Results in the absence of inquiry is a recipe for disaster. Results are the outcome of decisions you make. Make them well.
I can’t tell you how many prospective clients I have had who have expected results overnight to a problem that has taken years to build. Moreover, many entrpeneurs are sure they know the problem, but…can’t fix it, (because the problem lies elsewhere).
The key to good results is good questions. And the questions need to dig deep, because the symptoms one has in his or her business today may be the results of action taken years in advance, or systemic problems in the organization’s design, leadership and/or management that will not be fixed overnight. And what one thinks is the problem may have completely different root causes. hence the questions need to be thorough and objective. And the entrepreneur must listen to the answers, not what he or she wants to hear.
Many years ago, I was asked by a very close fiend to help him with his struggling heating and air conditioning business. He had hired several business coaches for a great deal of money to no avail. He explained that he needed help with his cash flow, his financial management, his systems and processes and his overall marketing and branding, and his employees. Or so he thought.
Because he was a close friend I was determined to help and conducted a thorough investigation of the business for no charge. What I found surprised me and confronted me with a situation that taught me very important lessons, lessons about family, money, management, decision making, taxes and hard choices.
It turns out my friend had hired his mother and father to work for him. He really hadn’t wanted to, but they had fallen on hard times and he dutifully played the part of a son and hired them for marketing and administrative tasks, because his father had been an ad executive and his mother had run numerous community organizations, so it seemed to make sense. He could help his folks and help his business, right? Wrong. Very wrong.
His parents who I grew up with and adored, were the cause of his problems. It turns out, he had good systems, accounting, management and marketing, with a steady base of business and more on the way. He had nice marquis clients and a great reputation. Until he hired his parents. They were know-it-alls, demanding, couldn’t listen, treated him like a child even though he was the owner and President of the business, and they were unaccountable for their own performance demanded higher than standard pay, and were disruptive to the other employees.
………..stay tuned for the rest of the story