As 2017 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on what I have accomplished this year, what I have failed at, and what lessons I can take away from it all. Below are the three most significant things I have learned this year, I hope that some of them will resonate with you.
Alignment is Key
I have found that when it comes to accomplishing something, anything really, everyone must be fully aligned in their goals in order to win. When there are competing interested and desired outcomes, whatever you are doing will not last. Whether it is a business deal, a romantic relationship, or a friendship, you must be on the same path together, or else you are on the path to death. People who succeed have a clear end goal in mind, and everyone must be aligned on that goal.
Put Some Skin in the Game
Speaking of alignment on goals, the best way to motivate someone to succeed is to create a direct benefit for them. If achieving your goal doesn’t positively impact the people on your path, then you are much less likely to get there. Whether your goal is a number of sales, revenue, customers served per month, or products sold, everyone working towards that goal should have some skin in the game. A lot of business owners only think about a few people at the top, but the key to quick success is incenting everyone on the outcome. Sometimes it is as significant as business equity, other times it is as simple as a free lunch, but whatever it is make sure it is benefiting everyone working for you.
Human Nature is Incredibly Consistent
People are very predictable, and everything from societal trends, to the economy, to entertainment tends to operate in cycles. The truth of the matter is that everyone always looks out for number 1. We are lazy and we are selfish. Everyone will do what is in their best interest before they do what’s in your best interest. That is not an easy thing to hear, but if you can internalize that knowledge, you can reverse engineer predictable behavior. Before you ask anyone to help you accomplish a goal, ask yourself what they are motivated by. Is it a free lunch? Is it a monetary bonus? If you can find what it is, and offer it to 100s of people, big shit gets done, and you won’t need to worry about managing them as tightly.
Best of luck in 2018, have a happy new year.