During a break at a keynote in Sydney a guy approached me to share a story. He said "I have been advertising for a tradesperson on Seek.com and a bunch of other employment sites for two months and got zero enquiries. Zero replies. When I change the ad around and lead with, here's what we value the most in our company, here's what we believe in, our mission, here's what's important to us in our company...Oh, and by the way, here is the job we have available, he said I was inundated with replies."
Time and time again, we hear that we want meaningful work, with a company that shares our values, and leadership that has a direction, a plan, and cares for it's people. A company who will close the gap between say and do. Yet so few companies actually do it. So much time and money has been wasted on tactical execution of product and price alone and although we talk about it, we are forgetting the most meaningful part of the equation, the people. This is a true story and given the fact it was based on a trade when so much media is focused on the lack of tradespeople, it does beg the question... Why? To understand your Why, how that can co-exist with your Company WHY and then the outgoing message, listen to the excellent interview with Dr Gary Sanchez of the Why Institute... the feedback on this conversation has been overwhelming... it's very, very good. LINK to the interview https://shorturl.at/defIL
The Mojo Sessions Rewind
“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”
THE STRATEGIC EDITION
Over four seasons of hosting The Mojo Sessions, some definite themes have appeared. This edition of the Espresso is based on strategy. If there's one thing that "most" do is have a massive gap between the strategy they set a what actually gets executed. Off sites, conferences, strategy sessions, get-togethers with a whiteboard that all end up being forgotten, dismissed, never executed in the next 6 to 12 months. It's only the few that I actually implement the plan. Hell most leaders can't even remember what the strategy was!
When considering this conundrum, I created a list of my favourite conversations on that topic of strategy from The Sessions that I hope might be of value to others.
One of the major benefits of podcasts is that they live in the cyber world and can be saved and replayed at any time. I thought that occasionally I would do a 'rewind' and share a list of past episodes of The Mojo Sessions on recurring themes and topics that have resonated not only with me, but also with other listeners of the show.
I hope you find this 'rewind' on the theme of Strategic thinking of value to yourself or someone you know.
The Mojo Sessions: Episode 321 - Bryce Hoffman
EP 321: Bryce Hoffman
Red Team. Staying Ahead of the Competition in an Uncertain World
Strategically, this was unquestionably, a key take out for me on strategy. The ability to be the one regardless of how improbable thinking like the enemy, and secondly having the courage to speak up, was a huge take out for me.
Bryce Hoffman, the bestselling author of 'Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything', helps companies worldwide plan better, using systems learnt from business and the military. Bryce became the first and only civilian to graduate from the U.S. Army’s Red Team Leader Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Red Team Thinking is a systematic way of making critical and contrarian thinking part of the strategic planning process of any team, providing a robust set of tools designed to challenge assumptions, expose hidden threats and stress-test your plans and strategies. Drawing on the latest research in cognitive psychology and human decision-making Red Teaming is a critical thinking tool to stay relevant, keep ahead of your competition, and cope with an increasingly uncertain world.
The Mojo Sessions: Episode 209 - Jay Samit
EP 209: Jay Samit
Your Hidden Superpower Can Future-Proof Your Business
At the centre of every strategy is the problem to be solved. Jay Samit has an incredible resume of problems he has solved for some of the biggest and most highest profiled brands in the world. For this Session, he talks specifically about understanding the problem, then solving the problem and how, although it seems 101, so few actually do it.
Jay Samit has an incredible resume. He's created disruptive ideas for Adobe, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Clinique, Coca Cola, Disney, Ford, GE, IBM, Intel, LinkedIn, McDonalds, Microsoft, Starbucks, Unilever, Visa and more. Jay held senior roles at EMI & Sony where he pioneered breakthrough advancements in video, ebooks & digital music that are used by billions of consumers every day and worked closely with guys like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Reid Hoffman.
The Mojo Sessions: Episode 404 - Mike Sarraille
EP 404: Mike Sarraille
Your Path to Becoming an Everyday Warrior
It's not easy being the leader charged with overseeing and taking ownership for the strategy and the execution of that plan. Mike has a long distinguished history of being the trusted guy to set and execute strategy... in the brutal world of combat and the brutal battles of the boardroom. It takes courage, it takes becoming an everyday warrior.
