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Count On It!

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." -- John ... of my clients (let's call him Mike) was telling me how ... is to him that he sell ... ... ... not just

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
-- John Lubbock

One of my clients (let's call him Mike) was telling me how important
it is to him that he sell long-term maintenance contracts, not just
ad hoc projects.

Makes sense. The long-term contracts provide some stability and
predictable cash flow. They assist in getting closer to his clients.
They also help him to borrow funds more easily.

So far, so good.

When I asked him how many of these long-term maintenance
contracts he has already, he couldn't tell me. He didn't know! He
said he's been too busy to track the number of such agreements.

Wait a minute! If this type of agreement is so important to Mike's
growth strategy, how can he not know the status?

The fact is that most owners and CEOs know what's important to
their enterprise, but can't (or don't) measure those things.

You've heard the old maxim: "You can't manage what you don't
measure." You have also likely read the story of the "Hawthorne

In the late 1950s, the GE plant in Hawthorne, California brought in
some consultants to measure the effect of brighter lighting on the
productivity of their factory workers. The consultants first took
productivity measurements to establish a baseline. Then they
intensified the brightness of the lighting and measured again.

Productivity increased.

They increased the brightness even more and productivity went up
again. After raising the brightness two more times, they saw two
more increases in productivity. On a hunch, they lowered the
lighting and measured one more time. Productivity went up!

They figured out that the productivity gains were not related to the
brightness of the lights, but to the act of measuring. They were
paying a lot of attention to the effectiveness of their workers. And
guess what? The workers responded by working more effectively.

What do you pay a lot of attention to? What are you constantly
measuring, asking your employees about, talking about and
looking at?

When your team knows what's truly important to you, they'll likely
pay more attention to those things, too.

Focusing on two or three key business metrics does something
else for your behavior. It triggers your Reticular Activating System.
Your brain is assaulted by thousands of messages each second.
Everything you see, hear, smell, feel and touch is a message
entering your brain. The Reticular Activating System filters through
all these messages and decides which ones will get page one
treatment - that is, arouse the brain.

One of the things we've learned from working with entrepreneurs is
that you tend to pay attention to the things which are important to
you at the time. If your currently dominant thoughts are about
creating a new brochure, you'll start seeing other brochures.
You'll hear conversations about brochures. You'll pick up ideas
relating to brochures and even notice colors that would be
attractive for the new brochure.

In other words, the Reticular Activating System will pass through
anything even remotely related to the important issue - the brochure.
>From a practical point of view, this means that, if you want to solve
a problem or achieve a goal, keep it at the top of your mind. Think
about it, talk about it, write about it and imagine it completed. This
is one of the reasons why affirmations work so well and why it is
important to review your goals frequently.

If you focus on improving a specific key indicator of your business
success, your Reticular Activating System will pass through sights,
sounds, people and ideas even remotely related to that point of
focus. In other words, if you measure it visibly, frequently and
attentively, it will likely improve.

Here's my suggestion: Identify the two to five key measurements and
key indicators that are important and essential for your business.
Set up an active system to measure and track these indicators.
Talk to your employees about it at every opportunity. Put charts and
graphs of these indicators on the wall of the lunch room. Make your
interest in these metrics very active and visible.

Chances areFeature Articles, you'll get what you're looking for - improvements in
these areas.

Count on it.

Article Tags: Reticular Activating System, Reticular Activating, Activating System

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