patrick leddin

A Dangerous Discussion

There’s a dangerous discussion taking place in many organizations.

I invite you to consider whether or not you are participating in this costly conversation.

It goes something like this…

You & your teammates are discussing your company’s products or services. You collectively consider your offerings to be inherently brilliant, yet sales are missing the mark. Everyone agrees that the value you offer is clear – it’s well worth a customer’s investment. People just “don’t get it.”

How’s this conversation costly?

Well, it may cause you to look for ways to shout louder in the marketplace, create catchier tag-lines, or try to go viral on social media.

These may or may not be the right moves. But, before you venture out to raise your voice, invest in copy writing, or make a viral video, might I suggest that you get your customer’s voice in the room?

Perhaps your customers aren’t as uneducated, foolish, or distracted as you think. Maybe they just need something different than what your solution addresses.

Questions to consider:

  • Who is the true advocate for your customer in your organization?
  • If someone does try to speak for the customer is he labeled a cynic or valued for speaking up?
  • How might you better understand what your customer truly needs?

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It sounds obvious, but most of us have a way of piling up “must-do” priorities, making it impossible to do a very good job on any of them. One recipe for disengaging people is to overwhelm them with things to do, all of which are “Job 1” and “key priorities” and “top-of-the-list.”

But if you unleash people to focus on one, two, or three wildly important goals—no more—they will sense the significance of what they’re doing and they’ll have a chance to win. There is tremendous power in focus. As you prioritize your goals, think about those things that must be done or nothing else matters, focus on those true priorities, and move lower priorities to the back burner.

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All too many of us suffer from a personal energy crisis. We no longer work a standard eight-hour day. Our minds are constantly churning trying to make high value decisions, virtually twenty-four hours day. Our mode of life today—constant stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise and sleep—leads to what scientists call “exhaustion syndrome.”