Formula for Success
Have you ever asked yourself,
why some people or companies are successful and others are not?
Interesting question isn’t it!
This is a question that I
have been considering for some years now. Based on my research of
available information on human relations and economic theory, I
have developed some serious thoughts on the reasons and solutions. In
addition, I have some specific ideas and recommendations on how to be
successful both as an individual; as a workgroup and as an organization.
The techniques that I am
outlining here are usable by both individuals or groups of people.
However, the leader of a group should (and all group members
recommended) have mastered them first on an individual basis.
OK, so lets get started!
First of all, in order to accomplish any task no matter how small or
big, you need to be clearly aware in your mind what it is that you are
trying to do. My suggestion is to use visualization techniques for the
mind that have been written about and taught for years now.
One very famous book that is available on these
techniques is entitled – “Psycho-Cybernetics” and is written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, ISBN:
0671700758. Another is “Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins,
ISBN: 0671727346 and another is “Silva Mind Control Method” by Jose
Silva, ISBN: 0671739891.
What I am recommending is
that you as an individual first spend a few hours thinking about what
exactly it is that you want to achieve or complete. What will it look
like when you are finished and successful.
You need to develop a clear
picture in your mind using as many senses as you can. What colors will
it be? Who and what kind of persons will be there? What language(s) will
be spoken? What will be the conversations? What will be said and how
will it be said? Will there be other background sounds, will there be
smells? Will it be hot, cold or windy?
What will be the costs associate with completing this (these)
tasks? Describe your completed task in great detail. Place this detailed
description in your inner mind to be remembered.
Next, you must develop a
clear understanding of where you are now. Data collection techniques and
analysis of the data by using Statistical Process Control tools is an
excellent way to accomplish this. There are many ways starting with
simple paper and pencil methods and to expand to somewhat more complex
methods as required. You need to keep it as simple as possible however,
and measure only those few critical items. Be careful not to get carried
Now you may begin to develop
a set of differences between where you want to be versus where you are
now. Out of these differences, you may prioritize each as to their
importance and then develop action plans to resolve and accomplish
As you begin to work on
individual tasks or issues to accomplish your vision objective, you will
start to interface with other individuals; other departments within your
company; and with one or more individuals within separate companies or
organizations. As the task effort becomes more complex, we will be most
likely working with both providers of tasks and services to you
(suppliers) and you will be providing tasks and services to others
In effect you will become
involved in a process defined as a series of transactions flowing from
supplier to another customer. This will be a series of customer/supplier
You should be sure to clearly
communicate your expectations to your suppliers as to what it is that
you are asking of them. As you should make sure that your customers
clearly communicate their expectations to you as their supplier. This is
called the “operational definition” This set of expectations just
like your vision should be well defined; easily measured and completely
communicated. If it is not, then you run the risk of waiting for
something to happen only to be disappointed when it does that what you
had expected to happen does not. You will be in a position to deal with
something known as “REWORK” categorized as “changes in Mind”
As your tasks become more
complicated and involves other people, you need to perform some detailed
planning; task training on how and what you expect and then to clearly
communicate your expectations to those who will do the work. Again, if
you do not perform the planning and training steps carefully and
completely, you will run the risk of experiencing results that you had
not expected. Redoing work that is the result of poor planning is
referred to as “Waste or wasted effort”. Traditionally, the problems
associated with poor training are referred to as simply “Rework”.
So if we are not carefully
with our planning, our training, our expectation setting, and our
communication, we will experience total costs of completing a task that
are larger than those we might have originally expected as we developed
our vision. This may be referred to as lost opportunity costs.
environment and reward system
In order to perform complex
tasks, you will need people to work with you and most likely you will
experience the normal result of
not being able to do everything that is expected in a normal day. So now
you begin to use others to assist you. At this point, you have two
choices. Give them specific orders and tell them only to do exactly what
you tell them to do (no more and no less) or to work with them to allow
them to make some or many decisions on their own; freeing you to have
time to work with more people. This will allow you to accomplish more
tasks in the long run.
Herein lies the challenge.
How to get people to do what it is you want without telling them each
and ever little step in detail.
Sounds complex and difficult! Not at all, it is quite
simple to do. It just takes work and a good strong will to “let go”
and enjoy the success of others. Your success will ultimately be many
times bigger than just your individual efforts could have been. This is
known as a “synergistic” effect.
easy to say and hard to do …. Yes, I realize that. But really, it is
not so hard to do. First of all, you use your visioning techniques to
clearly implant in each workers mind what it is that you expect to accomplish.
Do this well and the rest is easy. Once a worker knows what is expected,
96% + of the workers will work hard to achieve the objectives. Ok, so
you have a few bad workers. Well deal with them strongly and quickly.
Help them go work for someone else.
You need to be a “leader”
- a person that guides others and helps them do a good job without
telling them each little thing and making all their decisions for them.
Let them try and fail a little. Let them make a small mistake; most
likely, they will learn from it and do much better on their next effort.
Next you need to develop a
reward system of praise and of course monetary rewards based on
measurable results toward achieving the vision objective. Be careful not
to reward for non-measurable results and trivial efforts and not really
solving the problem and achieving the tasks.
Many times there are rewards
that don’t cost a lot of money. Be creative!
What you are basically doing
is creating an environment where people are working together in a
high-energy problem-solving mode. This is true of people both within
your small workgroup; your company and suppliers and with
customers/suppliers outside of your company as well.
Be very careful not to lose
your temper when things go wrong and point blame on an individual
person. IT IS
NOT their fault!
It is the SYSTEMS fault. You
created the work group; you created the vision; you created the
interactions. Therefore, if you are not happy with the results, you have
to do a better job of performing the basic steps discussed above –
change the system of how the work is done.
Don’t allow fear of any kind to come into the work relationship
situation. Fear will do more damage and cause workers to stop performing
than any other possible thing.
We must learn not to blame
the workers for the faults of the system. The willing workers are the
input/output devices to the system. Through them, we can collect data,
analyze the situation, make changes to the system using knowledge and
monitor our results over time using statistical process control tools.
Also, we must not forget and
be careless and try to fix problems in our system with a “quick
fix”. It takes time to make these changes and your effort should be
consistent and continuous over time.
What I am explaining here are
the items and basics included in Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s 14
Obligations of Management, a
copy of which is attached. These 14 points are guidelines and are
interrelated and if done well will result in many long-term benefits.
These 14 points should never be simply passed out and the workers told
to just follow them. Talk
is cheap and alone it will not work!
These principles and points may be easily explained using a clever learning tool called The RED BEAD Experiment. Here the term RED BEAD is used as a metaphor for the problems that we face in doing our jobs and tasks. No matter how hard the willing worker tries, they will always find RED BEADS in their results. RED BEAD problems are always in the system. Our job as leaders is to find the name of each RED BEAD and find ways to permanently eliminate them from the system.
These points are the
fundamentals that true and experienced leaders live by each and every
minute of every day. In order to be truly successful, a leader and
eventually all the “willing workers” need to …
….. learn to live the talk !
(c) 2002 - 2010, Michael Arthur Johnson