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Three Mistakes to Avoid in the Second Half of 2021

124 – that is the amount of working days left in 2021. This excludes weekends and 8 national holidays so don’t forget to subtract your personal PTO days, too.

Now that you know that number, how do you feel about where are you today regarding your 2021 goals? Ahead of schedule? Behind? Regardless of where you are today, I want to share the top three mistakes I have seen during the first half of 2021 and where companies are missing key opportunities to beat the competition.

1. Inaction

All my conversations revolve around strengthening people’s skills and the overall company. So far, no one has shared with me that they want to get worse or hope their company fails. Everyone I speak always says, “I/We want to get better”. They assure me that they are ready to make changes for themselves, their company, their coworkers.

Fast forward a few months… Most are still talking about the changes they are “ready” to make. They are waiting for the “right time” or the “right team” and have not realized that 90 days have passed since our first conversation.

In those 90 days, I always wonder if they realize:

How much revenue was lost?

How much underperforming employees & turnover cost them?

How much market share was missed because the competitor decided to act while they waited?

Inaction is the most popular mistake I see leaders making today and most the time they do not realize they are doing it (because they are busy). To avoid inaction for the rest of 2021, make a goal to identify what you want to accomplish, write down what actions need to be taken, and measure forward progress. Break it down to the simplest checklist. Then, act on it to secure success.

2. Aiming for Quick Wins & Shortcuts

The second mistake I have seen during the first half of 2021 is aiming for quick wins & shortcuts.

I can see why after a year like 2020. There is the need to rebound faster. The need to have a win. The need to feel success. But long term, it is not sustainable. Companies are trying to take Advil for a chronic headache, hoping to relieve the symptoms, but stopping there. They are not working to find the root cause of this reoccurring problem.

I see companies looking to invest in the newest technology to strengthen their sales or recruiting process but not wanting to spend time developing the actual recruiter or sales rep. I see companies discounting their services to gain a client rather than work to convey the value they bring to the table by effective questioning & active listening. I am horrible at golf. I just can’t go out and buy the nicest set of golf clubs and expect to be better. Why would business be any different? Avoid aiming for quick wins & shortcuts. You will be much better off in the long run!

3. Socially Acceptable Excuses

The third and perhaps the scariest mistake I have noticed is the acceptance of socially acceptable excuses.

Over the past six months, I have heard excuses from CEOs down to entry level positions on why something was not executed. For those that are not familiar with our term “socially acceptable excuses”, below are some examples:

  • “We would be successful if there was better talent in the market.”

  • “I would be successful if Covid did not happen.”

  • “We would be successful if my team just did the work.”

It is my observation that Covid-related excuses are being tolerated more and more.

I highly recommend putting an end to that for the remainder of this year. How? Start with yourself and make sure you are holding yourself accountable. Once that is done, look at the current agreements you have in place and be sure everyone understands what is in place (feel free to read last week’s blog by Mary Ann – she touches on agreements).

It is always going to be easy to take the easy option and rationalize why you are taking shortcuts and often your peers will support those shortcuts. This will lead you to a big average rut! The way to combat that is to continuously raise the bar when others around you are okay with staying the same. Find yourself an accountability partner and help each other stay on track.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are only 124 business days left in 2021. If the above sounds familiar and is currently taking place in your business, I would welcome your time to connect. I would be happy to share how Butler Street is helping our current clients avoid these three mistakes!


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