Today, more than ever, the old expression, What have you done for me lately, is truer than ever. In our hypercompetitive world, if you are not delivering results, you’re gone.
This likely is a big part of the explanation as to why Americans in particular tend to not use most of their hard earned vacation time. Ya gotta be workin it always to deliver some results. And if you are on vacation, you can’t be working it.
One of the things we have noticed though is hard work and quantity of time put in do not necessarily equal results, no matter how hard ya workin it.
We have recognized if you want to achieve results, the first thing to do is determine whether your product or service is making a difference in the lives of the customers you are seeking. In working with many start-ups for example, too often they focus on their technology, their uniqueness, getting their piece of the market and they are truly driven to get results.
Yet, often if you ask those same start-ups whether what they provide really matters to the customers and if yes, and then ask, how much so does it matter, you are more likely to get an over inflated explanation about their uniqueness or first mover advantage. Neither uniqueness, nor being a first mover, like hard work, and time spent necessarily equal results.
This is not just a commentary on start-ups, but many firms lose sight of what matters to customers. As you set out to drive results, ask yourself these questions:
1. Is what you offer customers critical to those customers? And how does it truly make your customer’s life better? Can you quantify or dollarize the impact to your customers?
2. Is your offering superior to other options the customer can buy? Would your customers agree with you about being superior? Or are you drinking your own bathwater?
3. Is your offering also profitable for you? Why drive results if you drive your business into the ground?