“Without proper self-evaluation, failure is inevitable.” Coach John Wooden
What is your method for proper self-evaluation? Do you have one?
The NFL is starting to make the news again (here in Seattle anyway). We hear of trades and drafts and summer camps. And there are the questions: “who is going to have what position, what’s happening with Richard Sherman, who will be the backup quarterback, etc”. However, when I think of the Seattle Seahawks, my mind goes back to scenes of Russell Wilson studying and making adjustments. He poured over the Surface Pro, talked with the coaches, and was the first in on “Tell the Truth Mondays”.
Being a star athlete isn’t so different from being a small business owner. Don’t think so? Check out Jim Loehr’s book “Stress for Success”. As small business owners we need to take time for proper self-evaluation. Yes, we need to evaluate the business, but we also need to evaluate the business owner. Let’s face it, as goes the business owner, so goes the business.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin in his youth had a fiery temper. He was not well respected, in fact he people avoided him. I don’t know what specific event turned him around, but in his autobiography he wrote,
“It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time…”
He then created a system for measuring his behavior every night. Using this system according to his own evaluation and a look at his later life shows that the system worked. He changed himself from “that cantankerous person” to Diplomat, famous author, political theorist, and of course, one of the founding fathers of our nation.
Fast forward some 200 years and Peter Drucker arrives on the scene. He was an Austrian born American management consultant, educator and author. He wrote, “What gets measured, gets managed.” We need to measure ourselves as business owners. This then brings up the question, “What are we going to measure?”
In business we measure our KPI’s (key performance indicators). We measure the effectiveness of our training and our employees. We measure our marketing efforts. We track our profits and losses, we track for how far above the profit point our business is doing each month.
For Ben Franklin it was his own personal character traits. He asked himself if he was measuring up to moral perfection in the character qualities he believed were absolutely necessary for success in life and business.
If you were to start measuring your own qualities which ones would you choose?
I have an excel spreadsheet all set up for tracking. If you’d like a copy email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get it off to you.
I don’t have a firmly established habit of tracking my character qualities. So I’m ramping up. My first goal is that by the end of August I will have tracked myself 85% or better. What would be your first goal? Want some support? Some accountability? Include that in your email and we can be accountability buddies. After all, it’s hard enough being a business owner, let’s not make failure inevitable.
FYI: Coach John Wooden, October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010 was head coach for UCLA from 1948 – 1975. During his tenure they were NCAA Division 1 Champions 10 times, Regional Champions 12 times. He was AP College Coach of the Year 5 times, NABC Coach of the Year 5 times and was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.