Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: NZ Business

What makes me an entrepreneur?

I have almost finished "Winning: the Answers" by Jack & Suzy Welch.

In one of the questions Jack is asked "How do I know if I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?" Jack answers by posing four great questions:

– Do you have a great new idea that makes your product or service compelling?
– Do you have the stamina to hear "no" over and over again and keep smiling?
– Do you hate uncertainty?
– Do you have the personality to attract bright people to chase your dream with you?

Interesting that all four of them really excite me. I mean really really excite me. Number 3 is my favourite. Here is the whole paragraph:

Do you hate uncertainty? If you do stop reading here. Entrepreneurs spend more time in blind alleys than stray cats, if not chasing dollars, chasing new technology or new service concepts, not to mention everything else they need to build a business. If not in blind alleys, they're aboard a leaky boat on choppy seas – or put it more plainly, they are often running out of money while betting on the unknown. If you're an entrepreneur, that actually sounds like, well, fun!

It is fun!

I suspect a few of my team will nod their heads and say yip thats Andrew. I can also understand why a lot of people would not like to answer to these 4 questions, but I'm glad I can and do!

Teamwork: Backyard Soccer

Backyardsoccer "We did it Kyla, we got a goal!" Talia hollers with excitement after she kicks the ball between the trampoline legs that have become the goal posts for our backyard soccer game.

Its kids verses Dad and there is a lesson in play for the girls. Its called Teamwork! Their tendency, their predisposition if you will, is to play as individuals, to both run around trying to get the ball off Dad and then each other, even though they are on the same team.

I explain to them that if Kyla comes to get the ball off me and Talia waits by the goal,they will get goals easier. Talia of course very offside but it is not a lesson in soccer rules. Now, because Dads are always really bad at soccer when playing with 5 and 7 year olds, Kyla easily manages to get the ball off me and kicks it to Talia. The distance of 3 metres is simply to enormous for me to cover in the 15 seconds it takes for Talia to line-up and score the goal which is met with shouts of pleasure from both girls. "Kyla and Talia 5 points, Daddy 1" they yell.

Anyway, I was thinking about grown up kids, like the kind I work with. Our tendency, our predisposition is to play as individuals. We often want to score the goal and have our turn and be in the limelight of success, rather than making sure that first and foremost the team wins!

Within our company team we have a number of smaller teams. Some of the teams function really well as… well teams. They pass their ball off to each other, which are off course the various aspects of their jobs. They don't really care who does what as long as the team gets the goal and the team wins!  Some other teams function more as individuals, they own just their part, don't pass the ball and continually try to just get goals themselves and often fail to keep up.

I guess it is no surprise which teams achieve the best results, have the most victories and generally win the most. It is of course the groups of people that realise they need each other and scoring a goal for the team is more important than getting a goal as an individual. They help each other out and have few lines drawn about who does what. They do what it takes to make sure the team wins.

Incidentally the winning teams, have heaps more fun, get a buzz out of winning and 'holler with excitement' when they get their goals.

Which 'team' would you rather be on?

What do Vision and Mission really mean?

Vision, Mission, and Strategy. Typing these three terms independently in to google returns over 1.5 billion hits. Even as a group of words over 20 million hits are listed. Little surprise that the observations of what these words represent is as varied as opinions on life itself.

Most experts say you must have Vision and Mission statements. If your people don't know where they are heading they will get lost. It's difficult to disagree, unless you have read vision and mission statements for companies and then talked to the people on the ground to see what really happens.

So I thought, just to add to the confusion, I would give my inference on Vision and Mission, to which I am sure many people will disagree.

FIRSTLY – Whatever you do it must be relevant!

Vision – Is timeless, it is what you want to be, and what you are. For agóge it drives what we want to be in 10, 50, 100 years time. "We will live people matter…" is a philosophy rather than a goal.

Mission – Is timebound and specific. It is what you want to do and achieve now. Mission is a fighting term in my mind, this is where we are taking the battle. It is a broad goal that changes as the business grows and adapts.

Strategy – Is the translation of the Mission into specific actions and goals. It is the determining of what you will do when and how to fulfill your Mission and Vision.

So why do I put all this down in this post? Well because this week is a focus week for me, a week in which I base myself away from the office to read, think, reflect and review how things are going. Not just work, but people, and me. As I have engaged the brain this week, I am really happy with our Vision and Values, but I think our Mission and Strategy is very much lacking.

Is the agóge mission clear and the strategy compelling? I think not.