Motivation is fickle; count on discipline

The above quote is from Jocko Willink retired Navy Seal commander who received both the Silver and Bronze Stars for his work while active in the Navy. The military’s elite forces are great training grounds for business due to their expertise in high level goal achievement under the toughest circumstances.

Who among us has tried to achieve significant change but failed? I know I have.

The simple fact is that motivation tends to wain. Consider New Years resolutions. They’re something people make every year but typically by this time in the year April, they’ve been abandoned and likely forgotten. Not for lack of care or motivation. It’s just that motivation takes a lot of effort. Not only that “self control” is a finite and depleting resource.

Consider the following study from Wired: Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, calls this “ego depletion,” and he proved its existence by sitting students next to a plate of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. Some were allowed to snack away, others ordered to abstain. Afterward, both groups were asked to complete difficult puzzles. The students who’d been forced to resist the cookies had so depleted their reserves of self-control that when faced with this new task, they quickly threw in the towel. The cookie eaters, on the other hand, had conserved their willpower and worked on the puzzles longer.

Rather than count on motivation; build in the disciplines or habits to take your company to success. The number one most important habit is that of Focus. Most entrepreneurs are incredibly  creative but it’s also their enemy. They create a knee jerk or flavor of the week experience in their organizations which causes organizational drama and shrunken profit.

The process of Strategic Planning done on a habitual basis creates the main priorities for the next 10 years, 3-5 years, 1year, and quarter. This allows the team to focus only on the things in the plan. The One Page Strategic Plan. Everything else that pops up in between planning sessions live in a parking lot until the next quarterly planning session. This discipline is the only way to achieve strong net profits and happy customers. If you need help with strategic planning or setting company priorities, reach out today. We’re experts in this area and love to help high growth companies keep focus and discipline on the main thing.