Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Jan 9 - Brickwall Buster

Daily Report
Lesson: Is It Really a Brickwall? It Looks Flimsy
Lack of planning or poorly built structures do not create brickwalls.  Brickwalls are solid structures, with reliable foundations that are practically impossible to penetrate, ascend, or avoid.  What we mostly have are inconveniences. There’s a solution. We might not like our options, but that’s not a brickwall. It sucks, but it’s not a brickwall.

This past year, I attended a few executive coaching meetings.  I seem to be invited often to these monthly events. These events are intriguing.  One was for small business CEO’s that have a payroll of about $2million and sales of over $10 million, the other was for sales under $5million and up. Enrollment fees, should I wish to join, would be between $1000 to up to $7000 plus.  I’m not interested in joining or doing peer coaching for free. I do it for a living.  But, one day I was invited to a meeting and as usual I attended a peer coaching meeting.  It was an American company who was being purchased by a Japanese company. There were cultural differences, disgruntled angry employees who were on the American transition team who did not want to cooperate.  There was one accountant who refused to share his books, and the CEO who thought his job was to keep peace. Really a seven figure peace maker.

The perceived brickwall to the CEO was that the deal was not yet finalized, and it was months off schedule.  But I pointed out that wasn’t his brickwall.  The brickwall, were the hard choices.  No one had an incentive to cooperate.  The Japanese company could keep making interest on their money with no hard deadlines, and no penalties.  Who did this deal? The employees, who have been living in this community were not going out without a fight, this was a generational company for most of them.  Grandma and Grandpa had even worked there. And everyone was running on fear of losing their jobs. A real fear. The peacemaker could not be the guy in the middle.

“Who is your liason to the Japanese company? I asked”  “Me” he proudly announced. “Who is leading the transitional team?” “Me,” he repeated boldly.  “Who is meeting with workers and giving updates?” Once again the answer was “Me!”

There was no way, this CEO could see pass the wall that held him and his employees on the inside and the Japanese on the outside.  Where was the door? And why were they all crammed in that one walled space?  Plus, if you are working internationally, you really need to understand the culture. Deadlines can be expectedly very fluid.

When you discuss brickwalls with small business and corporate 500’s alike, you get the same “but…” responses.  There’s never a shortage on “but” answers. I know I’m wearing them down when it changes from “but you don’t understand” to “I understand, but.”  Most are stuck in their myopic view.  Yet, it’s the big picture, the long view that will get you to the correct solution.  And rarely can we get there alone. 

I became known as the Brickwall Buster! 

The five roles of a Brickwall Expert?  The person who can do the following
  1. Assess the situation – The Scout
  2. Analyze the solution for optimal results - The Prospector
  3. Plan a successful strategy to conquer the problem at hand – The Visionary
  4. Put all the players in place – The Project Manager
  5. And implement the plan – The Coach 
It doesn’t matter the size of your dream - sole proprietor, budding entrepreneur, small business, corporate or in a state of personal transition, you must be able to see past the wall you’ve built, and be willing to tear it down, in order to reach your goal. 

Truly, it’s sometimes just making hard choices, because most walls in front of us are pretty flimsy.

Kathleen Brandt
Put It Into Action Series

No comments:

Post a Comment