Remember those classic parenting guides you turned to for help? And what they told you about what baby’s development looks like in those early years? Crying, clinging, and crankiness are signals of progress. Same thing goes for the growth of your company or for you throughout the the course of your career. So don’t fear it, be ready to go through it.
The path to seeing customers or colleagues to make progress and grow takes us through an uncomfortable phase – not unlike the ‘terrible twos’ – which will likely lead to real resistance. Almost everyone has difficulty with change – funnily enough, younger generations don’t seem to readily embrace the unknown any better than their predecessors!
I once worked with someone who had so much potential – talented, ambitious, motivated. She liked to point out how I had always encouraged her to keep climbing and become my successor. As soon as I left that company, she chose to fall back to the role she’d had five years prior – keeping things in the comfort zone and, above all, avoiding any unwelcome surprises. It seemed like a waste of potential.
One of the few positive things about lockdown was that people seemed to be open to making changes, for example, different working hours, remote work, fewer traffic jams. Is it finally time where we think twice about making people commute every day on such a ridiculous scale?
A while back, I worked with young and highly regarded colleagues whom I kindly dubbed “old people minds in young people bodies”. They walked in around 9am, went home just before dinner time, and Friday night the “work phone” was turned off, left behind or ignored for 2 days. Email Monday-Friday only. Concerned about the state of the environment, but all driving at the same time during rush hour. Very busy during normal office hours and completely booked with other matters outside of that. As a result, people greatly looked forward to the weekend and lived for vacations (taking their electric cars to the airport.)
Growing and thriving with a 105-hour work week
In my own growth, I’ve found there’s a better way to divvy up work life and real life according to what I call the 105-hour work week. Early in the morning, I grab a cup of coffee and, before anything else, spend an hour going through email and preparing for what’s ahead. I do the same thing at the end of the day before bed. I use each of those moments to get ready and ask myself the important questions: what am I looking forward to, what do I want to achieve. In the evening, I also ask myself what did I learn and what am I going to do differently or change based on that. Both blocks of time are followed by a nice long walk with my dogs.
Phone calls all in the morning or while I’m in the car, and I avoid the rush hours and heavy traffic whenever possible. For a face-to-face meeting, I always find out where the person lives and works and see if I can work in a time that’s ‘on the way’ to somewhere else I’m going. And I never take a meeting that’s longer than one hour. I’ve been doing this seven days a week for as long as I remember and have greatly enjoyed it along with enjoying the results – it gives you a nice, broad range of time in which to get things done while preserving plenty of time to relax, move and think. It really is possible: being available 105 hours a week and having time for yourself.
It is great seeing how SalesPulse’s customers and partners all implement growth and change in their own way. Yet we all have one thing in common: we have a Dream, we dare to take on a new form and we believe in ContinuousNext. Together, we are working on a book about growth with an explanation of our methodology and lots of practical, actionable, real-life examples – more on that later.