Friday, August 11, 2017

How People and Businesses Everywhere Grow

by Kevin L. Baker
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Why People and Businesses Do Not Grow

If a person is frustrated, failing, and fearful in life or in their business as an entrepreneur, owner, or manager, I will ask them questions about courage--strength in the face of fear. The presence or absence of courage is the crucial factor that determines whether a person, business, or organization is growing.  

My business works with people, teams, and companies to lead them to reach the peak of their potential and grow.  I often encounter very intelligent people when I begin an engagement with a company.  Yet, even the best teams get stuck.  Stuck companies are not developing internally, or growing sales and profits.  There is usually one of two things going on in stuck companies--lack of courage or lack of ability to execute growth strategies.  

How the 4Cs Formula Changed my Life

For several years, I was part of a Vistage CEO peer mentoring group.  After a change in the Chairman of the Board of the company where I was President, the direction of the company took on a "circle the wagons" mentality.  As a leader, that was not the strategic plan our senior management team had built for 10 years.  I was asked by my business owner and CEO peers why I did not just go out and start my own business at that point.  I was obviously capable and competent to do so.  

Having started four entrepreneurial ventures in my life with three of four succeeding, I should have had the confidence to believe I could succeed. Nevertheless, I was stuck and not moving forward.  My business coach, Linda Murphy gradually uncovered the reasons I was holding back, and we began to address the underlying fears of change that had gradually caused me to not move forward.  That is when I discovered the 4Cs formula.

The 4Cs Formula

I am a lifelong learner, and in my pursuit of growth as a businessman, I had come across Peter Diamandis' "Abundance 360," and his podcast with Dan Sullivan.  Dan is founder of an entrepreneurial coaching firm in Toronto which was just 90 minutes form Buffalo, New York where I lived.  Dan has a teaching on "The 4Cs," and it changed my life.

Sullivan says, "
Nothing starts until you commit to achieving a specific measurable result by a specific date in your future. After you’ve made the commitment, courage is required because you have to take action before you’ve acquired the capability to achieve the result. Capability is actually created because of your commitment and courage. And, finally, confidence is the result of these first three stages."

“Commitment leads to Courage. Courage leads to Capability. Capability leads to Confidence.  Confidence leads to Commitment. Apply, lather, rinse, repeat.” 

Sullivan's work helped me to unlock the reason I was holding back from launching out into my own business venture and staying there.  I now know, the 4Cs are "a universal language for any person to grow into a bigger and better future."  Having taught the principles to many in my work as a consultant and coach, I have grown in my understanding of them and added my own observations and learnings as I coach CEOs and key executives.  

Commitment--Selling Your Goal to Yourself

The root of fear is often a belief that you do not have the capability to do something you want to commit to.  Since you do not think you are capable, you do not make a commitment. I have known many leaders who say things like, "I will not make a commitment for our company to something until we are capable of doing it." Let me translate that.  "I do not think I am capable of leading our company to become capable and confident enough to carry out this commitment."

Commitment is the cornerstone to building anything.  The best way to make a commitment to a goal is to have a starting line, a finish line, and a deadline.  

Example of a commitment: I make it my commitment to grow from having no business, to launching my business by January 1, 2016.  

Procrastination Is the Opposite of Commitment 
Once you publicly state you are doing something, you have "skin in the game."  Commitment forces us to start moving forward.  You may realize, "I cannot do this alone."  That is where courage comes in to take stock of what you will need to carry out your commitment.

However, not being capable yet of carrying out a commitment is not a reason to kick the can down the road until you are capable.  If you make that choice, you will become frustrated, fearful, and failing.  Commitment is the first step on the road to growing capabilities.

Next Time: Courage Moves Us Forward