After 20 years of service as a Recon Marine, Scout-Sniper, and U.S. Navy SEAL officer, which included ten combat deployments, Mike Sarraille turned his attention to using the lessons he’d learned on the battlefield to help businesses develop strong leaders. Mike has seen a great deal in combat. Today, he brings the lessons he learned from the battlefield to his successful management consulting firm, Talent War Group, an elite consulting and executive search firm specialising in world-class leadership development and attracting the top talent out of the Military. We discuss Mike's journey so far, and his new book, 'The Everyday Warrior.'
The Mojo Sessions: Episode 317 - Dorie Clark
EP 317: Dorie Clark
Becoming a Long-Term Thinker in a Short Term World
Any great strategist has a long game in mind. In a world where the most have short term, tactical, revenue driven goals. It's hard to find a leader who can tell you where the industry will be in three or five years time let alone how their company will fit into it. The people who work in the business are craving direction and belief in a leader who can see the future and a way to get there. Most work on the short game. Great strategists play the long game.
We live in a short-term, reactionary world. It's rare to meet a leader who has a long-term view beyond short-term metrics, a leader who has a hypothesis about what the future holds for their industry, category or their company. Named in the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, Duke University Professor Dorie Clark is described by the NY Times as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives.” A frequent contributor to HBR , Dorie consults to Google, Microsoft, & the World Bank. This conversation uncovers her new book The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World.
The Mojo Sessions: Episode 320 - Annie Duke
Ep 320: Annie Duke
The Good Quitters Guide to Quitting
So anyone who heard the show will know I'm a fan of Annie, her backstory, her work, and in particular, the idea of this latest book. The reason I've got Annie to finish off this Strategic Rewind is that in order to do the work above there are somethings you are going to have to quit. Quit the assumptions and constructs of doing what everybody else does. Quit being busy, distracted and not focusing day in day out, hour by hour on the set strategy. Quit breezing through meetings, emails and texts, and not talking face-to-face in person with people about the agreed strategy and the execution. Quit believing that having it in a spreadsheet is enough.
We are told that the secret to success is hard work, determination, hours of practice and a never quit attitude. In this fast-pace changing world, what if a crucial skill is knowing when to stick at something or when to change track and walk away - to quit? Annie Duke, World Series of Poker championship bracelet winner & winner of the WSOP Tournament of Champions, specialises in decision making and in this conversation explains why learning to quit well is often crucial to our success. Annie gives clear strategies for working out when to cut your losses in business, a relationship or a career that's not taking you where you want to go. Perhaps making the choice to quit and being a quitter is the best and most profound choice!
About to run his dog at the sheepdog trials, I saw Peter in the corner of the yards. I asked "How you going today?"."Yeah, doing pretty good. Better conditions than last year when it was a bog and they were putting down sawdust on the mud so the sheep could move" Peter replied. "Not sure if that is the right term - not better, just different. Two years ago during the drought no one said a word when we had mud, it's all to do with your attitude isn't it." That day at the dog trials I was schooled. It's all about your attitude. Being better than last year was a judgement. It wasn't better, it was different. Only years back, Peter was diagnosed with cancer. It's been a tough ride, but here he was jumping fences in the yards with his faithful dog, rounding up sheep and competing with the best. He approached his diagnosis with the same attitude. It's not better. It's just different. It all depends on your attitude. Judgement, comparison and envy heavily influence and impact our attitude... oh, and he won the trial. GB
Photo credit Janko Ferlič - thank you.
Walking into retailer Lush, the shop assistant smiled and said "Hello, welcome". I watched the sales assistant for a few minutes as he wiped down fittings with a rag, rearranged stock and gave reassuring training advice to a new staff member. In a quiet moment, I said "How long have you worked here?" He said 10 years. I said "Wow, 10 years? He said "Yes, I love this store with all my heart." Curious, I asked "What is it that you love so much?" He said "The ethos and experience." He then went on to explain his 10 years of work working through the company to where he is today. It's fair to say he is a lifer. I walked away thinking that young kid is the few. Whoever is mentoring that young kid is the few. When most across the world are checking out, looking around for the next thing, not engaged, seeking meaning and not finding it, and certainly not providing an experience to be proud of, or inspired by, within a retail or service industry job, this kid is the few. There's an intrinsic motivation around a young worker like this. Then there's a leadership that sees the talent, provides the environment, gives work of true meaning, can articulate and deliver and walk the talk on their ethos, and go to the trouble of building a true experience that one can be proud to work with and around, and where we as shoppers will return to.
There is so much in this story. Most will blow through the story, but the few will take it on board and apply to their own company. If this young kid worked for me, I would feel so damn proud.