Remember, agenda’s are flawed, it’s true, there has yet to be an agenda that didn’t have a negative impact on any group or organization. For every special interest group, the chosen ones, power brokers, no matter what you call them, that’s are where the flaws live. Very rarely does the interests or good of others come to mind by those with an agenda, even if they believe their agenda favors everyone.
Agenda’s typically come from a person, or person’s, who want a specific thing to happen, or a desired outcome, they truly believe this is the way to achieve it. Agenda’s tend to be self serving, they come from a sense of power to drive the wants and needs of an individual.
The flaws are human in nature, they are power hungry, and normally short sighted, unless the agenda is determined through a process that sees it is good for everyone. Every group and organization wrestles with this demon, there is no permanent cure.
Tactics and strategy are the clothes of the agenda, we hide behind them, as we do in our personal life and our work life. Everyone has an agenda, we dress it up to prevent the truth from being revealed. Agenda’s are what makes us human, it’s what makes our business human.
If we claim to question the status quo, but never the motives of an agenda, what good is in the agenda, we set ourselves up to fail. But failing is good right, yet another set of clothes to hide the truth. We justify everything, even our agenda’s, so remember, agenda’s are flawed.
We think of the future a lot don’t we, it feels so far away and yet it’s right there, right now, right in front of you. When we were about to escape high school, we had great plans, we talked about all the fun things we were going to do, the great things we were going to accomplish. It was all so exciting and fresh, it was something new, it wasn’t school…..or was it. Some keep going to school, others stop learning, many of you just accepted what happened, we often call it the school of hard knocks. The later is also known as a dream squasher, it tests our strength, our willingness to persist, it reveals the depth of our desire, but most give up to soon.
I am a Baby Boomer, I grew up believing everything would turn out just fine, the industrial age system wouldn’t fail us, so I thought. For the most part everything has turned out fine in my little world, but yet, here I sit suffering in my sadness. My sadness comes from my own disappointments, that I haven’t done more, that I haven’t helped as many people as I thought I would, I feel that I haven’t made the world a better place. I have felt most of my life, judged, not included, and worse yet, I have always felt like an outsider. Sounds like I need counseling doesn’t it? I believe we all go through these emotional states at some point in our lives, we are all very much alike, we just execute differently.
It’s taken many years for me to see the world differently, in fact, it’s taken 55+ years of study, hard knocks, bad decisions, raising a family, holding high level positions, and learning to love the unlovable. I am the sum of all that I have experienced, all that the world has thrown at me, and yet, I still have hope, I still have much to do and to achieve. I was told by my Father, just as you probably were, the world is not a friendly place, it doesn’t care about you, so you have to be in control, take charge of your future. Some of us believed our Fathers, we took it to heart only to find out the world is different. My Fathers world is not my world, in fact, I don’t have control of the world, and never will have, but I do have control over how I respond to it. And that my friends is the secret to a great life, and a great future in business should you chose to.
You see, the future of business needs a world that doesn’t keep score on individuals, and that’s where the rules can be broken, because the world doesn’t care, we just think it does. You see, most think the world will come them, give them what they want, whenever they want it, or at least believe that’s how it should be. If it was, there would be no need for Lotteries, we all eventually would be rich beyond our wildest dreams. Somehow, we have built a world unwilling to wait, unwilling to work, the world now expects, it’s an entitlement theology. We have taken what we already have for granted.
We sell ourselves short far too often, we don’t believe in ourselves enough, we all say we don’t care what other people think, yet we wait to be picked. There it is, the problem becomes obvious. We attach our happiness on things, on whether or not people approve, and if we get picked. We all on some level are waiting to be picked, it’s what happens when you submit a resume, when you play sports, even when you pick your friends. The future of business doesn’t play by this rule, that’s the beauty of it, you get to decide how you will respond to this broken idea of being picked. As Seth Godin says, don’t wait to be picked, pick yourself.
You get to decide your preferred future, your preferred business of the future, chose to respond by picking you first, then your business has a far better chance of making a difference in the world. If you are in business or even have a Blog, we are waiting to be picked, waiting for someone to buy our products / services, waiting to like our blog posts, hoping someone will like what we have to say or offer. It’s a catch 22 isn’t it? How do we escape this seemingly inescapable, vicious circle? The secret is in how you respond to it, you still get to decide, you still get to pick you.
You now have the power to build your preferred future, your preferred business of the future. The question you really want to answer is, is your preferred future or business going to change the world, make it a better place. Forget about being famous or rich, focus on small random acts of kindness, provide service with caring behind it, do something that helps others first before yourself. It’s been said, if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want. It sounds corny, it sounds and feels uncomfortable, it’s called humility, and that’s always uncomfortable.
Humility is another key to success, it is the heart of small town rules in business, it’s why we build barns for our neighbors.
I’m a little long winded today, but it’s on my heart because so many are struggling. We give away our power to others, hoping we’ll get picked, take your power and us it for good, pick yourself, stop giving it away and create your preferred business of the future. Build a human business.
What Makes Your Business Unique?
Some always asks this question, it’s a way of measuring whether that someone should do business with you or not. I was on a Forum this week and someone posted the thread title exactly as this post.
Let’s do this, let’s say you own a business with a saturated market, you and thousands like you sell and support the exact same product & service. You have the same inventory, you have almost identical costs. You can’t just say you have the world’s best support and get away with it. So what is more important, uniqueness, or solving a problem? Do people do business with you because you are different (unique), or because you actually solve a problem?
Is it a chicken & egg thing? I frequent a restaurant here in my community, it’s unique only in that they do something to the food. They have tables, waiters & waitresses, menu’s, alcohol, friendly staff, and good service. How do they make it? I mean there are literally hundreds of restaurants in my community, why should I eat at this location? Because they are unique? I don’t go there because they are different.
They do solve a problem for me, but I can get my problem solved anywhere, so why do I keep going back to this establishment. It’s simple really, and it should be for you. The common denominator for me is not uniqueness or a problem being solved, it’s because of the relationship I have with the owners. Ya, the food they serve is different, it’s an acquired taste for this old man, the food is fabulous. I know we don’t think of hunger as a problem that needs to be solved in this country, but if we were in a 3rd world country with a food shortage, that would be different. They would be solving my problem of hunger…if I could get in, or could afford to eat there.
All businesses should do one thing extremely well, and that is to make sure, no matter what the cost, your customers don’t have a reason to speak poorly about you and your business. How are you doing with that, and how do you measure your success & failure, better yet, how quickly do you fix the brokenness?
While sifting through the Forums posts on this topic, someone posted a funny, in reference to the question of uniqueness. They said, we’ve got a dragon : ) that is kinda cool isn’t it. I would probably come see you if you had a dragon.
So, is it more important to be different, does being different bring you business? It might if you solve a problem in a cool unique way, in a way no one has ever done before. But it still has to solve a problem, it can’t just be a novelty, or an amusing thing.
I do believe it’s a combination of being unique, solving a problem, while maintaining and or building on the relationship with your clients. It’s a small town rule thing, everyone wants to be treated special, with respect, and most of all, they want to know you care before they do. So which is it, uniqueness, solving a problem, or is it the relationship? By today’s standards, not yesterdays. And just what are those standards anyway?
What do you think is more important, uniqueness or solving a problem?