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Finding Your Master Metric to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Master Metric

When you have diluted focus, you get diluted results.

And it’s easier than ever before to be distracted.

You think “Oh, I’ll just check a quick email.”

But then somehow that leads to Facebook and then to YouTube and then to an hour later you’re watching a video about how to make a giraffe costume.

That’s why we, at Southwestern Consulting, often promote the concept of having a Master Metric.

Your Master Metric is your lynchpin activity.

It’s your keystone goal.

It’s your primary focus.

Your Master Metric is the one controllable activity that if you focus on it and accomplish it, that all of your other goals will come true as a bi-product.

This concept was first introduced to many of our coaches when they began their career in sales working for Southwestern Advantage.

Back in those days the Master Metric was 30 demos a day. They promised us that “if you show the books to 30 families every day you will have a successful summer.”

They said “it may not be true on any given single day but it will always be true over the course of the entire summer. Because it’s not the theory of averages; it’s the law of averages.” They were right – and it’s probably why the program is still around after 160 years!

When we started Southwestern Consulting our Master Metric used to be “2 Strong.”

The way it worked was we would get 1 point for setting an appointment and 1 point for running an appointment and every day we had to get some combination that added up to at least two.

It was our minimum level of acceptable performance.

When I was pursuing the World Championship of Public Speaking, I set a goal to practice each of my speeches 21x in front of live audiences prior to the competition.

Each of these are great examples of a principle we believe in at Southwestern and that we promote heavily with our coaching clients which is to put your self-esteem into your work habits and not your production.

The concept is to focus on what you can control and let the results and outcomes be the bi-product.

The benefit is that it keeps you zoned in on the right thing: doing the work it takes to be successful.

And that’s a good thing because if your self-esteem is in your results, rather than your work habits, then it tends to be an up and down inconsistent roller coaster of emotions.

But when you’re focused on the work, you’re always consistently improving your skills, skewing the averages in your favor and increasing your self-confidence which all inevitably point to an increased likelihood of eventual success.

And reducing it down even further to a single Master Metric increases the likelihood of your success even more because it improves the concentration of your focus.

It doesn’t mean you don’t track other things. It doesn’t mean you don’t monitor other indicators.

Most of our coaching clients have 6-9 CSFs (Critical Success Factors) that we measure. But whenever we can, we try to find one that is the special Master Metric. If you’d like help finding yours please click here.

But no matter who you are, what industry you are in, or what your goal is, you should ask yourself “what is my Master Metric?”

“What is one thing that is in my control that I can focus on achieving that if I do it consistently and repeatedly, over the long term, it will help me intimately accomplish all my other goals?”

That will help you win.

That will help you become a master.

Magnify Your Life

If you lay a piece of paper on the sidewalk on a sizzling hot summer day, nothing happens. But if you put a magnifying glass between the sun and that same piece of paper, eventually the paper will catch fire. Why? It is the power of focus.

The same is true in life. Attention that is spread around is diluted; un-concentrated; weak. But crystal clear laser focus is powerful, intense, and hot! In the pursuit of your goals you must identify what are the critically important activities (called Critical Success Factors- CSFs) that take you from point A to point B and then focus in on them with laser-like intensity.

It takes discipline to be relentlessly committed to projects and activities that matter! The reason is because with the speed of business and life it’s very easy to get caught up in the minutiae of tasks, deadlines, paperwork, emails, and conference calls. If you’re a salesperson, then there is nothing more important that you can be doing then making sales calls. If you’re a leader, then there is nothing more important that you can be doing then spending time with your people or recruiting new people. For all of us we want to spend our time with people not paper.

In any given pursuit there are typically only a handful of activities that directly forward progress toward your objective. But I find that in almost every circumstance when a person or a company is not reaching their goals it’s because their focus is diverted across too many irrelevant activities.

You say, “But Rory, I can’t abandon my email box, all of my reports, my voicemails, and I’m already working constantly!” And I’d respond, “I know, I can’t either.” So what is the answer to this predicament?

Two things…very simple: accountability and assistants; and the first is more important than the second. You have to have someone to help you identify and constantly remind you of what is the focus and what are the key elements required to get there. This can be a great boss, authority figure, mentor, or partner. The problem is that most of those people are busy scrambling with the same things you are!

It honestly doesn’t much matter where your accountability comes from as long as you have someone who truly cares about you and who is truly committed to your success and you have a worthwhile buy-in to working with them. If you agree that you need accountability and you don’t have it, please leave me a comment below and I’ll try to connect with you personally on some things that can help.

As for assistants…they can be life changing. Tune in next time for strategies on working with assistants to help clarify your focus. Until then do everything you can be disciplined about magnifying your focus.

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See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.