As one of the (apparently) few fans of Martha Stewart's Apprentice show, I liked to pick apart what happened on the show.
Some of Martha's apprentice candidates, including a few who were fired before the end of the show, deserved acknowledgement for their excellence in keeping the goal in mind. Usually, their only goal was making the most money in sales. It was not to net the most money; just to make the most in sales.
During the flower shop week, it was interesting to see how creative the corporate team could be. It reminded me of when I owned a retail store years ago and some customers asked me what I used to do for a living. When I told them I was an accountant, I enjoyed seeing the freaked-out expressions on their faces. You'd think I was going to be lining the store shelves with adding machines and columnar paper.
One of the corporate team members on Martha's apprentice show mentioned how they handled an area that was their weakness. She said, “The corporate team members know that when we're asked to do something that we don't know much about, we outsource it. " They called in a celebrity florist in New York City to help them figure out a strategy. As a back-up, they also had their “plan B, " which they implemented mid-day on their one-day sale in order to increase sales. They ended the day selling more than the other team.
Through the second and third week, it was interesting to see how one team constantly kept the goal in mind (make the most money from the project), while the other team would lose that perspective and seemed to find a new goal (such as, make something really cool and different). The creative team put so much work, effort, and concentration on the activities of the task that they just could not beat the sales figures of the opposing team.
It made me think about the business world at large. Do you have responsibility for directing a team of people? How well do you keep the goals in mind? How well do you help your team members keep the goals in mind? (It's a lot easier to do that for yourself than to help other people do the same. ) Do your team members get so buried in the tasks at hand that they can no longer envision the goals?
As the leader of a team, it is your job to make certain that the goals can be seen (which is the first step to ensuring that the goals can be attained). If people cannot envision the goal, they cannot reach those goals very easily! Make certain the goals are within your team's line of vision.
© 2006 Borgeson Consulting, Inc.
Glory Borgeson is a business coach and consultant, and the president of Borgeson Consulting, Inc. She works with two groups of people: small business owners (with 500 employees or less) to help them increase their Entrepreneurial IQ, which leads to increased profit and decreased stress; and with executives in the “honeymoon phase" of a new position (typically the first two years) to coach them to success. Top athletes have a coach; why not you?
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