A few weeks ago I was sitting around a dinner table in Sydney with 3 entrepreneurs and this very topic of “firing yourself” came up! I love this extract from the HBR post of the same name; “Jack Welch used to gather his senior executives together in January and tell them to act as though they had just been newly appointed to their jobs. What would they do differently if they were coming in to their business without preconceived notions and with a completely fresh perspective?”
I have often witnessed first hand how preconceived notions & biases sometimes have us do very unproductive things. Looking at the same situation through new eyes, having someone you trust look at it as well, and having them be honest with you will have you see things you were amazing blind to previously.
Quick Tip: Don’t be defensive & just absorb the other persons observations, otherwise you won’t get the necessary & available value that’s immediately at your disposal.
Now.. armed with this information, what would you do differently? Are you focusing on what you’re really good at? Fire yourself from what you’re not good at (if you can) and get someone else who’s stronger to take care of it. Whilst you’re at it.. learn anything you can by surrounding yourself with smarter people than yourself. it’s one of the most effective secrets to accelerate your growth.
Back to my dinner in Sydney a few weeks back. What did each of those entrepreneurs end-up doing after our conversation? Two of them already had business coaches and walked away with a new perspective on some of the issues we discussed, and the last one brought me in to work with his team before I left for Europe. By coming into those various scenarios as a complete outsider & emotionally detached from what was going on in their businesses, not to mention the solutions that had been previously established, each of those entrepreneurs walked away with significant value which they’ve subsequently implemented into their businesses. I’ve since received some e-mail updates & they’ve been amazed at how quickly change has taken root in their organizations.
Quick Tip; How do I apply this practice to myself? How do you apply this practice if you feel you have the skills to make the necessary changes in your business? One solution I have is to ask my entrepreneurial wife or friends to look at my business, and or situation.The second solution, and the one I use whilst on the road, as was the case last week in São Paulo, is to open yourself from assumed beliefs, and go on a journey reading various articles looking for precious gems of insight and knowledge. Sometimes to get “outside of my own head”, I find it necessary to listen to music or have a relaxing massage.
Question: What practices do you have to “get outside of yourself” and ask the necessary questions? How can you fire yourself from your own business in time to make the right decisions, and possibly be in a better position to hire yourself back?