Change management and mindset shift: reduction to the essentials


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Text comes from: The One Thing. Die überraschend einfache Wahrheit über außergewöhnlichen Erfolg (2017) of Gary Keller & Jay Papasan, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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How do you become successful? Above all, crises always show us where we have to change something fundamentally in order to do something different. And every change works like a domino effect.

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Gary Keller is chairman of the board, Jay Papasan vice president of Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

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The biggest domino effect in the world

On November 13, 2009, the Domino Day, Weijers Domino Productions in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands organized the greatest domino effect in the world by placing more than 4.491.863 dominoes into an impressive construction. A single domino, which was subsequently set in motion, sent a wave through the ingenious structure, which in turn caused all the stones to fall over, releasing more than 94.000 kilojoules of energy. This corresponds to the energy that a medium-sized man needs for 545 pushups.

Each domino represents a small amount of potential energy; the more stones you put up, the greater the total potential energy. If you set up enough dominoes, you can start a chain reaction of impressive power with a small hand movement - as Weijers Domino Production proved. If one thing - the right one - is set in motion, it can trigger a real chain reaction. And that's not all.

Like little things move big

In 1983, Lorne Whitehead wrote in the American Journal of Physics magazine that he found that the energy released by a domino effect can move not only many things, but also big things. This is how he described how a single domino can cause another domino that is one and a half times as large to fall over. Do you recognize the effects? In this way you can not only bring down other things, but also increasingly larger things. In 2001, a physicist at the San Francisco Exploratorium reproduced Whitehead's experiment by making eight dominoes from plywood, each 50 percent larger than the previous stone. The first stone was only five centimeters and the last one was almost 90 times larger.

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On July 7, 1991, the earth moved for 112 minutes. She didn't really do that, but it felt that way. I was watching the very successful comedy City Slickers and the audience's laughter boomed through the whole cinema. This comedy, considered one of the funniest films of all time, also contained unexpected bits of wisdom and knowledge. In a memorable scene, Curly, the daredevil cowboy played by the late Jack Palance, and Mitch (Billy Cristal), the Midlife Crisis metropolis, leave the group to catch lost cattle. The two of them argued for most of the film, but when they ride side by side, they finally find a connection through a conversation about life in general and in particular. Suddenly Curly stops his horse and turns to Mitch in the saddle.

Das Geheimnis des Lebens

Curly: Do you know the secret of life? Mitch: No, what is it? Curly: That. [He puts a finger in the air.] Mitch: Your finger? Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You concentrate on that and everything else is a shit. Mitch: Great, but what is this "one thing"? Curly: This is what you need to find out.

A fictional character tells us the secret of success. Whether the screenwriters were aware of it or accidentally stumbled upon it, at least they had written down the absolute truth. Focusing on ONE thing is the best way to achieve your goal. I didn't understand that until much later. I had succeeded, but it wasn't until I hit an invisible wall that I began to see the connection between my goals and the methods I tried to use to achieve them. In less than a decade, we had built a successful company with national and international expansion efforts, but suddenly nothing wanted to work anymore. Despite all the intense efforts and hard work, my life was a tumult and it felt like everything was crumbling around me. I was on my way to fail.

How coaching changes life

In the end I looked for help and found it in the form of a coach. I explained my situation to him and we talked about the personal and professional challenges I faced. We checked my goals and ideas about my future life. After my coach had a comprehensive picture of all problems, he looked for solutions and did intensive research. When we sat down again, he pinned my organization chart - essentially an overview of the entire company - to the wall. Our discussion started with a simple question: "Do you know what you need to do to turn your situation around?" I had no idea.

He said there was only one thing I had to do. He had identified 14 positions that needed to be filled, and he believed that with the right people in these key positions, my company, my work, and my life would experience a radical positive change. I was shocked and said I thought that much more was needed than that. He replied, "No. Jesus needed twelve apostles, you need 14. ”It was a transformative moment. It was never in me Sense that you can change so much with so little. It became apparent that I thought I was focused, but was probably not focused enough. Finding fourteen suitable candidates was clearly the most important thing I could do. Based on this conversation, I made a serious decision. I fired myself. I stepped down as CEO and focused fully on finding the 14 people mentioned.

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On the growth path with perfect matches

This time the earth was really moving. We went on a sustainable growth path within three years; Over the course of a decade, we grew an average of 40 percent annually. We developed from a regional provider to an international competitor. We achieved extraordinary results and remained on the road to success. Something else happened as part of this sustainable turnaround: The phrase "ONE thing" was memorized. After I found 14 competent people, I worked with each of our top managers on their respective career and business goals.

Out of habit I ended our coaching phone calls with a recap of the things we had agreed to deal with until our next interview. Many did most of the tasks discussed, but not necessarily the most important, and this was reflected in the results. As a result, frustration spread. In an effort to help them succeed, I shortened my list: If you could only do three things this week ... if you could only do these two things this week ...

Reduction to the essentials

Finally, out of desperation, I reduced my expectations to the bare minimum and asked, "What ONE thing can you do this week that completing all other tasks will make it easier or even unnecessary?" And then something really impressive happened. The results suddenly improved many times over. After this experience, I looked back at my successes and failures and discovered an interesting pattern. Whenever I was very successful, I focused on one thing; and whenever I had varying successes, my focus was also not consistent. Then a light came on.

If everyone has the same number of hours a day, why do some seem to do so much more than others? How do you make them do more, achieve more, earn more and have more? If time is the currency of performance, why do some succeed in doing more than others in their time? The answer is that they focus on the essentials. You reduce. If you want the absolute best chance of success in everything you do, you should always use the same approach: reduce your work to the essentials. Reducing means ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should instead. It means recognizing that not all things are equally important and identifying things that have top priority.

The connection of activities and goals

In this way, you create a closer connection between your activities and your goals. This is the realization that extraordinary results are determined directly by how much you can focus your focus. In order to fully utilize your working hours and your life in general, you have to concentrate on the absolutely essential. Most people believe the opposite. They believe that great success is time-consuming and complicated. As a result, their calendar and to-do lists are so overloaded that they feel overwhelmed. Success slips away from them, and finally they are satisfied with half things. They don't notice that great success comes when we do a few things excellently, and they get bogged down so that in the end they don't do anything properly. Over time, they lower their expectations, say goodbye to their dreams, and allow their lives to become smaller and smaller. This is the wrong kind of reduction.

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You have a limited amount of time and energy, so if you get bogged down, you won't be able to focus on anything properly. You want to achieve as much as possible, but instead you tend to achieve less. You need to do fewer things more effectively instead of doing more things half-heartedly. The problem with being split up is that it produces a lot of unwanted side effects, even if you manage to dance to a thousand weddings at the same time: missed deadlines, disappointing results, high stress levels, long working days, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, no exercise and too little Spending time with family and friends - all in the name of a goal that is easier to achieve than you imagine. Getting down to the essentials is an easy way to get great results, and it works. It always works, everywhere and in all areas. Why? Because it has only one purpose - to focus on the essentials. If you concentrate your concentration to the maximum, you are pursuing one thing. And that's what it's about.


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