The Biggest Barrier to Success

3 10 2012

How is it two people in very similar businesses can have two completely different outcomes?  Whether it is retail, service, manufacturing, or healthcare, we know a company that is growing rapidly while another is going out of business.  Some may argue it’s luck.  Others might say it’s location.  There are even others who would imply that the company was successful because of other outside influences such as political incentives and breaks.

Yet for every success there are ten failures.  These companies may be across the street from each other, or they could be on the other side of the world.  Regardless of the industry, location or political environment, one barrier is pivotal to the success of any business; the habits and beliefs of its leaders.  It is the deep rooted habits that drive the outcomes.  It is the belief system that drives a person to create their own realities.

Much of my work is spent with CEOs helping them understand how their behaviors influence their decisions, actions, and outcomes.  This is very apparent in companies that are caught in the money trap: wanting top dollar for your product but unwilling to spend more than the lowest possible price on anything you purchase.

Our habits attract people who are most like us.  If a leader is constantly haggling to get everything for the cheapest price possible on goods and services, they shouldn’t be surprised that their customers demand the same from them.  It’s the law of attraction.  Whatever you place your energy towards will grow.  Obstacles are visible because you are looking for them.  Opportunities exist but most people miss their chance because they aren’t looking for them.

Bottom line, your biggest barrier to success is often you.  When you accept that, and change your thinking, the right opportunities will begin to present themselves.

Action item:  Struggling with something?  First look to yourself and ask, “What am I doing to create this?”  Can’t figure it out?  Then ask someone else.  A friend, mentor, coach, or trusted advisor are your best options.

Is Productivity Growth in the US Gone?

19 05 2011

I recently read a McKinsey Quarterly article that debated that very question. ( Good points were raised on both sides, and in the end, it will be the economy and job growth which will truly provide the answer for us.

As a nation we have an amazing tradition of innovation which led to much of our productivity growth over the past hundred years. This growth has given us a higher quality of life and more opportunity than many other countries out there. But the times are changing and are we changing with them? Have we become so complacent to our lifestyle that we now just expect prosperity to happen? What are we willing to do to ensure our success for generations to come?

I believe that opportunities for growth are all around us. However those opportunities may fall outside what we have been accustomed to in the past. As a nation, we have looked inward for our growth. Now I think it’s time we look elsewhere. We expect our consumer spending to support our lifestyles. Easy credit has helped boost this along and has led to some unintended consequences for which we have been paying the price. In order to grow, we must work within our means and seek to build our economy through a global market. More importantly, we must rely on our innovators, not the government, to spur this growth.

I believe we can be the most innovative country in the world when we put our minds to it. This will lead to further productivity growth and job creation. I welcome others to share their thoughts and ideas. There are so many opportunities in front of us right now. It’s just a matter of looking through the challenges to see them.

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