OFTEN, PEOPLE BECOME PARALYZED by the tasks ahead.

If you think about it, though, the list of problems to be solved and tasks to be performed is ALWAYS infinite.  Infinite in the sense that it extends beyond our ability to keep them all in mind.

So it’s not a problem that’s unique to you.

But how do you stay away from getting depressed and paralyzed?

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PEOPLE GET HUNG UP on all the challenges they’re facing.  Big competitors.  Annoying customers.  Employee turnover.

But here’s the thing:  EVERYTHING has a good side and a bad side.

Often they’re two sides of the same coin.  For instance, the loss of a good employee can mean the opportunity to find someone who’s a superstar.

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WE’RE ALL PASSIONATE about something.

Finding a cure for cancer.  Cherry cheesecake.  Spending time with the kids.  Being inventive.

For everyone it’s a bit different.  But that’s the problem when you’re trying to get a group of people aligned around a common goal.

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SEVERAL LEADERS I’VE WORKED WITH on business planning exercises recently have had a recurring theme pops up:  Where do we start?

Many experts would start first with customers and their needs.  If you have a wonderful idea, great, but quickly get to why anybody in the world would want to pay you for it.

And that’s a powerful starting point, but there’s an assumption hidden within it.

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STEVE MARSHALL BILLS HIMSELF as a “Transformation Enabler.”

At least that’s what it says on his business card.

What he really does is to work with  leaders on strategic planning, organizational development, managing change, and executive coaching.  It’s similar to my own coaching practice, but he tends to focus a bit more on larger companies and more complex organizations.

As you know, my website here is dedicated to business owners who are living in a different paradigm.  We’re making money, sure, but more importantly we’re improving the world through our work.

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RECENTLY I HAD THE CHANCE to speak with several people who are struggling with direction in their business.  They’re each working hard to deliver great products and services, but at the end of the day … it’s a lot of work with no forward movement.

Many can relate to this.  And if you’re feeling lost, how do you think those around you feel?

Employees are just turning the crank.

Partners are uninspired and not feelin’ the love.

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I

AM CONSTANTLY RUNNING ACROSS across smart and talented business leaders. And in conversation, I get the intensity of their passion. Yet when it comes to articulating that as a mission statement for employees, they end up with mush.

Our company exists to serve customers and improve lives through our market-leading products and services. We’re responsive, innovative, and deliver consistently high quality.

As said by every company ever. Who would claim they DON’T do that?

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BUSINESS IS ABOUT MAKING STUFF. Delivering to customers. Getting a return on your investment.

So it may seem weird that I use a fluffy word like “soul” to talk about a company.

But it’s a very real question, vitally important.

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OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO, I ran across a striking company that thought differently than mine did.

They didn’t worry about the competition.  Really.

And not because they were ignorant or egotistical.  It’s because they realized that if they and all their competitors grew, it would create a whole new market.

Out of nothing.

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RECENTLY I HAD COFFEE with a friend who leads a great business. They’re a powerful part of this community, always looking to support others and make a difference.

He happened to leave a very generous tip for the coffee shop owner, but it was our conversation afterward which made it memorable.  He said to me, “I feel that it’s important to support all these other businesses in town.  They help me and I help them, and it makes for a great community.”

You might think that I’m making too much out of a small act of kindness, but this really is about the way he thinks.

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