Hello, my friends.
I am blessed to be surrounded by people with big goals who have an appetite for action. They take action no matter how difficult the actions are in the short and long term in order to reach their goals.
A big part of my job, of course, is to help people set those goals and stay on track. Typically, they are referrals from someone I’m doing business with, someone who knows me well, or maybe a former client has referred me to someone who has a business that is in trouble.
Some time ago, I had a conversation with two owners of a business that is really past its prime. It is struggling, losing customers, and losing employees; yet the business is still throwing off a significant amount of cash to the owners. Why? Because there is a significant switching cost for their clients, making it very, very difficult for their clients to switch vendors. Although it is a high cost, some are doing it. The employees are very, very disappointed. They are pretty caustic. A corrosive kind of a culture exists, and these owners are pretty aware of it; yet, they are complacent.
OK is OK.
They’ve just been fed, and they are satiated. They are satisfied, and they are not willing to make a change. At the end of a pretty significant sales cycle that they understood (intellectually, they are very bright people – they get it) the CEO said, “Ed, we’re just OK for now.”
My response was, “If OK is OK with you, then I was really not your guy to begin with.”
You may view that as cynical or sarcastic, but I don’t mean it that way. My intent really was to cause an itch that will make this person think about it. Whether they do business with me or not is really inconsequential to me, but that they do something on behalf of their legacy, their employees, the families of their employees, and of course, their customers does matter a great deal to me. They could foster significant change if they decided to take action and do the things necessary to light that fire back in the organization that used to be there – the fire that helped it grow to the size it did.
Currently, it simply serves as a lifestyle business. It only serves a very small percentage of the stakeholders.
You can be happy with where you are and keep striving for excellence – for further and further achievement. It doesn’t mean you have to put off being happy simply because you’re continuing to try to grow.
But when you’re done growing, by all means, step aside.
Sell the business to someone else, promote someone from within, or find someone from outside the organization who can renew the zeal and zest that’s necessary to really lead an organization.
I believe there’s a moral obligation to do that, but not everyone sees it that way.
If you’re ready to step up from being OK to getting REAL RESULTS in your life and business, let me help you!
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Ed DeCosta is one of the most engaging executive coaches and thought leaders of our time. He delivers results with companies of all sizes, from high tech start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Ed is an ICF certified professional coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in international management from the University of Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas. Ed is also an adjunct faculty member in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics, teaching Professional Selling and entrepreneurship courses.