Experience, Not Theory!Jan 27, 2023
As I started calling your attention to What’s Killing Your Profitability, I explained how important it’s been for me to develop a crystal-clear picture of the results I’m working to achieve as I take action on any new skill I learn. Quite frankly, I can’t point to many things that have yielded results that are even close! But that’s not what I was referring to when I emphasized that we need to have a clear understanding of what application looks like… If we really want to address the leadership issues that are killing our profits, any ole approach won’t do.
Over the last twenty-five years, I’ve read more books, attended more trainings/conferences/workshops, and flatout studied how leadership impacts human behavior and over performance as much as anyone I know. I’ve also gotten licensed with some of the largest leadership development resource organizations on the planet, and that doesn’t even touch on the tools I used in training teams in the behavior-based safety methodology across North America. The one thing I learned through all that is something I can share now with absolute certainty: results almost never come from simply hearing or reading information. Measurable results come for being provided with a practical approach to taking action on that information!
In a world flooded with coaches of this and consultants on that, many of whom can’t hit their ass with either hand, there’s no magic potion for capturing that lost profitability. Anyone suggesting that making the changes necessary to eliminate those losses will likely lie about other things too! Changing our behavior is hard. But don’t take my word of it, ask anyone who’s ever tried to quit smoking or drinking. You know what else is hard? Watching our bottom line suffer because we didn’t have all the tools necessary to make (and sustain) those changes!
Consider this… If you’re starting a gym membership on January 1, dead set on dropping 30 pounds, and you’re looking to hire a personal trainer, which one would you choose? The stick-figure who just passed a test to get a certificate, the one teaching an aerobics class who’s 50 pounds overweight, or the 50 year old car mechanic who looks like he should be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness? I know I don’t speak for everyone but I can promise you that I wouldn’t even ask the mechanic if he was a licensed trainer! Truth be told, that’s exactly how it unfolded for me when I was 21 years old and I learned more about nutrition and muscle development in a few months than I had learned from reading magazines in the five years leading up to that! He didn’t teach me theory, he taught me what he had done.
I’ve been around coaches, consultants, and trainers who have had absolutely no hands-on experience applying what they were spouting off about. At best, they had read it in a book or heard someone talk about it. And I’m guessing you’re picturing the faces of a few like that right now too! I’ve never considered myself to be anywhere close to the smartest guy in the room, but I have worked incredibly hard to learn from my experiences and I’ve invested a ton of time and resources into developing strong relationships with great mentors. I’ve found that the best results come when we keep things simple, and simplicity doesn’t come from a theory we read out of a book; it only comes from practical experience.
If you’ll hang with me through each of the topics we unpack moving forward, I can promise you’ll find simple steps you can apply to address the things that are killing your business’s profitability. And it will all be based on what we’ve experienced personally and have helped others with!