Am I Ready When Opportunity Knocks?
Law #3—The Law of Process—Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day
“If you cheated on your road work in the dark of the morning, you’ll get found out under the bright lights in the ring.”
Joe Frazer, Former Heavy Weight Champion
I wasn’t ready for the growth and momentum that came fast and furious—not from a leadership perspective anyway. I was a great marketer—I could market the company into hundreds of millions because I had grown daily as a marketing guy for 15 years. But I needed to be more than that—I was now the president and CEO of my own company. Leadership mattered. But I didn’t know it and it cost me dearly.
The company was doubling sales every year. After four years we were heading for $11 million in sales—but I reached my lid—and all hell broke lose. My marketing experience and abilities got me to where we were, and the influence I had from another position helped me hire good people and build an exceptional new company. I had a team of 50 good people—but I had become the weakest link.
I made some bad decisions and lost almost a million dollars. After the smoke cleared, we were down 15 people and hearts were hurting everywhere. We regrouped, refocused, repaired, and survived. But who wants to just survive?
My problem was I didn’t have the leadership knowledge to succeed past where I was. On top of that, I had bad leadership training from the company I worked for before I started my own company. I was in poor shape to lead. I was a level two leader—I had gotten permission from my team to lead them and was producing well—but I wasn’t building myself or my team and it all came to a screeching halt. They were tough lessons to learn—but fortunately, I failed forward.
20/20 hindsight. I’ve played those decisions, those years, the loss and growth, in my mind a hundred times since that time 20 years ago. I can now tell you the best moves to make if you ever find yourself in that position. But if you don’t read this blog, if you don’t study the law of process, if you don’t embrace great leadership principles, you will eventually fail—it really is just a matter of time.
When you fail after investing little money, it doesn’t hurt so much. When you fail after years of investment and millions of dollars, it can affect you for a long time—maybe the rest of your life.
How to Be Prepared for Opportunity
If I had been studying leadership from day one of starting my business—instead of only when I realized I needed it— I would have added to my skill set daily and been able to handle the problems when they came. I wasn’t prepared. Neither are you. I didn’t do the homework. When you don’t do the homework, you don’t get the passing grade. When you do the homework, you drive the knowledge deep into your intuitive mind which is able to recall it when you need it. I had only bad knowledge to pull from.
Everything compounds. If you read just an hour a day, in a year you will have read 365 hours which equates to about 52 books—one a week. That’s a whole lot of knowledge.
Think about it. How much time does the average person spend learning leadership and personal growth? Statistically, no time—zero hours per week. Only a small fraction of the population study how to be intentional about life—the large majority just crash through the day trying to get to the weekend. Yet, not learning to lead yourself and others is THE top reason for failure in business and, I believe, life.
TO DO LIST:
• Read. Here is a list of books I recommend for general growth and leadership training. Look for books on your own.
• Go to two leadership training events per year. I recommend my courses on leadership and business, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Ziglar Corp, Dr. Robert Rohm.
• Mastermind with other people so you can learn from and give to the group. Join any of these mastermind groups and do some deep diving.
• Make a life plan and practice it.
• Daily Plan. Write everything down.
• Find a mentor—someone who you respect and has made it.
• Spend 10% of your income on personal growth. It will make all the difference in the world!
• Apply all the knowledge as you get it!
TO DON’T LIST:
• Don’t Watch TV.
• Don’t spend more than 15 minutes a day in social media/FaceBook.
• Don’t play video games.
• Don’t spend more than a few hours in entertainment per week.
• Add to this list and make it your list.
What do you need to do immediately and specifically to learn what you don’t know about leading and growing?
Plan out and DO the things on the To Do List above and make your own To Don’t List and gain the time necessary to do the good things to grow, learn, and apply!
MAKE it a great day!