When I started my business, MedRecruit, I set a standard for the results I wanted to achieve and the impact I wanted to have in the industry. To do this I worked 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, for years. We became the fastest growing service business in the country and outgrew all our competitors by many multiples.
A standard means that it’s a must, that in the end if you haven’t achieved it then it’s not the end.
When we got pregnant with our first daughter Zara I realised that I didn’t want to be a father who was always at the office, so in the nine months Claire was carrying Zara I hired a management team and built systems so that we could continue to achieve the results I wanted, and this could happen without me working all waking hours.
Essentially at the start I set a standard for outcomes, then I added in a standard for input.
And I think this is the right order. Too often I talk with business owners just getting started, or established owners going through a major crisis that threatens the existence of their business, who are talking about work-life balance.
Forget about it. When you’re in the traction phase or fighting for your survival you need a standard for outcomes, whatever the input required.
But, once you are getting the results you want I do believe that it’s critical to add a standard for input, because otherwise you are likely to burn out and forget why you’re doing it in the first place.
The key is to be conscious about it and get the timing right.
I’m in my office at the moment. This morning I’ve planned next week, had multiple meetings and worked on some strategic moves for my business.
I used to be all about winning at everything I was involved with.
Many ‘entrepreneurs’ I meet just want to be the ‘big ideas’ person. They’re not interested in the little stuff.
In life people always talk about getting ‘ahead of the curve.’
Something had to get out of the way for everything good that is in your life.
We worry about things that might not work out.
We are all a combination of our experiences of the past.
We don’t need to detach from our painful past.
The you today is different from the you a year ago.
Sometimes leadership is about creating a vision and bringing people along.