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Passion and heart drive the numbers you want

The numbers of your business measure its performance and efficiency. The numbers measure the collective determination of the team you lead to not only achieve your goal - but to surpass it. The numbers measure your ability to inspire and ignite the passion that exists within every employee. The numbers measure your resolve to lead your company through a crisis. The numbers tell you when you're winning or losing the business game. Yes, the numbers speak volumes about your business and your qualities as a leader.

In the end, the numbers are nothing more than numbers. Yet, because business is about money and success, leaders can become "all about the numbers." They obsess over scoreboards, daily reports, critical numbers and financial reports. Their words sound like, "We're behind goal. Productivity is down. You didn't make your numbers. Sell more. We're over-budget." The downside of being "all about the numbers" is forgetting that numbers are simply lifeless digits.

In the daily grind of competing in a predatory economy, driving the numbers can override the most potent success factors - passion and heart. Passion and heart drive the numbers. Passion and heart win championships. Passion and heart not only achieve goals - they are the energy that surpasses business goals.

If "all about the numbers" has become your leadership mantra, your best intentions may be sapping the life out of those you lead. Consider the following no-compromise strategies to put the energy of passion and heart behind the numbers you so desperately want to achieve:

  • What is the passion and heart of your business? You and your employees get out of bed and go to work every day. Why? If it's just to get a paycheck, it's a sure bet that passion and heart are in short supply. I get out of bed every day and go to work to help business leaders survive and thrive in these crazy times. When leaders see nothing but gloom and doom, I help them see and move toward daylight. Does the work of your company serve the greater good? Does it make someone's day? Does it provide solutions? Whatever it is, put it on a pedestal and shine a spotlight on it, so you and every member of your team can see and feel why your business exists.

  • Cheer, celebrate and awaken your company's passion and heart. Money may be tight. The bills may be piled high. The funk of missing a goal may have deflated company morale. It may even feel as though your employees are plotting a mutiny. If you think announcing that the numbers need to get better, and get better fast, is going to ignite the passion to win, you need to snap out of it. What would happen if the equivalent of a marching band playing "Stars and Stripes" paraded through your company? Remember as kid how you could feel that big bass drum beating in your stomach? Wake up your team with an overdose of cheering and celebrating. Throw some Jiffy Pop in the microwave. Play with noisemakers. Open the window and let the fresh air in and the gloom and doom out. Have some fun.

  • Be with your people. Smile. Make eye contact. Ask employees how they're doing. Listen to each one as if both of you are the only two people left on earth. Stop being so stingy with your positive reinforcement and say "good job." Let them see the real you inside and show them that you care about them, their concerns and their wellbeing.

Rekindle the passion and heart that most certainly does exist in your company. It's there even in the darkest times. If you do, you'll find that even the loftiest goals are within your reach.

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.

Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO and author of No-Compromise Leadership


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