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Are you willing to pay the price?


Everything worth having comes at a cost; are you prepared to pay it or are you still looking for easy answers?

Have you ever noticed that, increasingly in our society, everything comes without any effort?  Or, at least, that’s what people try to convince us.  How many diets do you see advertised that emphasise how simple and easy they are?  How many electronic gizmos promise to build up your muscles while you watch TV?  Take a look in your local bookshop.  So many books promising success, riches, glory in whatever field, all yours for the taking if you follow their oh-so-simple process and formula!  The lottery – riches without having to work.  Reality TV – fame without having any talent or having to “pay your dues.”

But it’s all a myth.  Do you remember the TV series “Fame”?  At the start of every episode, one of the characters would say something like “You want fame?  Well, fame costs – and right here is where you start paying” and she said it like she meant it!  With anything worth having, there are no easy steps.  There is no magic formula.  Like fame, great performance costs, ladies and gentlemen, and right here is where you start paying!  Hmm… I wonder if I could turn this blog into a TV series?

If you want to improve the performance of your team I don’t have any easy answers because, to be honest with you, there aren’t any.  If you’d like a different metaphor, you can think of it like my lawn.  If I’m going to have a great lawn – one that’s flat and green and free of weeds (in other words, everything that it isn’t at the moment) – I’m going to have to put in some work.  It’s not going to happen today, no matter how much effort I put into it or how sincere I am in my intentions.  It’s not going to happen tomorrow, either, or in a week’s time or even a month’s.

If I went to a gardener and told him to take my lawn, in its present shabby state, and make it look like my neighbour’s lawn – which is lush and green – in a couple of days, he’d rightly laugh at me.  But how often are you told to improve performance in a matter of days or even hours?  How often have you been on a training course and been expected to make immediate changes for the better?  

Now there’s no question that, sometimes, you can have a blinding flash – an “aha!” moment – which changes forever the way you see things and immediately changes what you do.  That can happen, once in a blue moon.  But any development, any improvement worth having, by which I mean one that is sustainable over the long-term and not just a short-term quick-fix, takes time – especially when you’re dealing with people.  It costs.

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