Will, Skill, Strategy or Luck

This has been an incredibly helpful framework that I've been using to assess the success or failure of a project, initiative, or experiment.

Will.  Did you just not put in the work required to get it done?  This is a measure of effort, leverage, and raw horsepower.

Skill.  Did you have the skills, or work to acquire the skills required in order to give your team the best chance of success?

Strategy.  Did you have the right plan?  Did you make the right assumptions?  

Luck.  Did it work (or not) because you were particularly lucky (or unlucky)?

In a conversation with Jamie Scarborough from Sales Talent Agency recently he walked me through a framework that his team uses to assess their successes and failures and this has stuck with me.  

If you're not getting the outcomes you want, it may not be that you haven't found the right answer.  It may be that you're not asking the right question.  In your post-mortems, don't ask 'What went well?  What needs to improve?'   Ask:  Did we get the outcome we wanted?  Was it because of will, skill, strategy or luck?

If You Want to Learn, Look to #3

If You Want to Learn, Look to #3

To get the best learnings about scrappiness, and determination, and split testing, look to number three in the category.  Number three may not have the best product (at least not yet), and they don't have the luxury of drafting on the headwind of number one.   Number three has been getting their asses kicked.  They've been through 'the dip', and are fighting, and innovating in all ways to steal market share.

The Power of Following Up

The single biggest piece of advice I could give to new grads or sales people would be this: Follow up. 

You wouldn't imagine the number of people that approach me after a presentation to tell me how much they'd love to work in our industry, or at my company. 

I give them my email and ask them to write me. 

On average, I would say that 10% of the people that approach me actually follow up. 

This is where I win. 

You know those people that say "I was just thinking about you," or "I meant to call you the other day?"  You didn't.  I always do. I follow up.  Relentlessly. 

I do what I say I'm going to do.  And I do it over, and over again.  You don't. 

That is why I will win and you will lose. This is so important that it made it's way into our Janssen Family Manifesto:  "Say what you're going to do.  Do it.  Repeat." 

Simple.  Not easy. 

NOTE: I do not advocate the incessant, no value-add 'follow up' emails with no context. 

Selling to someone who isn't interested is not 'following up', that's spam.