July 24, 2009 Chris Fuller

Production and the bottom lines…

As I said yesterday, there has to be a bottom line. Production is a basis for trust and respect. Trust and respect are the basis for influence – and Leadership IS Influence.

Without producing the goods or delivering the desired results our leadership won’t last for long. Of all the roles that we discussed last week, the leader’s greatest role – the one that set him or her apart – is producer. The traditional bottom line is profitability. At the end of the day, does your dream or business have a ‘Net Income’? This is the, absolute, business bottom line and what I refer to as the 1st bottom line. Will we be able to keep our doors open tomorrow?

Again, using the race as a model… at the end of the race – the mushers get a prize. This prize comes from a number of sources, including entrance fees, sponsors, etc. As the prize has increased, the level of competition has grown and the end result (the bottom line) is that mushers could now run this race as something that could produce income – not just a hobby. So the race needs sponsors and without fans, there are no sponsors.

Since my mind is, usually, digging deeper, I’m tying the metaphor to business and thinking… fans and sponsors are their ‘Customers”. In the race and in business, ‘Satisfied Customers’ are critical. This has to be a constant question, “Do we have satisfied customers?” If we don’t have satisfied customers – we don’t have revenue – if we don’t have revenue we can’t have net income! This becomes the 2nd bottom line AND is directly tied to the success of the 1st bottom line.

Now I’m left with, “We have customers. How are we going to deliver the desired results and keep them satisfied?”

The answer? Our people, our ‘Team’.

We can’t run the race alone and if we tried, I doubt anyone would wait around for us to attempt an 1100 mile foot race. Bottom line – this business race and your dream should be too big for you to attempt on your own! AND we can’t lose sight of a profound truth:

“How you treat your people… Is how they will treat your Customers and take care of their orders”

Treat your people poorly and they will lack the motivation and desire to treat your customers any different. Their mindset will be, “they don’t value me – why should I value you?” Further, if they are not valued or don’t feel connected to a higher purpose in their journey, “Are they going to pull the sled with all their strength? Or enough to cover the bare minimum?” Bottom line # 3: we need valued, engaged team members, pulling with all of their heart and strength if we are going to satisfy our customers AND reach our ‘Burled Arch’.

Whether you want to be influential within your company or impactful within your industry, unless you deliver the goods on a consistent basis – your impact will only go so far. The purpose for Iditarod Leadership and the reason for why I write and speak is to help you increase your impact – to help you produce the desired result AND to communicate that it doesn’t have to come at the expense of relationship with our people and satisfied customers are critical.

Bottom line(s): Valued, engaged people lead to Satisfied Customers and together, they will gladly and consistently contribute to a great BOTTOM LINE…


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