The Habits You Keep Define You

In today’s Coffee…

  • Exploring your habits

  • 519 words, total reading time about 2-1/2 minutes

You can transform yourself into the person you want to be, but you have to decide early because the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. – Warren Buffett

As entrepreneurs we are adept at developing our own thing, our own way of running a business. And, for most of us, it proves to work out. Each habit creeps into our daily routine; our way of thinking about things until they are firmly cemented in what we do. Our habits influence everyone around us, good and bad.

Most people put up with us because they know they can’t change us. However, the best of the best always challenges the status quo. They push the envelope. They develop habits and approaches that constantly improve and adapt to changing conditions.

So which habits help? And, which habits hurt?

A habit of being too busy can hurt. A habit of always reacting eventually fails. A habit of going it alone, not seeking advice or mentorship; many times limits one’s success. A habit of not listening well, can destroy relationships and the spirit of the team. A habit of accepting less than stellar results will surely be fulfilled. In many companies, chaos is a habit and perhaps a shared habit at that.

So, what good habits can you develop to change your trajectory?

You might start by creating a habit of accountability, with yourself and those on the team. Use meaningful data for feedback, meet to discuss why expectations are not being met or when they are what drives them. Focus on what you can do better. You may need to clearly understand the gap in performance to manage these habits.

Habits like effective short meetings, like reviewing every project after completion for successes and weaknesses; can be great habits to develop.

A habit of not procrastinating, can serve you well too. Handle things once and to completion. Don’t delay.

Developing a habit of getting to root causes versus attempting to manage symptoms can save time, money and rub off on team members as well.

One good exercise is to make a list of good and bad habits as a team. Prioritize those that need attention. Check on progress in changing them.

Let's take one habit that is legendary in the Ci business.

It is simply: review every proposal before it goes to the client. Check it for meeting your pricing standard, for creativity within the client’s desires and yes for all other practical matters (degree of difficulty, business fit, chances of the install beating the bid, etc.). Do not let habit, convenience or laziness keep you from delivering the best proposal for you and the client. This habit when well understood by your salespeople and technicians will raise all ships. All expectations will rise in a positive way. Trust me. Try it.

If you get a chance pick up the book and read, THE POWER OF HABIT, by Charles Duhigg, it just might set you on a new path. Here’s to developing the best habits you can.

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