Business Coach : Learn To Make Adjustments
-Now Tim, Jack Welch, the American business executive, business coach, author, chemical engineer. This guy served as the chairman and the CEO of GE, General Electric, between 1981 2001. And he actually rose the company’s value over 4,000% during his time. And he says, “The ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
Tim, why is it so important for the Thrivers watching this right now that if they want to achieve in the business world, that they become rapid appliers of knowledge? Can you explain when you say rapid, is this something like every week I should be learning something new and applying it? A business coach can help you with application.
-Yeah, every week is if you’re going to really slow the process down. But if you have a mindset of every day you can apply something. Learning isn’t just gaining information, Clay. Learning is contrasting. It’s trying things. It’s seeing what works and what doesn’t work.
So the learning is when reality collides with that idea and you see what happens. Learning is saying oh, I need to adjust. So learning has more to do with adjusting than it does gaining information. And so if we can adjust quicker, we’ll become better quicker. And that is the competitive advantage.
I like what Tom Peter said. He said if you’re learning, the true learning which is adjusting, if you’re adjusting and making changes to the market but you’re not making changes faster than your competitor, you’re actually falling behind. And so it’s think weekly, but even think daily or even hourly.
You think that’s melodramatic, again. It’s not melodramatic. That’s how people that have these businesses that kick the rest of everybody else’s butt in the marketplace, that’s their mindset.
-Now Tim, I know in my career I started running a business while I was still a teenager and I had a lot of success early. So I started to kind of, I didn’t do it too long, but I started to drift a little bit. I’m like, OK, we just bought a new house, have a lot of extra money, don’t really need to work super hard– so you start to maybe have a month where you kind of drift a little bit there.
And then I had a competitor do some crazy stuff which motivated me. So I want to thank that guy, but it motivated me to get focused again.
-He probably worked for you at one time, didn’t he?
-Well Richard Branson, he says– this is the English billionaire entrepreneur. He’s the one who’s famous for starting Virgin Group, Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines– he says, “What’s my biggest motivation? Just keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had. Every day I’m learning something new.”
Tim, throughout your career, how have you challenged yourself to maintain a certain motivation? Because you’ve obviously had some high points, low points. How have you continually challenged yourself to maintain your motivation?
-Well first of all, it’s easy to drift. The disease that destroys our business and our business growth, is this disease called comfort. So we get comfortable where we are and we lose our motivation. Why? What is motivation?
Motivation is pursuing an unmet need. So if your needs are met, usually there’s a lapse in the motivation. So what my good friend Richard Branson, myself, Clay Clark (business coach), other people that I know and respect– they stay motivated because they keep clear in front of them a need that’s not yet met. So they’re pursuing to fulfill that need.
That’s motivation. Motivation is motion. Creating motion towards that and that’s what it is.
-You created a fire hose of knowledge. It just exploded my brain here. But I want to clarify this ’cause it was so much goodness, I’m being serious. Comfort is a killer. I just want to make sure if you’re watching that’s like, gosh, that’s dangerous.
And you might have been in countries where they say they have island time and they joke around. But basically, there’s enough abundance with the vegetation and with the climate. It’s nice enough where you don’t have to do a lot to make it. And so you see a lot of comfortable people not doing a lot. And if that’s your goal, that’s OK, I guess. But I believe how you said comfort is a killer.