The Fastest 105 Days of the Year
Welcome to the early fall reset from the team at Banyan.
Wait, isn’t it still the beginning of August? Why are we talking about the fall?
The answer lies in the nuanced tension that exists between our weather-defined seasons and our local school districts ever-changing calendar. Over the past decade school has gone from starting after Labor Day to early or mid-August in much of the country.
Thus begins a 105 day period of the year that takes us right up to Thanksgiving. From our experience this fast fall finish is chock full of commerce and commotion.
Here are a few of our ideas and tips for you to consider in the different theaters of your life.
We advise people to create a word for each calendar year that can act like a north star. If your word got lost in the fragmentation of summer, considering puling it out and reorienting your heading. Jon Gordon does a nice job outlining this here.
Right below that vision-crafting word sits a series of goals which can often be tied to a personal mission or quest.
What is possible for you in the following areas in the next 105 days?
• Extended Family
• Community Service
An insight we have benefited from in recent years is that we can’t do it all, and that we are not proficient when we switch between too many tasks at once. Consider pulling out our task organizing template and sit down with a trusted friend or spouse and prioritize your mission critical projects. If you need a listening buddy, email us and we would be happy to lend you an ear.
YOU AT WORK
Hopefully you kissed some of the joy of summer as it flew by, put the memories in a jar, and blessed them with gratitude. Being able to do this, regardless of how full your jar is can be vital as you shift your focus to the fall.
IF YOU HAVE A BOSS:
Put yourself in their shoes and think through how they are looking at the next 18 months of their life. Understanding begins with observation, and if you are looking for a primer to help you in this area consider using our mapping your boss template.
IF YOU ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS:
If you acquire customers for your company and have an annual sales number this time of year can be fantastic or frightful. Careful pipeline and funnel management will help you decide where to allocate your most precious asset: your time.
Here are a few questions for you to review:
• Can the prospect live without your offering now?
• If they have determined they can’t live without your offering, do they have the dollars budgeted for this year or next?
• After they have become a customer, who is going to be your internal champion of your offering for the first 18 months?
• What are the chances that internal champion leaves or gets promoted during those 18 months and do you have a backup person identified?
• Within your pipeline, where are your gaps? Are you falling in love with your later stage deals that still have hair on them because you don’t like the rejection that exists in the early stages? Be careful of this trap at all times of the year, but especially right now.
IF YOU RUN A TEAM:
If you run a team or own the company, then you are most likely looking forward to getting back to full strength. The summer feels like you are 20% light as people take time off.
If your metrics show you are behind it can be a difficult time for you. Part of you wants to make dramatic changes and only see the downside in your market and your people.
Some business advisers suggest a strategy of tilting the table on your people in order to keep them paranoid and always on edge.
We have labeled this the Superbowl Myth because so many leaders try to emulate sports when motivating their people. The challenge with this notion is that sports teams have off-seasons and athletes are typically playing for less than three years. They are in the entertainment industry, which is always looking for something new. It is by definition transitional.
In contrast, many companies are looking to build a relationship with a customer that is as long and as mutually beneficial as possible. A great way to increase the lifetime value of your customer is to have employees that are able to think creatively and in harmony with each other, and the customer. They are constantly innovating together.
Consider setting up a thinking framework that allows you to see how you and your team are working with and dealing with tension. Are you only able to get things accomplished when you add so much pressure that it is like throwing a tiger in the room? Or, do you have a heading established and are moving towards that heading with the pace and purpose that comes from everyone being on the same page with respects to the priorities?
Setting a goal and allowing the right amount of tension to build within a team is the leader's charge. Chances are your team is not trying to win one championship and then take three months off. You need to win every day.
Think through the game you are trying to get everyone to play, and then seek to enter into a state of consensual interdependence with your team to properly prioritize the work goals together.
YOU AT PLAY
Steven Johnson TED Talk - The playful wonderland behind great inventions.
If this summer taught us anything it is that the blending of science and art makes for an amazing cocktail of creativity in both settings.
With fall being such a season of production, we end with the suggestion that you allocate some daily time to whatever art distracts you the most. No matter the form, consider building in some unstructured play to your day.
Don’t worry about accomplishment inside your art. Do it for your soul. Watch what happens as things from the pursuit part of your life fall into place almost by accident as you are having fun.
We wish you a great start to the fall, and will be back in October with more learning and observations. For more of our writings for business visit www.banyantreestrategies.com and for our writings for people visit www.drewsanders.com.
Complete Annual Newsletter Volumes