As a consultant, I often have conversations with CEO’s and other leaders who share with me what I like to call “The Big Missing.” They will describe in detail something that they feel is essential that just isn’t happening in their organization, and then tell me how important it is that this thing happens regularly and consistently in order to grow the company. They go on to paint a picture of the enormous impact it would have if they could just get their arms around this one project, task or role.
Where is the focus in your organization? Where is the momentum? Where is the ENERGY?
In my consulting practice, I am amazed by the number of companies obsessed with cost cutting. Cutting costs has exceptional appeal to the reptilian brain. It FEELS good. Every penny cut drops right to the bottom line. What could be wrong with that? Nothing and everything. In the right circumstances, cutting costs can be the right medicine, but those circumstances are rare in my opinion. Why? Because you cannot shrink your way to greatness.
I was talking to a former SEAL Team Six leader about contingency planning. I asked a naïve question about happens when a SEAL Team Leader is killed or injured. “The mission continues,” he said “just as planned. The team wouldn’t miss a beat.” “Wouldn’t miss a beat? Really,” I said.
He went on to explain that from the time your SEAL team training begins, the action is stopped periodically and the instructor or leader points to a team member and says “Everyone is dead. What do you do?”
Traditional wisdom says that you should UNDER promise and over deliver. But when you under promise you get no marketplace attention at all. What you need is a good OVER promise that grabs marketplace attention and gets customers to try your product or service. Then you’ve got to WOW them with your Overdelivery to ensure they stay customers for life. (To be clear, promising things you cannot deliver is LYING…not over promising.) So how can you Overpromise and Overdeliver for your customers?