This series covers the 12 Habits of Effective Entrepreneurs. Click here to view previous articles.
Habit #8 – Effort
It was a “Hail Mary” kind of effort. The business depended on one major initiative, at the end of the year, to carry the business through the entire next year. It was a risky “eggs in one basket” model; but it had worked in the past. The team had expended exponential effort to make this year a success as well.
But it failed miserably.
Most of the team hit a point of no return on the burnout scale and quit immediately. The rest tried to carry their own load and fill in the gaps left by the others. And the leader, desperate to generate a year’s worth of income in a minimal timeframe, pushed the remaining team to do more.
What the leader failed to realize was that effort alone was not the answer.
But, rather, the kinds of effort applied are what truly generate success.
The 3 Cs of Effort
As you plan your next quarter or year, consider not only effort, but the types of effort you and your team will need to expend in order to reach the goals you have set.
Concentrated Effort – Focused on a Mission
Concentrated effort is directed toward one mission. In this particular story, the leader would constantly change the mission, to a point where the team lacked clarity around who they were serving and how to best serve.
Here’s the thing: If the leader doesn’t know where they are going from day to day, neither will the team. There will be effort on all sides; but it will be scattered effort. The only results will be exponential costs and team burnout.
While many leaders focus on activity, wise leaders will focus on a clear mission with concentrated effort.
Armed with these, a team will reach more goals with lower costs and less stress.
Continuous Effort – Forging through a Challenge
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” ― George Herman “Babe” Ruth
We tend to look at those who excel in sports as “naturals,” but those who truly excel put forth continuous effort, sometimes for decades, before they reach the level of recognition for being outstanding in their field. It takes years of continuous daily effort and pushing through challenges to reach the level of “a natural.”
The same is true in business. Once-a-year major initiatives may have their place; but you can have just as much (or more) success by applying a continuous, steady effort day-by-day.
Just as hammers striking steel forge a masterpiece, so the habit of continuous effort creates the makings of a successful business.
Do you want loyal customers? Apply continuous efforts to serve.
Do you want plenty of prospects? Apply continuous efforts to reach out.
Do you want high productivity? Apply continuous efforts to create products and improve processes.
Here’s the good news if you are not a “natural born” leader: You can become one by applying continuous daily effort.
“Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” ― John C. Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
Concerted Effort – Functioning as a Team
“To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another.” ― John Maxwell
Dysfunctional teams, by their nature, waste time and energy. And this is not just a team problem; it is a leadership problem.
As a leader, one of your most important responsibilities is to create a great team that can do great things. This means they must work together with concerted effort.
This requires a culture of collaboration, empowerment of each team member to work in their strengths, and a concerted effort to reach goals.
Concerted effort implies that a team is working “in concert.” This means they will each play different notes and instruments of their trade in their own unique way; but your job as a leader is to bring those players together to create a masterpiece that no one could create alone.
Hire well. Take the time to invest in and develop your team. Create an environment where they can function well together. This lays the foundation for concerted effort. And when there is concentrated effort, there is massive power to innovate, overcome challenges, and create success.
Take some time to consider the effort factor in your business.
Are your team efforts scattered, or are they concentrated on a clear mission?
Are you and your team overcoming challenges as a continuous daily habit?
Is there a culture of collaboration across your team?
Success takes effort – the right kinds of effort – applied habitually.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results