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One Thing – The Dream Manager

What’s your one thing? The one thing you could do this year that would bring you the most success? The one thing simply by concentrating all your resources on you could impact your business to the greatest degree? In our Rockefeller Habits 2 Day Workshop we ask our participating clients to discover their one thing. The one thing that they need to focus on in the next 3 – 12 months that would make a significant difference in their business.
How important is this to impacting your business?   Let me relate the story from the Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly that will give you some idea of how powerful discovering and working on your one thing can be.
Simon was the general manager for a janitorial company that while continuing to grow was having enormous problems with turnover. When I say enormous let me quantify it -400% annually! He no longer enjoyed his work, because of the steady stream of complaints and problems that turnover caused in the business. He set out to find a solution. He enjoined the management team to help him, yet even here the disgruntled, disharmonious responses indicated the problem was severe. When he suggested the company do a survey, most of the management team suggested it was futile. They felt they already know what the problem was, and the truth was they didn’t feel anyone would want to work and stay at a business which primary function was to clean toilets.
Fortunately Simon persisted, even in the face of cynicism from the owner, Greg. After surveying the company the number one reason employees mentioned as their challenge working for the company was transportation. Many of the workers had no way to get back and forth to work. They didn’t have vehicles and public transportation was either expensive, unreliable, or inconvenient. 
Simon took this information back to his management staff and owner and presented a solution he felt would save the company money and increase productivity while lowering turnover. Again he was greeted with cynicism. The owner reluctantly agreed to give Simon 90 days to make his case. Simon set up company provided transportation to pick up the employees and return them to their homes each day. The result – turnover decreased, and attitudes improved. After 90 days the owner agreed that Simon may be on to something with this idea, and after 6 months and turnover down to 200% he had to admit it was working. The year ended with a sizeable increase in profit and Greg had to admit that much of it was the result of lowering the turnover ratio. 
Now the question Simon asked is if they could do this much good with one survey, what could they learn with another. He commissioned another employee survey and this time asked employees what they really wanted. The answers amazed him. The employees had dreams, owning a house, getting their children an education, buying a car, learning English [50% of the company’s staff was Hispanic], taking a vacation, there were as many diversified desires as there were employees. But they all had dreams.
Simon took this to a level that few might have entertained. He suggested to his boss, Greg, that they hire a dream manager, someone part coach, part financial advisor who could provide the employees with how to create their dreams. They also began offering English classes 2 times a week and were quickly so overwhelmed that they had to hire another teacher since employees began bringing their children to the classes. 
The rest of this story is in the book, The Dream Manager, but the point of this story is after 2 years, Simon reduced the company’s turnover from 400% down to 50%. The company had achieved remarkable improvement in profit [84%], morale and productivity. 
Simon had focused on his one thing – reducing employee turnover. He had used a creative approach to achieve this, yet many of his ideas were simple. Employee surveys are just one of the many tools and ideas we suggest in the Rockefeller Habits. 
What’s your one thing? Do you know what it is, and have you rallied your team and resources to solve this? Once you realize that determining your One Thing will help you focus and concentrate to dramatically change your business, and in the process carry with it solutions to a multitude of other priorities and challenges you are facing, you will come to embrace the importance of creating this singular focus to improve your business.
Here’s an invitation, if you need help determining your One Thing – attend the 2 Day Rockefeller Habits Workshop coming to Cedar Rapids, IA, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 8-9.

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.