With the emphasis on core subjects in budget crunched public schools, art programs are being asked to pack their paint brushes and go. Isn’t it interesting how creativity has moved from #10 to #3 in the list of Top Skills for 2021, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report?
Suppose you and your team have been in a Think Rhythm to determine what Jim Collin and Jerry Porras call your Hedgehog concept - the intersection of what you are passionate about, what you are best in the world at and what drives your financial engine. Defining your hedgehog and BHAG (pronounced bee hag) gives you a powerful mechanism to help you strategically plan for growth.
Specifically, the hedgehog concept is the intersection of these three questions:
- What are you deeply passionate about?
- What can you be the best at in the world?
- What drives your economic engine?
Now comes the easy part, right? Simply take that information, determine where these three questions intersect and craft a long-term goal that drives on that intersection - your BHAG or Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Are you having writer’s block?
If you research “healthy work-life balance tips” (or frankly any hot topic), you’ll see a line item in there about the millennial's view point. On this subject, research shows that millennials highly value work-life balance, and some offer they need it the most yet struggle hardest to find it.
Do they really?
I am lucky to have a young millennial sister who is early in her bright career and whom I call upon to confirm or deny allegations concerning millennials and their unshakeable need to find work-life balance. I thought Natalie would say she doesn’t have it as she works full days in supply chain for a major trucking company while balancing a new marriage, new mortgage, and a fur baby can induce the need for stress management. That, and the experts say she’s struggling to find it.
I, on the other hand, have been lucky to work in various ways through different life cycles of my career balanced with raising three boys. I have had the long commutes, heavy travel and virtual work in several time zones - or a mixture of any and all, depending on the week. I can play the role of the wise older, GenX sister and explain how there’s no such thing as work-life balance - there’s just balance. When I am working, I need to be tunnel-vision and work. When I am home, I need to put the phone down and listen to my boys tell me their school project they’ve known about for three weeks is due tomorrow, and they need imported materials. Something like that.
You’re a couple of months into your 2019 annual plans - the honeymoon phase. Your annual plan still looks good, you’re excited to see it as often as possible, can’t stop talking about it, probably taking annoying selfies with your plan. I get it - it’s pretty exciting. You are bound to learn throughout the year things you didn’t know about your plan when you first fell in love. Perhaps the way it's executed isn’t the way you would do it, or others aren’t excited about it and it’s bringing you down - making you second guess.
“If you can move people by inspiring and building their confidence to own and drive your new strategy, they will be committed to seeing change through and overcoming the organizational constraints you confront.”
One of the top 10 moments of my life was the Predictable Results book launch party at our Breakthrough Conference last October. To sweeten this moment, the MVP subject to one of my chapters was co-presenting a breakout session with me. I was incredibly proud to showcase Randy Carr, the CEO of World Emblem who is featured in chapter 11. Yes, that’s right - chapter 11. Such an unfortunate number for a chapter regarding a CEO. As Randy said, “Dude! Chapter 11? That’s bad juju! What are you doing to me?” Randy describes his chapter in his bi-weekly letters to his employees at World Emblem as: “The chapter after 10.”
All juju aside, Randy’s story was the perfect ending to the book because this playbook rings true to many CEOs in different points of their reign. CEOs may naturally revert to the skills and backgrounds that got them where they are today - and there may be more they need to do. Perhaps, like Randy, they inherited the company and don’t automatically feel the love and Core Purpose of the family business, perhaps the organization is hitting a growth plateau and what worked before just ain’t cutting it anymore, and, more commonly, CEOs feel they are being crystal clear on the expectations and are baffled when seeing the chaos and missed goals.
“World Emblem was doing fine, but revenue was stagnating. When leaders are overwhelmed with the fires of day-to-day work and the fear of making a misstep, focus on growth suffers. And so does the leader’s confidence. What most are missing is an operating system that offers a clear definition of the critical role they should play and a path to fulfilling it effectively.”
Shortly after my son, Jack, was diagnosed with autism at age two, I set the big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) that he will graduate college. Mind you, at two, Jack spent most of his days in his own, wordless world. I didn’t know how he could even attend ½ day preschool program let alone complete college. Fast forwarding to his 4th grade year (as this is a blog, not a novel), I felt panic when I realized that by being in a self-contained classroom in South Carolina public schools, Jack would receive a certificate of completion rather than a diploma. My personal BHAG was at risk.
I am incredibly lucky to work with clients quarter after quarter, year over year. We’re part of each other’s extended family. My home state of South Carolina was hit with two hurricanes in recent months and my clients were ping-ping-pinging me making sure I was safe - inquiring, perhaps, as to whether or not they needed a new consultant. Luckily, we were in a boring section of the storm and three McBride boys with no school benefited on all accounts. I might add my state also sold the winning Powerball billion dollar ticket, and these same folks texted me to again see if they still had a consultant. They do. I would still do what I do with a billion dollars. I would just look AMAZING doing it.
To remain in the fabric of my client’s lives, I feel the need to keep things fresh.
During World War II, a Chief Petty Officer of the Royal Navy was called on by his Captain of the HMS Stork to explain why their ship sustained damage but, unlike other Royal Navy ships, did not blow up after a direct hit from an enemy submarine torpedo.
The Chief Petty Officer admitted he failed to follow the standing orders that the depth charges be armed with detonators. He continued to explain to his Captain that to avoid the risk of charges imploding during enemy fire, he and his crew were trained and ready to arm the charges with detonators within a matter of seconds. After all, large barrels full of high powered explosives are innocuous without installed detonators to set them off.
The best advice I was given before my boys reached their teenage years with wild emotional swings was "don't ride the roller coaster with them.” I smiled and nodded and thought to myself, “my sweet boys are going to be the exception.” I was wrong. Hormonal imbalances are the real deal, but...enough about me.
I’m living in the parallel universe of handling teenagers and being a strong leader in the face of adversity. Both can feel like a ride you can’t wait to get off of, may make you feel unnerved, and once you've recovered, will leave you with an intense craving for funnel cakes or your carb of choice. I’m finding whether I face the difficult person in an office or a messy, disgusting bedroom, there are key strategies that work in both situations: