Business Productivity, Pork Fried Rice, and Failing Greatly

In my last blog on the Hunger Games, I made a reference to “Business Bacon” as a metaphor for things businesses do (like eating bacon) that they know are bad for them but they do ANYWAY (it’s sooooooo good!)
In keeping with the whole pork product theme, this week I bring you – pork fried rice. Think of it as something we justify (eat) that is (supposedly) good for us (“Hey, its got eggs and vegetables in it!”) but we KNOW it’s bad for us.
What practices is your organization doing that it rationalizes is critical to success, when everyone knows better. Unproductive mandatory meetings? Forcing sales people to travel excessively to “maintain” accounts? Refusing to embrace non-traditional workplace best practices? The bigger question to ask is: “How does your small business gain consistently high levels of business productivity?”
For every bite of the pork fried rice that represents the prevailing hierarchical, corporate, structured SLOW decision-making, ask yourself “Why do we (continue to) do this?” Better yet, pose the million dollar question: “What if…?”
This is how great organizations go from good to great. They transform themselves. It’s a diet of calculated rationalizing avoidance. And a much healthier “diet” for your company’s future success.
Which leads me to the awesomely enlightening idea of FAILING GREATLY! Why do we fear failure so much? Why have we been taught ever since we were little that to fail is horrible and something we should always avoid?
Growing up under that cloud leads us to pursue safety at all costs. In today’s transformational times, avoiding risks in our personal and professional life offers us dire consequences such as:
* We avoid changing careers for fear of the unknown.
* We accept average goals for ourselves that that don’t force us to stretch.
* We tell ourselves we CAN’T start our own business.
When did we stop challenging ourselves. It’s why Jim Collins wrote: “Good is the enemy of great” in his book Good to Great.
I contend that when we accept that good is good enough, we set in motion powerful forces that lead us ultimately to failure.
Steve Jobs said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” Truer words have never been spoken. Why not demand greatness from yourself. If you reach for the stars and fall short, you still reach the moon.
John F. Kennedy said: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
He also said: “There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
Take your pick – either are words to LIVE by! That is how he led America to pursue a space program that got us to the moon. Still not buying this whole “FAIL GREAT” theme? Ask yourself this: “When did America stop trying to expand its space program?” I propose that a VERY strong correlation be made between America’s looking away from the heavens and our Nation’s perceived fall from (global power) greatness?
I went to the gym this morning after a VEEEEEERY long absence. Getting back into the swing of a fallen exercise regimen can be rationalized all sorts of ways…being overworked, having an impossible work-life balance, too many commitments to others, etc.
Look, I know the rationalization “song & dance” that we go through once our New Year’s resolutions are safely in the rear view mirror. It’s especially challenging for me to come up with new excuses. After all, MY gym (Club KO) is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my house.
So, my once easy 40 minute workout routine is now a real “HUFFER.” Sitting on the stationary bike I wondered…how many excuses have I made not to be here that I never let my clients get away with? How many times do we lie to ourselves as a coping mechanism? As we head into this gorgeous spring of ours, I’d like to pose the question: “When are you going to demand greatness from yourself, and…FOR YOURSELF!
Let’s rekindle the passion for greatness that we all share. Expect great things from yourself. A final thought:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Oh, the places you will go by Dr. Seuss