So anyone who know’s how much I love sports could guess I would find some way to work the Cub’s World Series win into a business blog. And that is exactly what I am going to do. But, it will at least be a really good blog! If you watched the series you know that the win came as a result of hard work, not giving up, and having support. I will resist the opportunity to write a second blog titled “The Possible Consequences of Micro Management” in relation to the series but instead focus on an extremely progressive and “patient” individual, Theo Epstein. As the current president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, Epstein inherited a fan base that expected disappointment from the team and began his first two seasons in his new position with a record amount of losses. Epstein had just taken the Red Sox to victory and when he came to the Cubs he was the first to say “I have a plan, but it will take patience”. Well 5 years later that patience has finally paid off!
But what changed in 5 years? Ironically enough, most strategic plans for businesses are set in a 5 year foundation forecast plan. But for clients and businesses often they want immediate results and become frustrated when they do not see results in a matter of months. It did no take your company days or even months to develop the obstacles, mindset, and issues that it is currently experiencing so why would anyone expect a business consultant or any other professional support to come in an wave a magic wand and create a brand new company with all of these problems fixed? I will confess to you that even if I was blessed with this wand tomorrow, I would not accept it. In fact I confess to having intentionally slowed the transformation of a business or plan with a client due to the phenomenon that is often described as the “yo-yo” effect. Most commonly spoken about in relation to a diet I have witnessed this happen in businesses as well.
Most business consultants who are good, can come in and support the development of systems, change, and productivity. That is wonderful. But what happens when all that is “fixed” are the issues that the business owner sees, or the physical processes that need tweaking? In a matter of time much quicker than the first time it happened, all of the obstacles, mindset, and issues that were present prior to the business consultant waving a magic wand come back. This time bigger and even worse than before. Why is this? Well for that answer let’s look at the absolute key to the Cub’s transformation and what Epstein focused on for 5 long years. It was not hitting, fielding, and baseball that led to this complete transformation.
It started with the mindset of the club. Epstein began asking questions of scouts about possible future cubbie’s mindsets. He used questions like “How would the kid handle being away from his parents and girlfriends?”, focused on determining the mental and emotional fitness of a recruit rather than just the physical fitness and capabilities. Epstein even refused to allow the “curse of the goat” to impact his mindset of the team. He never doubted he had a World Series winning team, he just had to put the structure and trainings in place so that his team believed it just as strongly as he did. He refused to see the club as cursed and therefore the curse did not exist.
What you see, what you believe, what you focus on will become your reality. Neuroscience has proven that by setting an intention your subconscious is aware of that intention even when you are not consciously thinking about it. This is why vision boarding and other visualization exercises can be so incredibly powerful. Your brain drives your motivation, your behaviors, and your actions. Feed your brain the positive dreams and goals that you have for your company and your team and soon, you will start to see those outcomes become reality. But this takes time. That is why even when given the magic wand, you should take the time, do the work, so that after you begin achieving what you want, it sticks, and it grows, and you do not find the same debilitating beliefs sabotaging your success.
Invest in a professional to help keep you and your team focused on your goals and correct mindset and you will see your results even quicker than you thought possible. So thank you Mr. Epstein and remember that you can do anything with the right mindset and the right support. But just to be safe, if someone tries to bring a goat into your office, go ahead and let them!
Bunny Sumner Young enjoys sharing insights into professional experiences and personal encounters to support change, empower leaders, and create a positive outlook in our world. She provides professional speaking for conferences, workshops, motivational seminars, and classes. Visit the Contact Page to request a list of current speaking topics and selections.