What is something everyone needs to learn but few know how to do well? I was recently asked this question, and I responded: Listening to understand, not just to respond.
Many years ago I was coaching a client of mine, during one of our sessions he asked me: You know Jorge, I need to get better at making decisions. How can I make better ones? His thinking was a good start, but a better point of departure is to consider and start at the opposite: why are you making bad ones?
Decisions. Big and small, they are part of our everyday life. Everything from choosing what to eat, where to park, what to pay attention to, who you date, who you marry, what you buy; these decisions determine ones future. Yet we don’t consider this when making most of these decisions; specifically the day to day ones.
You know what annoys me the most? When people don’t listen. A person sitting in a meeting off somewhere in their head, their attention scattered somewhere else but in the moment. You know what it looks like. We’ve all done it. It sucks. But you know what sucks more? When it happens one on one.
Customer obsession is thrown around as if every business does it. Truthfully, most businesses are profit obsessed; not customer obsessed. So what does customer obsession look like? A business that says they’re customer obsessed is one that sees their customers as their North Star; they start from them and work backwards.
The organizations that no longer exist are the ones that failed because they missed the future. Why did they miss the future? Because they were late to the party or got disrupted by an upstart. They never led, thus got disrupted. Ironically , organizations that fail operate with a fear of failure. Internally, it’s this mindset that kills any chance at disrupting themselves!
As we close 2021, I want to publish a short post on leadership and innovation. Innovation is another code word for leadership. Innovation doesn’t happen on its own, and it’s not a one person show, but a team game. But there is a spark that’s needed to get started, and that spark starts with a person who wants to change things for the better, imagines a better world; someone who thinks and acts differently.