Strategy

8th October 2015

Another Day, Another Dollar

These words take me back to my first significant management job. I was young, ambitious and raw. I had managed to land a role which definitely took me to a new, a higher and more challenging level. I had been given the opportunity to run a significantly bigger business than I had been used to.

My managing director essentially wanted me to run the business for him so that he could concentrate on something else. It was, it seemed, a perfect opportunity for me to grow and learn.

There was one draw back. The MD had lost his driving licence and this meant that every evening I had to drop him off at his house on my way home. It wasn’t really a hardship as I had to pass that way anyway. I am not sure how it really began but one day on the short journey he said “another day, another dollar, how have we done today?” and I found myself sharing the day’s scores. The organisation was very much a sales organisation so it was relatively easy to be able to keep the score. Over the following year this became a ritual. At some point he would merely say “another day, another dollar” and I would find myself reviewing the day’s score.

As with all rituals repetition quickly made this a habit, and a very beneficial one at that. So began one of the most useful and productive habits that I ever embraced: the daily ritual of keeping the score and of reflecting on progress.

At a recent seminar which was following a sporting theme I found myself quoting the great All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, who said “The best sports people in the world practice more than they play’, “Business people should practice too. They should go home at night and analyse their day’s performance. They don’t and they need to. To be good at something takes practice and lots of it”.

Analysing the day’s performance is where the habit of getting better begins. That ability to reflect, analyse and to strategize improvements is essential if we want to perform at the highest levels. I think it was the late Jim Rohn who said: “reflection turns experience into insight”.

We often spend too little time positively reflecting on what we could learn from the experiences that we have had an understanding of how we can use that experience as a platform for improvement.
The ritual of reflection, analysis, readjustment is foundational to high performance and it can begin with a daily ritual simply sparked by four words, another day another dollar.

Imagine, if you will, what adopting such a habit could do for you. Even better imagine what such a habit could do for your team. As a Gazelles Certified Coach, I help businesses develop a ritual of daily weekly and monthly meetings.

The daily huddle, at its simplest level, is the same conversation that I used to have all those years ago with just a little more structure around it.

Book Recommendation

Some clients have asked that I append some reading recommendations to my weekly blog. I hope you get value from the books I recommend. The books are mentioned at random and will have no relationship to the blog above.

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer JohnsonI call this a skinny book. It is only about 100 pages and it will take you about 90 minutes to read, but don’t let appearances fool you. I must have given away hundreds of copies of this book to people who want to learn to lead and manage themselves and others. It is much more profound than it appears and its wisdom is deep. If you are finding it a challenge to manage others then get hold of this book and begin your journey of mastering the skills you need to manage people easily and effortlessly.