What gives us motivation to obtain our goals?
What is the fuel that drives both personal producers to sell and leaders to build teams?
What helps us make that hardest first step every day as an entrepreneur — in other words, stepping out of our own front door?
From a Home Office perspective our biggest challenge lies in not only getting our opportunity in front of new people, but also getting new people to get their first taste of success in our income opportunity. That requires them to write their first application. So, how do we get money in that new Rep’s pocket faster? What can we do drive them to succeed? They obviously were interested in the opportunity, now how do we get them to that achieve that first goal of writing their first app and getting their first advance?
In this episode of Best Practices we talk to one of our most enthusiastic and successful personal producers and leaders, Lynne Cagle, about what gives her a sense of urgency as an independent contractor.
Lynne has been with NMC Field Services since 2002, and she has earned numerous national awards with the company including her 500,000 NBAV personal career award in 2017. Despite being one of the strongest personal producers in the company for most of her career, she has focused mainly on team-building over the last couple years. She hopes to give some of more established leaders in the company a run for their money in 2018.
Some highlights from the call include:
“You can do whatever you want to with your time, but if you’re not spending your time chasing your goals then your time will run out on you.”
– Lynne Cagle, District Leader
“Someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.”
– Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn
“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
– Tony Gaskins, Author & Life Coach
“You have winners and you have joiners. The difference is that joiners have joined everything that has come down the street and forgot one thing. . .to go to work. The winners are the ones who take the first step.”
– Tom Snyder, Sales Coach
“In this world, we have a few people that make things happen; we have many that watch things happen; but the overwhelming majority of people say, ‘what the hell happened?'”
– Tom Snyder, Sales Coach
In this episode, we also reference an article from The Enterprise Project called 20 Ways to Create a Sense of Urgency by Rob Llewellyn. Here are some excerpts from the piece:
Have you noticed that the people who make things happen in this world value and share a similar sense of urgency?
Regardless of what people aim to achieve, whether in sport, business or otherwise, those who set themselves apart from the rest maintain a sense of urgency in order to be the best they can be. They choose not to disconnect from what they are aiming to achieve, and they pursue it – regardless of what anyone else thinks or says – because their sense of urgency is an integral part of who they are.
As an independent consultant who has been stepping in and out of dozens of companies around the world since the 1990s, I have been fortunate enough to witness a broad array of organizational cultures and learn a great deal from the great people I have met along the way. This broad exposure has also allowed me to observe the good, the bad and the downright ugly behaviors that contribute to a company’s transformation success – or the alternative.
According to Gallup’s 2016 State of the American Workplace Report, only 33 percent of employees are actively committed to doing a good job. Fifty-one percent merely put their time in, while the remaining 16 percent act out their discontent in counterproductive ways, negatively influencing others.
Here are 20 ideas that can be used to help create a sense of urgency:
- Custom-build your own strategy for increasing a sense of urgency.
- Secure stakeholder input and buy-in to the strategy.
- Don’t exhibit panic, stress or loss of control.
- Make smart decisions with confidence and act on them quickly.
- Identify obstacles and remove them fast.
- Establish an outcome-focused culture (instead of task-focused).
- Evangelize the importance of establishing a sense of urgency.
- Clarify the consequences of inaction.
- Identify what works & remove all that doesn’t.
- Identify causes of complacency and how to eradicate them.
- Exhibit urgency in your body language. Don’t shuffle around.
- Encourage and offer help. Don’t nag, bully or threaten.
- Find reasons to celebrate small successes and communicate them far and wide.
- Get personal with one-to-one praise. Put your emotional intelligence to work.
- Agree on deadlines for action.
- Keep meetings short, to the point, and agenda-driven.
- Get to the point quickly and encourage others to do the same. Wipe out waffle.
- Meet your personal deadlines, and expect the same of others.
- Provide initial guidance and encouragement to get things going.
- Get peoples’ senses involved. Don’t just talk and make them read reports.
In his book, “A Sense of Urgency,” John Kotter explained that a true sense of urgency is rare; mainly because “it is not the natural state of affairs. It has to be created and recreated.” So the task of leading a team of people in a transformation at any level will often require an ability to create an atmosphere of urgency that can be embraced, and in turn bring about an atmosphere of achievement.
Kotter offered four fundamental tactics to establish a sense of urgency in any environment:
1. Bring the outside in
A “we know best” culture reduces urgency; so help people see external opportunities.
2. Behave with urgency every day
Managers and leaders need to walk the talk and lead by example.
3. Find opportunity in crises
A well-leveraged crisis can be a valuable tool to break through complacency.
4. Deal with the NoNos
Address those who are always working hard to hinder change.
A sense of urgency is rare, which is why leaders need to step up and address that fact; because without it, mediocrity prevails and mediocrity is not the stuff that successful transformation is made of. Instead, it’s a key ingredient for failure.
The majority of people who struggle to work independently with a sense of urgency need support. Support to help them feel accountable and committed to achieving their goals, which in turn ignites a sense of urgency in their work. So leaders need to challenge themselves to bring about this change in peoples’ hearts and minds – and not sit back declaring that the people around them are not motivated. The ability to move people to being actively engaged with a sense of urgency plays an important role in separating highly effective modern-day leaders from the rest.