"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
- Sermon on the Mount
Jesus has just dropped some serious knowledge on these people. It is not that he was saying anything inconsistent with all the teachings the people were following, but this time they heard and received it differently. It goes on to say that the people were amazed because he taught as one who had authority and not as their regular teachers of the law did. (We could write an entire book on those few sentences alone!)
What we encounter when we meet the very intentional business leaders we work with is people who largely know what needs to be done. They are operating from a foundational faith that has clarified how they are supposed to operate. They have read, listened, joined, and attended enough things to know what they are supposed to be doing to change their businesses.
The problem is that it is really difficult to put them into practice.
The last thing we are suffering from is a lack of knowledge.
But like a business version of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, it seems that something is set against everything we try to do in the right direction. Despite all we know that we must do, it is as if the whisper of our enemy is the perfect antidote to our best of intentions.
Every step forward meets resistance:
- You can implement those new ideas next year.
- You can’t really change anything until you get all the right people around you.
- Make your business better? You just need to survive!
- When the economy gets better, you can think about doing all those things to improve your business.
- All those concepts and ideas sound good in books, but they don’t work in the real world.
- You’re already doing all you can do.
- You don’t have time to establish culture, build a team, or craft and fulfill an inspired vision.
- You’re already doing enough just to listen, read, and attend things that intend the right things. Most folks aren’t even doing that!
We always say that the right time to do the right thing…is as soon as possible.
Right time for the right thing? ASAP.
But it is easy to see why it doesn’t happen. And in a sad and sobering confirmation, the 125 business leaders we surveyed said that all those conferences, books, podcasts, and executive board experiences they were partaking in, really weren’t doing much to change the course of their businesses as a result.
I was a little shocked by the results of our survey, but in another way, I wasn’t surprised. So much is set against us building our businesses and lives upon a really firm foundation.
Those we surveyed told us what they were most looking for and not finding were:
- Integration of their personal, professional, and spiritual lives.
- Real measurable change in their companies.
We mined the best practices from all the other great executive board experiences and integrated the successful roadmap we take every commercial client down to create a new way to do things. Our one year experiment is yielding humbling results.
- teams have been established
- new directions have emerged
- companies are measurably changed from a year ago
- owners are operating with tremendously greater clarity and margin
This month we are sitting in a posture of thanksgiving with all our members and teaching them to take stock and then celebrate all that change with their teams. How great is that?!
If you are tired of merely knowing all the right things to do, but are truly interested in putting them into practice, we should talk. We still have a few spots available for our next group starting in January.
Maybe it is time to try something different, because old Screwtape is still prowling like a roaring lion.
- Are you tired of arriving at the same place at the end of every year?
- Was 2017 another year of the best of intentions, but where very little of your hopes came to fruition?
- Are you really ready to put the things you know you should do, into practice?
- What needs to change in order to arrive at a different destination next year?