founder of naked leader
Time to Read: Around 2 minutes
The real root cause of your success or failure
As a team, in a project and in your organisation.
A few months ago I was invited to meet the CEO of a Hi-Tec company for a coffee.
We sat and we chatted about life, the universe and Brexit – very friendly, no need for notepads, when he suddenly stood up and said:
“May I share a few projects we are working on, in absolute confidence?”
And for the next 15 minutes he shared in the most technical detail possible the company’s top 5 projects – he was passionate, knowledgeable, and I didn’t understand a single word of what he said!
And then one of the most surreal things happened – his PA knocked on his door and said very gently – “Sorry to interrupt you Mike (name changed), but your next appointment is here.”
To which Mike turned to me and said:
“So, those are our top 5 priorities – if you can send a proposal on how Naked Leader could help us achieve each of them, we might be doing some work together.”
I will never forget the reaction at Naked Leader HQ – “I have good news and bad news – the good news is I think we may have a large piece of business with XXX – the bad news is I don’t have a clue what they want.”
OK – how do we turn this lemon into a lemonade?
We had to take a risk that would probably mean we would never be working with this company, ever.
On the other hand we weren’t working with them at the moment, so what did we have to lose?
And so, ten days later, in response to his question:
“OK, are you ready to share your thoughts on each of the five projects we discussed?”
To which I said “Yes” and gave him a single piece of paper that said:
Fast-Track behavioural change
that delivers 3 times more value, confidence and agility from the people that you already have.
Achieve That – Achieve Anything – (Including all of your top 5 priorities.)
He read it several times and looked up at me, looked me right in the eyes and asked:
“Is this all you can offer me?”
To which, knowing this would be the last time we would ever see each other, and our big risk had failed, I replied with more confidence than I felt inside:
“Yes, and that is all you need.”
To which he said with a smile
“You could have just sent me a postcard.”
And so, out of a lack of understanding we accidentally fell on the best offer ever.
Oh yes, and we won the business.
In your next leadership, cultural or business transformation, will you put fast-track behavioural change at its root cause? If you do, you will succeed, and if you don’t, you won’t.
With my love and best wishes