Unlocking Success: The RISE Way to Business Growth

In business, where success is often measured in profits and productivity, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly drives achievement: people. As a business owner, unlocking winning strategies isn’t just about hitting targets blindly, it’s about setting clear goals, aligning teams, and embracing visionary leadership. 

As I reflect on my journey as a business coach, I can’t help but draw parallels between the strategies I teach and the experiences that have shaped my own understanding of success. Each success story, and each lesson learned, has left an indelible mark on my journey, shaping my understanding of what it takes to thrive in today's competitive market. 

Let me take you on a journey through the lens of my perspective, as I share insights about effective approaches for growth.

Results

Picture this – I am standing on a ranch, shooting sporting clays with a client.  Success in this sport is not measured by the number of shots you take but rather by the number of clays you hit.  My client is skilled and seems to hit every clay launched.  I ponder the fact that I could beat him if I just blindfolded him.  How could he hit a target he cannot see?  Then I realized something profound: misalignment often happens within organizations when a leader wants the team to hit a target they cannot see.  Often team members cannot see it because it does not exist

In business, this translates to defining what it means to win. In sporting clays, it's not about the number of shots fired but about hitting the right targets.  In business, too often team members get caught up in doing the work rather than hitting the right target  – whether the right target is bottom-line profitability, customer satisfaction, or personal fulfillment. Just as in sporting clays, clarity in what constitutes winning is essential for hitting the mark and achieving the results you desire.

Here’s a trick I’ve used to help clients focus on the results instead of the shots they’re taking. I ask two simple questions: 

  1. How do you define winning?
  2. What drives that result?

These questions do a great job of turning the gears in my clients’ heads so they can focus on what truly matters.

Driving Success: Focusing on Key Metrics

Reflecting on my journey, I see how every success story is rooted in focusing on the key metrics that drive results. Just as I refine my shooting stance and tracking speed to improve my accuracy, businesses must identify the drivers of success that propel them toward their goals.

When we started working together, Rick Scott, founder of Rick Scott Construction, had been in business for 27 years. His revenue was plateauing, profits were weak, and he was burning out from the grind. He felt like he was stuck in a rut. In nearly 30 years of running his company, Rick had never taken a full week of vacation. That’s when we defined winning for him: bottom-line profitability, personal freedom, and fulfillment beyond the office.

Rick’s journey to success

To achieve these goals, we focused on two key metrics: weekly schedule attainment and monthly earned revenue. Jobs that went off schedule were not only costly but also detrimental to customer satisfaction. By implementing routines to track project timelines and revenue estimates, Rick's team gained clarity and accountability.

However, the real transformation came when we empowered Rick's team to take ownership of these metrics. We shifted the responsibility of schedule attainment and revenue forecasting from Rick to his project managers, fostering a culture of collaboration and accountability. 

By simplifying the path to profitability and fostering a culture of accountability, Rick and his team achieved remarkable results, personally and professionally. 

Embracing flexibility: adapting to change

As I navigate the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've learned the importance of flexibility and adaptability. Just as I adjust my shooting technique based on feedback and reflection, businesses must be willing to pivot in response to change.

For Rick Scott, this flexibility translated into tangible results – increased profitability, regular vacations, and meaningful time with loved ones. As Rick's business evolved, so did our approach. We remained flexible, using feedback and reflection to adapt our strategies. It wasn't always smooth sailing – there were challenges and setbacks along the way. But through it all, Rick remained committed to his vision of success.

By embracing new routines and empowering his team, Rick revitalized his business and reignited his passion for life beyond the office walls.

Integrity

In the journey toward achieving our goals, integrity stands as the cornerstone, the bedrock upon which success is built. It's not just about doing what's right when someone is watching; it's about taking 100% responsibility for every outcome, whether favorable or not.

Consider this: every triumph and every setback holds invaluable lessons. Integrity means not merely accepting the praise for successes but also embracing the lessons from failures and discerning the reasons behind each outcome.

Leading by example

A pivotal moment in my own journey taught me the profound impact of integrity. Early in my career, I witnessed a stark contrast in leadership styles. Many of the technology entrepreneurs I worked with had the habit of deflecting blame onto clients for delayed projects or missed expectations.

Partnering with Norm Jacobs in one of my first entrepreneurial pursuits reinforced the power of accountability. Norm taught me the “we are going to make mistakes, but when we do, we will make it right” approach to setting expectations.  This vulnerability, tied to an unwavering assurance to make things right, not only instilled confidence in our clients but also nurtured a culture of trust within our team.

This ethos of accountability became ingrained in our approach. We didn't shy away from acknowledging the inevitability of mistakes; instead, we embraced them. We made a pact with our clients: “Be prepared for the inevitable challenges and slip-ups, and if they arise, make me the first call you make.” It was a pact built on trust, on the belief that transparency breeds confidence.

I've seen firsthand how accountability, when cascaded throughout an organization, can transform its performance. By decentralizing accountability by empowering the people  closest to the action, organizations can unlock their true potential.

