A friend called up last night to ask if a particular COO had called me to follow up on a presentation we did in December 2006. I replied not yet, and his immediate question to me was “so what are you going to do about it?” My answer was nothing… just wait.
In the line of work we do in MindSpring which is Accelerated Business Improvement, I have noticed something fairly consistent among CEO’s, that is; most CEO’s will only act with urgency on an issue that is causing them enough pain.
So when I meet CEOs and we talk about possible work, I rarely follow up because it is now my belief that if a problem is painful enough, they would be hounding me (or someone else) to help solve the problem. While our meeting may be intense at that point in time, and all the signals coming from the CEO are like “I need this yesterday” I doesn’t mean they are ready.
For our work to be most successful, we must see the urgency in the face and voice of the CEO. When we see the urgency, we know the pain is high and it is such a good indication that when we commence work, we will get support and commitment from the TOP.
In most cases, the CEO say “yes we need this and that” but the pain is still not high enough for them to act. And unless they are prepared to act and be committed to the coure of action, nothing is really going to change. WE still cold do work and we would still be paid, bit more likely then not, the transalation of that work and fees into results may be quite low.
This is really not surpising and is very refelctive of human behaviour. After all, how sick do we have to be before we go see a doctor, and how much more sick do we have to be before we agree to undergo an operation? Our mind makes decisions on the basis of our thresholds to pain (the pain pleasure principle).
No matter how much you tell a smoker to stop smoking, he will only stop when there is no more pleasure to be derived or when it is too painful to bear. Yet the smoker knows the facts, the side efects, the dangers etc. He has all the information and in theory the locigal action – which is to stop – should be QED, and yet it doesnt happen that way.
Contemplation is the time you start thinking about doing something to actually doing it. Action is when you actually do it. For many of us we confuse contemplation and action. While of this is happening, time is passing by…
tomorrow becomes yesterday by the passage of a single day
next month becomes last month by the passage of a single day
next year becomes last year by the passage of a single day