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A New Frame Of Reference – Second Key

Written by: David Campbell, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


In my last article, about developing a new frame of reference, the first of four keys was that we should Develop the owner, not the business. The second key follows:

old brass keys

Influence at cause not effect

Imagine you’re cutting a fine course under sail. The ship is ploughing through the swell, the sound of the bow wave establishing with that constant swoosh, then suddenly, all momentum is lost. There is no sudden jolt or crash. You have just stopped sailing! What is your reaction? Panic? Add more sail? Break out the oars? NO, look to the sails. Observe the ship. Have you run aground? So many possible answers. You don’t just hoist more sail in an attempt to keep going. There are more effective remediations you can employ. Understand why! Understand what is happening and address the cause not the effect.

We used to have a saying in the Navy, “Don’t run, it panics the troops” I have no idea where that came from but it is so true. Remaining calm in the midst of upheaval is the source of strength that your crew draws upon. That said, it’s important to have an understanding of the influence that your staff has. Your vitally important staff. They need to be ‘on board’ with what you’re trying to achieve. Have that conversation. Expand the analogy. Get them enthused about goals here.

If your business is running along really well and all of a sudden something goes awry, you can pour money down the drain in terms of marketing or increase production. I say Stop! Take a good hard look at what just happened and plan your next move. What you need to do is actually understand why this sudden and frightening loss of momentum occurred. You need to observe and assess. And you need to address the cause, not the effect.

There are just so many possibilities. You may be thinking that you don’t have enough sail up, or that the crew is unable to cope with the sail in the current conditions or I’m not protecting my ship against potential invaders, or... or...–there are any number of things you could consider. You feel the ship is slowly falling apart because you’re not maintaining it–the same applies to your business.

You know, you’ve felt it like this before. These trepidations hold in terms of business too. If you haven't got the right people on board, you need to ramp up your business so that more people do things with you and for you, and always in the most productive and beneficial way. You can't keep doing everything yourself–unless of course, you’re happy to remain on a small vessel that’s simply trading in coastal waters.

Ultimately, you need to ensure that you have enough people on board so that you can actually influence the cause, and not keep promoting the effect. This means you’re not reacting; you're actually responding to what's going on.

Do you find yourself always addressing the effect or are you able to focus your efforts on the cause? This is where having a business coach is so helpful.

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David Campbell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David is an exceptionally experienced executive coach. He is an exceptional public speaker who challenges the way organisations and individuals think in relation to business and life. has led reform within a number of organisations and brings a unique understanding of the pressures in both the public and private sectors. He understands the changing requirements and time frames within the business environment and has considerable experience in leading, managing and coaching geographically dispersed (remote) teams. David brings a new insight into the way we think into our success in business to realise exceptional results.



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