“What got you here won’t get you there.”
- Marshall Goldsmith
I have a habit that drives my wife crazy. When traveling, I accidentally keep the room keys to the hotels. Being the creature of habit that I am, I tend to stay at the Hampton Inn whenever possible. On a recent trip I decided to conduct an experiment.
I attempted to use the Hampton Inn key from my previous stay in the door of my current hotel. I slid the key and was disappointed that it did not work. The problem was that I was trying to go through a new door with an old key! If you have ever tried to get to the next level by doing what got you to where you are, you can relate to this experience. What then is the key to your success that will save time?
Who, Why, What
Whenever I get to a new level, I ask myself three questions:
- Who is currently on that level that has the results that I want?
- Why are they successful?
- What do they do that I can duplicate to get the same results?
For example, early in my career I received a promotion to District Manager of a national automotive chain with responsibility over 16 stores. The district assigned had a history of poor customer satisfaction and always ranked at the bottom of the organization in this category.
Initially, I attempted to solve the problem by doing what made me successful as single unit manager. This resulted in several weeks of frustration and embarrassment as our customer service scores ranked last in the company! I was so frustrated that I scheduled a meeting with my boss to ask him what he thought I could do to improve.
Instead of answering my questions, my boss asked me the following: “Who has the best customer service results in the company? Why is he successful? What does he do that you could duplicate in your District?"
After this conversation, I contacted the top performing district manager and discovered that we were doing many of the same things to improve customer service. However, there was one method of communication that he was using with his team that I had been neglecting. Although it seemed minor, I decided to give it a try. Once I implemented his strategy, my district went from dead last, to well above the national average in customer service results within three weeks!
Asking the Who-Why-What questions were the keys that took me to the next level. Remember, what got you here won’t get you there! If you know of someone that needs the “key”, please forward this post using the share buttons at the bottom of this post.
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
PS. For more information that will help you to save time, download my ebook.