But accountability isn't a solitary endeavor; it's a collective commitment. It's about defining clear lines of responsibility, ensuring that each individual understands not just what they're accountable for but also why it matters. It's about fostering a culture where commitments are made, commitments are honored, and commitments are learned from.

Never excuses, only alternatives

In essence, integrity isn't just a buzzword; it's a way of life, a guiding principle that shapes our actions and our attitudes. It's about solidifying the belief that there is always a way if you are committed.  It is rarely a lack of resources that holds us back, rather, it is almost always a lack of resourcefulness.

As you embark on your own journey of growth and success, remember this: integrity isn't just about doing the right thing; it's about owning the outcome and not giving up until the result is achieved.

So, I leave you with this question: Do you see excuses or do you see alternatives? Are you embracing accountability, committing to success, staying resourceful, and delivering the results promised

Servanthood

True leadership isn't just about position, title, or authority; it's about influence. It's about aligning a team around your vision and succeeding through the collective effort of all internal and external stakeholders.

Reflecting on my own journey, I recall a pivotal moment when Zig Ziglar's profound insight reshaped my perspective. His words, "You can have everything in life you want, if you'll just help enough other people get what they want," sparked a realization: success is achieved when you focus on others.

John Maxwell's teachings have strengthened the philosophy of servant leadership, which is primarily focused on adding value to others, anticipating their needs, and fostering an environment where everyone can thrive. This approach is not limited to individuals who are lower in rank but also extends to those beside and above you in the organization.

Serving those above and developing those below

To serve those above you is to embody excellence. It's about being an A-player, someone who doesn't wait to be told what to do but one who anticipates needs, wows the team with results, and lives by the organization's values.

Serving your peers means lifting them up. It's about fostering a culture where everyone supports each other, where constructive criticism is welcomed, and where growth is nurtured. 

As leaders, our responsibility extends to those we lead. It's about investing in their growth, providing mentorship, and creating opportunities for them to excel. At the heart of servanthood lies a client-centric approach. It's about deeply understanding their needs, anticipating challenges, and exceeding expectations at every turn.

Apple's transformation when Steve Jobs returned exemplifies the power of servant leadership. By shifting the focus from products to people, from features to impact, Apple revitalized its brand and redefined its purpose. Ultimately, Apple is not about bits and bytes and what computers can do but about the people who want to use computers to change the world. 

Servant leadership challenges us to shift our focus from internal concerns to external needs. It prompts us to listen intently, understand deeply, and commit wholeheartedly to serving those around us.

Ultimately, servant leadership is a journey of continuous growth and improvement. It's about constantly challenging ourselves to become more valuable to better serve our clients, our teams, and our communities.

Energy

Energy is the thread that weaves dreams into reality, propelling us forward on our journey through life. It's the fuel that powers our ambitions, the spark that ignites our passions, and the force that propels us through even the darkest of times.

"Emotion creates motion," they say. And indeed, it's the fervor of our emotions that drives us to action, that inspires us to rise above adversity and empowers us to create meaningful change in the world around us.

A personal reflection

For me, the essence of energy is epitomized in a simple photograph – a snapshot frozen in time, capturing a moment of pure joy and boundless enthusiasm. It's a picture of my children, taken in the year 2011, as we embarked on one of our favorite pastimes: snowboarding. In that moment, I saw my unwavering determination to succeed, commitment to persevere, and resolve to carve out a better future for my family.

Starting my own company, I knew that failure was not an option. I had invested everything I had, staking it all on the success of my venture. And in those moments of doubt, fatigue, and uncertainty, it was the thought of my children – of the legacy I wanted to leave behind for them – that kept me going. It was the realization that success wasn't just something I should strive for; it was something I must achieve, for their sake and for mine.

Celebrating progress

Energy isn't just about setting lofty goals or pushing through adversity. It's also about celebrating the journey, recognizing how far we've come, and reveling in the progress we've made along the way. Like a ship sailing into the unknown, sometimes it's only when we look back that we truly appreciate the distance we've traveled and the obstacles we've overcome.

Creating momentum, then, becomes the key to unlocking our full potential. It's about channeling our energy into positive action, focusing on what's working, and building upon our successes to drive even greater achievements. As leaders, we have the power to cultivate momentum within ourselves and within our teams, to transform seemingly insurmountable obstacles into stepping stones on the path to success.

Take, for example, the story of Cougar USA, a company that had plateaued and was struggling to regain its footing. By shifting their focus to attracting the best talent, delivering exceptional solutions, and cultivating trust and evangelism among their clients, they were able to ignite growth and innovation. In just two and a half years, they achieved what many thought impossible – they doubled their revenue, increased their profit margins, and solidified their position as an industry leader.

As I continue to empower businesses to reach their full potential, I'm reminded that the greatest victories are those that touch the lives of others and leave a lasting legacy of success. So, as you embark on your own journey of business growth, remember the power of energy – the force that drives you, the passion that fuels you, and the determination that sustains you.

Take the next step

Ready to take your company and team’s growth to the next level? I'm excited to offer you the chance to download the tools you need to unlock success The RISE Way. If you're looking to grow your business and team, these tools will help you document your progress and set meaningful goals.

Download your RISE Way Toolkit.

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