I always planned my staff meetings by finishing the following sentence:
This will be a successful meeting if …
- This will be a successful meeting if we learn how to become better listeners.
- This will be a successful meeting if we learn about new products.
- This will be a successful meeting if we understand the difference between Relational and Transactional Customers.
- This will be a successful meeting if we find new ways to build relationships with our customers.
From there I worked backwards, trying to figure out the best way to get the point across and be able to call the meeting successful.
I hired and trained my staff the same way—by starting at the end and figuring out what steps to take to get there. My book, Hiring and the Potter’s Wheel, is built around a simple premise. Would you like your staff to be considered Beautiful, Useful, Strong, and Long-Lasting? Those are the words we use to describe the end result of pottery. If we follow the same steps as the potter, we’ll get the same end results for our staff.
I took the same approach to teaching sailing last summer. At the end of the week I wanted the kids to have a feel for the physics of sailing, but more importantly, the confidence that comes with knowing you harnessed the wind’s power to accomplish something. From there, the lesson plan was easy to create.
I do the same with my presentations. I start with the main point I want you to take back to your business and work on. Then I build the presentation around how to best drive that point home.
Many businesses forget to set goals, forget to define success. They did it at first when they drew up a business plan, but they never revisited that plan to see if the goal was met or needs to be revised.
If you want to see the Big Picture, you first have to create it. The easiest way to do that is by defining success.
- This will be a successful year if …
- This will be a successful season if …
- This will be a successful training program if …
- This will be a successful transition if …
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get there.” -Lewis Caroll
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” -Yogi Berra
If you know where you want to be, you can choose the best road. Sure, there will be obstacles. Sometimes you won’t get there. But it is better to head in the right direction and fall a little short than to wander aimlessly.
Define the success you want. Then plot a course to get there.
“This will be a successful business if I enjoy going to work every day and make enough money to live comfortably.”
This will be a successful blog post if I have given you a tool to help you see the Big Picture.
PS Did you know the phrase, “The devil is in the details,” was originally “God is in the detail.”? Either way you wish to look at that idiom, the details don’t matter if you don’t first know what you’re trying to accomplish.
PPS You should definitely download the Free Resource Staff Meetings Everyone Wants to Attend and the accompanying Staff Meeting Worksheet. It will improve the outcomes of your meetings and trainings exponentially.