The Adaptive Agency

23 Big Ideas for ’23

by | Dec 30, 2022

Here are 23 ideas that have made me way more successful. They’ve helped me build an amazing culture and strategy that drive ridiculous growth.

If you want me to elaborate on a specific idea, hit reply and let me know.

Effectiveness

If you haven’t decided where you’re going, you’ll keep doing things that won’t get you there.

If you want massive success, what you do matters less than what you quit doing. This is way more important than you might think. Most of what people obsess over doesn’t move the needle.

One amazing decision is worth more than 40 hours of busy work (especially if that decision eliminates busy work). But that amazing decision was the result of sleep, diet, exercise, mental well-being, and good character. That’s where the money is.

When you first stop letting yourself be super busy, you’ll feel guilty. It’s ok. Make some amazing strategic decisions, and it will go away.

Effort can compound faster than money. The principle is the same: put your effort into things that elevate the baseline for future efforts.

One way to ensure you do your most valuable things is to bake them into your calendar. Set daily recurring appointments, and don’t let anything bump them.

Leadership

Good leaders define a purpose and values for their business. Great leaders establish a purpose and values for their life, of which their business is a part.

If your people don’t know the “why” and “how” of your business, they’ll keep coming to you for small decisions about “what” to do. You’ll be stuck doing their thinking for them.

Leaders who are one way at church and another way at work are loathsome creatures.

Narrow-minded supervisors will oppress high-potential employees at every opportunity. That employers allow that behavior is breathtaking.

When I worked for Polycom, we traveled the world building data centers. Building a data center generates lots of trash. My boss Dan, a highly talented engineer, would accompany us so that he could throw away our trash and hand us our tools.

Everybody knows how to lead. We’ve all worked for leaders who made us want to give our best and leaders who made us want to give the bare minimum. But when we move into management, we forget and start supervising.

If you can’t delegate, you can’t lead.

This is going to hurt: if your team isn’t good, either you’re hiring the wrong people, or you’re not developing them. Either way, it’s you. And that’s good since it means you can fix it.

Your employees are scared. Every job they’ve ever had made them afraid of being fired. That’s why they’re stressed out and playing it safe. You’ve got to rehabilitate them if you want their best.

When the boss won’t trust you, it feels unfair. It breeds resentment and futility. If your people don’t feel trusted, they’ll feel justified in behaving untrustworthily.

Profitability

If you don’t understand your profitability, you’ll work twice as hard for half the money. Boasting about revenue and headcount is camouflage for the overworked, overstressed businessperson.

The differences between a businessperson and a self-employed salesperson are not obvious to the self-employed salesperson.

Cheap talent costs a literal fortune. But business owners feel worse about spending $1,000 in payroll than losing $10,000 to employee and customer churn. If they can’t see it in a ledger, they don’t believe it exists.

An employee who earns 20% more but produces 21% more is a bargain. If they produce 100% more, they’re a steal. If they produce 10x more, supply them with whatever they need and get the heck out of their way.

If you don’t understand ARR (Annually Recurring Revenue) and CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), you don’t care about the money. That’s not the same as altruism, though.

Employees and customers come to you with intent. That intent involves a few dollars. If you don’t transform that intent, they’ll go somewhere else for a few dollars. That’s what we call “axiomatic.”

If you’re getting more intel from peers, vendors, and competitors than from customers, many of your assumptions are wrong. You’ve got to live in the customers’ world.

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