Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Success Like a Pirate!

My daughter looked up from her homework and asked “Do you know why I don’t need to learn algebra?” “No, why not?” “Because only pirates need to find X” (insert groan here).

The Harvard Business review published an article this month about using the pirate hierarchy as an example of job design. In What 17th Century Pirates Can Teach Us About Job Design by Hayagreeva Rao . I believe we should take this example a different direction. Old school pirates knew where they were going. They had a map and they knew that X marked the spot.


Do you know where your organization is going? If you stood in front of your peers and asked “Are you with me?” What answer would you get? A resounding YES! Or a Where are we going?


If you do not have a plan you are in trouble. STOP everything you are doing and figure it out. Do you have a definition of success? If not how will you know when you get there? Assisting new franchisees with a start up operational plan is one of the training sessions I hold several times a year. I ask the questions in a couple different ways. What is your definition of success? Leaders probably have a couple definitions.


One would be personal, maybe it is to have your operations self sufficient enough so that you can sneak away and golf a few mornings a week, or maybe it is being able to take your family on a vacation each summer. What are your business goals? Is it a certain number of clients? Is it a defined dollar amount in the bank?
If your organization is so overwhelmed with the day to day of keeping business afloat, then you are lost at sea.

Let’s get started

Define your goal in quantifiable words
Share your goal with your team
Determine who is on board with you
Decide what each person will do to help the organization achieve this goal
Each person should then submit a plan, in writing, with steps, numbers and deadlines to reaching their part.
Determine re-evaluation dates and milestones
Celebrate your milestones and reward goals met
Follow your map and find X

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