to see the game, then it is to be the one to prepare for it!
To achieve our part of the financial goal will not be easy but it will sure be worth it when we are there!!!! We need to look failure straight in the face and tell it that I am going to go through all the struggles to achieve my goals and dreams because without struggles you will never progress!!
So in closing, let’s approach 2013 with a vengeance and lay everything on the line, leave no stone unturned…because at the end of 2013 we will all be raised to elite status and say we did everything we could and reached complete exhaustion, but achieved OUR goals and made the Company the best it can be!!!!!
I will give you a moment to process your reaction!
If I didn’t come across this myself I would have thought it was a spoof. So much of what I write about is captured in this letter.
While this letter gives us lots to discuss, what I want women to take away from this is that the author does not understand processes and systems. He says “If you believe in the process, in our systems, success will be there” but, he is missing two points.
First, he believes there is a 1-to-1 correlation between input and results. He is working from the assumption that the system has unlimited capacity. But we all know that a 12” diameter pipe can handle a larger volume than an 8” diameter pipe. Are their systems sized properly? Will a multiplication of effort result in a multiplication of results or only a fractional increase?
Secondly, he doesn’t understand process improvement. He doesn’t understand that no system is perfect and that by improving the system results improve. Instead of asking his managers to dedicate their lives to company goals and work to the point of exhaustion to possibly get better results, it would be better to spend less effort on improving the systems and processes to guarantee better results.
The author is caught in 1950’s. He believes the only obstacle to meeting their goals is people are not willing to work hard or long enough. That is Blue Zone thinking.The author’s bottom line problem is that he doesn’t understand the differences between activity/motion and productivity. He never asks his managers for feedback on the current processes and systems in order to increase the return from a day’s, week’s, month’s, year’s worth of effort. For the author, that will require a huge paradigm shift.
Researching the company, I found their employee recruitment brochures and one thing struck me. Even though men and women of all ages and races are represented, it is a young, white male face that is very prominently displayed, clearly out front of everyone else. There is no mistaking that this company is geared towards young men who (want to) believe “I can make it happen!! My sucess is all up to me!”
This letter feeds into their egos by saying they can achieve “elite status.” When I think of elite status I think of the wealthiest 1% who are primarily self-made men. Is the author suggesting that by working to the point of exhaustion, the company’s managers can achieve the same status? I doubt it will happen because many of today’s self-made billionaires didn’t become wealthy just by working long hours – they also understood systems. Creating, improving and manipulating systems was crucial to their success.
And once these young men and managers have worked to complete exhaustion to achieve the 2013 goals, how will they achieve the 2014 goals which will undoubtedly be higher? To make the worthy contribution to the 2014 goals and achieve elite status do you need be hospitalized by the end of 2014? Then what about 2015? If you don’t have a heart attack or stroke then you aren’t working hard enough? Then what about 2016? Do you have to work so hard in 2016 that you collapse part of the way through it?? Will “the elite” be measured by how early in the year they collapse??!!
How do women succeed in this environment?
First, ask yourself if you really want to work in this environment. Don’t think of it as “I’m not strong enough or aggressive enough to work in this environment.” Think of it as “Am I going to be wasting my time working here?” How entrenched is this culture? Is the culture going to hold back the company – keep it from achieving “elite status” in its industry? Is this a company who is losing market share because of its culture?
Do the managers and employees buy into this culture or are they ready for a revolt? (My guess is this letter was not well received. I doubt there are many employees whose only dreams in their life is meeting the company financial goals.)
Do other employees see problems in the processes but don’t know how to fix them because they were never taught (or have any conept of) how to think in terms of systems? Are they waiting for someone to show them a new path to success?
It comes down to an evaluation – is this a lesson in futility or a leadership opportunity?
Let me know your thoughts – leave a comment
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