Indifference: The First Enemy From Within

We are not born with courage. And, we are not born with fear. Both courage and fear are acquired through our business and life experiences. Collaborating with and supporting clients as a personal business coach in The Woodlands and as a personal business coach in Houston we encounter fears that are holding us back, yet we don’t recognize them.
One such fear is indifference. It is certainly okay to be indifferent at times. But, if indifference is dominating your reactions and thought processes it will lead you in a bad direction. Indifference is about a fear of setting priorities or knowing how to set priorities.
You can be indifferent because you don’t think something matters. For example, there is a small error in your business that keeps needing to be corrected. It does not get corrected. Ultimately, it will lead or impact you with a poor result. It is not a question of if, but when.
When you see an error, whether it be in your judgement, how you react or how you do things it does matter. Indifference over time will be deadly to your business growth and personal development. Indifference kills a sense of urgency to improve and will slow or stop your momentum.
Indifference is saying that you can ho-hum your way to success. Or, maybe you can drift your way to the top of the mountain. More often than not, success in business and life comes from purposeful action taken on a timely basis. When you are indifferent it is hard to be timely.
Timeliness is the enemy of indifference. There was a general who had many battlefield successes and also some defeats. He was asked about his military defeats which he did not want to talk about. Yet, his interviewer persisted.
Finally, he said that all military defeats can be explained by two words, “too late.” Too late in anticipating what needs to be done. Too late in coming up with a plan to do what needs to be done. And, too late in executing the plan to get things done.
When you are indifferent, more often than not you will be “too late.” Indifference will take your focus from everything matters to some things matter. To have continued success, realize that everything matters.
What is an error or does not work today will not make for a better tomorrow. Overcome the fear that underlies indifference. Be focused. Be timely. Set priorities, have a sense of urgency and act on them. When you do, indifference will melt away as your purposeful action leads you to success.

Keywords: indifference, indifferent, timeliness, success, personal business coach in The Woodlands, personal business coach in Houston, fear, error, too late, courage

Building a Winning Culture: Establishing a Clear Purpose

In previous posts I have looked at building safety and sharing vulnerability which are two components to building a winning culture. A winning culture is one where people want to work at the company they are at. It is where, in your personal relationships that people want to be with you.
The third component to building a winning culture is to establish a clear purpose. I clear purpose is critical to guide the actions and decision making within a company or in relationships.
As a personal business coach in The Woodlands and as a personal business coach in Houston, regardless of where I am at or who I have the privilege of collaborating with, establishing a clear purpose for what we wish to accomplish is critical to our success. In a company, establishing a clear purpose is like a lighthouse. It becomes a beacon of light to guide your thoughts and actions.
Establishing a clear purpose is critical to having a winning culture. First, with a clear purpose that involves others, you can focus on something bigger than yourself. People love to belong or be part of something bigger than themselves. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” A clear purpose is the glue that bonds people together to accomplish something bigger and better than anything they could do on their own.
A clear purpose can be found in the mission statements of many organizations. For example: In Conroe, Texas, the mission statement for the city employees is: “To serve the citizens of Conroe and to exceed their expectations.” With a clear purpose, decisions affecting the citizens are filtered through the prism of their mission statement. And, as the city employees are out serving the citizens they are guided by the words: “To serve the citizens of Conroe and to exceed their expectations.”
In a winning culture, you may have the best processes, top product and great people. Yet, without a clear purpose, decision making over a period of time can take a good organization and turn it into a mediocre or failing one.
Establishing a clear purpose gives people not only a sense and belief that they belong to something bigger than themselves, it gives them guidance in direction, behavior and attitude as they go about their daily work. A clear purpose is like putting a rudder on the ship of business or the boat of your life. It gives you the ability to steer in a clear direction to having a winning culture and locating the harbors of success and profitability.

Keywords: clear purpose, personal business coach in The Woodlands, personal business coach in Houston, winning culture, building safety, sharing vulnerability, lighthouse, alone we can do so little, together we can do so much

Building Safety (Part 1)

As a personal business coach in The Woodlands and also in my business coaching in Houston the first thing I must do to build trust and rapport is to create a culture of safety. This is true in collaborating with and supporting individuals and groups.

Whether it is the small business owner, a large corporation or individual clients my primary goal is for them to feel safe. If you don’t feel safe you will always minimize your sharing of what is going on that needs to be addressed. In other words, without safety, fear rules. And when fear is your guiding force, whether it be in your business or personal relationships it will ultimately lead to difficult situations because it promotes a lack of trust.

In organizations, this lack of trust creates a culture that will stifle creativity. Why is this important? The only way to remain relevant as a company, a team or organization is to embrace change. When there is a lack of trust and fear dominates people are not willing to change. They think that if they change and don’t do things in a new way correctly, they will be held back professionally or at worst, be fired. Cultures that are punitive are not safe. In this type of atmosphere self-improvement or group improvement is very challenging and as a result, the creativity to bring about change is virtually non-existent. Creativity happens in the area of how to survive, not thrive.

The second thing that happens when the culture is not safe is that efficiency will start to diminish. If there is “Holy Grail” in business, it is a focus on efficiency. When I speak with some of my fellow business coaches in The Woodlands, the topic of efficiency almost always comes up. Yet, in a culture that is not safe, efficiency ends up being sacrificed.

How? I am reminded of a client I had who does international manufacturing of “widget” (a made-up name) devices. These are produced in plants around the world as well as Texas and several other states. A new leadership came in that was very authoritarian in its implementation and leadership. Everything was about the bottom line. They decided to cut back on the frequency of maintenance on the manufacturing equipment. They also reduced the capital expenditures budget for new equipment to keep up with the changes in the industry.

The result a year into this was higher maintenance costs, more downtime, more overtime to meet the orders because of equipment breakdown and delays and worst of all, a loss in sales. The employees no longer felt safe because they did not have the tools or resources to do a good job. And, when things did not go right, they were reprimanded for lapses in production that were caused by the new culture of scarcity and threats.

Building a safe culture in your business and personal relationships will allow you to embrace change and stay current or ahead because you can be creative and efficient. Without safety, creativity and efficiency are sacrificed on the altar of survival and an ongoing fear that things are going to fall apart.