Tuesday With Terry

Discipline is the Key to Execution

Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about examining what we expect in life, and in business. We’ve been talking about ways to make work more fun and engaging for your team.

But I want to ask you a question again, another business topic today: If you had a business or you’re starting a business, running a business, or you’ve got a group of people that you’re working with, have you ever tried to launch a new initiative, tried to change something and it didn’t go as well as you wanted, or it stumbled and it ended up losing momentum, losing speed, and eventually it just kind of disappeared? It never really happened the way that you wanted and you come back three months, six months later, and you say whatever happened with that initiative, why didn’t, why didn’t that work? 

So today what I want to talk to you about is how do you really get things done and how do you execute a little bit. If you haven’t read the book, The Four Disciplines of Execution, I recommend it. It’s a great book. And I’m going to refer to a couple things from that book today, but just in general, I just want to give you some high level things. I have a phrase that I use all the time and it goes, “if you want to change some things in your life, you gotta change some things in your life.”

I apply that to many other things in business, right? If you want to change some things in your business, you are probably going to change some things in your business. If you want to change some things in sales, you gotta change some things in sales. I mean, nothing changes if we keep doing the same thing over and over and over and expect different results, that’s not going to happen.

So what has to change? And I think a lot of times when you’re looking at your business or you’re trying to get things done and make things happen, we have good intentions, but either we don’t follow through or we don’t follow up. And what ends up happening is our intentions usually stay at the door and they never make it into the room.

All that being said, in the past, I’ve talked a little bit about to-do lists and these are on a personal basis to do list versus the get done list. Are you getting things done or are you just kind of doing a lot of busy work, but you’re not really getting things done. I call that confusing activity with accomplishment.


So you’re busy, but you might not be doing the right things. You look at your day and your day runs away with it yourself. And yet you a week later, two weeks later, the results, the KPIs, the key indicators of your business haven’t really changed. And so when you look at that, a couple of things you have to say is the first one is if things are going to change, it really sits in my cord.

It comes down to whether you are the person that can effect change. If it’s going to be. It’s up to me, I can get this done. I can affect change. A giant forest fire starts with a single spark and that spark has to start somewhere in the organization. And that’s you. 

You’ve heard this before, you know, people either lead, they follow, or if none of those two, then they probably should get out of the way and do something else. If you’re really going to get something done and execute something, I say this all the time “keep the main thing, the main thing.”


And so a lot of times I’ll say that, but people go, well, what does that mean? What’s the main thing? What do you mean by that? And so I don’t really know what that is for your business, but I would maybe say, focus on what’s incredibly important. Focus on what’s wildly important, focus on what’s really important. 

And what is that? Is that the customer? If the customer is the most important thing, then focus on the customer experience. If sales are the most important thing, then focus on leads, setting appointments, presentations, and closing the sale. If revenue is the most important, focus on driving revenue. Everything can’t be the most important because if everything’s the most important, then nothing is the most important. I don’t know what that is for you. I know for me, sales ranks, new member acquisition and sales ranks really high. I know that revenue and expenses and EBITDA profitability rank really high for me.

And so I’m always looking for ways to generate new members, ways to keep my members happy and give them the best experience. I’m always on the lookout for ways to drive our revenue for the company. And I’m always looking for ways to control my costs, streamline my costt, and give me the highest profitability for my company.

All I’m suggesting is keep the main thing and don’t let everybody get busy on the sidetrack. Don’t allow your frontline people, your middle management people, or your leadership team to fall off what’s really important. Number two is you really have to create actionable items. And so, a lot of times there’s a lot of talk and there’s a lot of meetings and there’s a lot of cross talk, but at the end of those meetings, we have to say “if this is the most important thing, what are those actionable items that we need to be teaching, training, and using coaching inspecting? What are those actionable items that we need to do on a daily basis, so that we can repeat good habits and we can have incredible success and really execute at a high level?

And the last piece is really a cadence or a rhythm of accountability. I said this a couple of weeks ago, everybody needs a coach. Orangetheory Fitness was built on: everybody needs a coach. Professional athletes need coaches. Executives, myself, need coaches. 


Star athletes need a coach. And so if they need a coach, isn’t it true that everybody needs a coach and they need some level of accountability? You can’t leave people go for 30 days or for two weeks when they’re trying to accomplish something or you’re trying to roll out a new initiative or move the needle or change something in an organization and expect that it’s going to happen just because you told everybody to do it. You need to be present and you need to be active.

You need to be engaged. You need to follow up. You need to inspect what you’re expecting. You need to find people doing good things, doing things right, continue to inspire, continue to move the needle. And so getting out into the field and visiting, and inspecting. If you have multiple stores, studios, businesses, if you have multiple, you’ve got to get out and take a look at it. You can’t just leave everybody alone.

Tell them you want to make some changes, give them some ideas about how to make those changes. Leave them go for 30 days and come back in 30 days and go, Hey, what happened? What just happened in any case? What I’m really suggesting is that cadence of accountability. Is that weekly? Is it daily? 

I have my studio managers report every morning at 10 o’clock. I call it the daily stats and they report on those key performance indicators of how they did yesterday and how they’re set up for today. I have my regionals go into my businesses once a week and do walk-throughs and conduct audits and reviews to make sure that everything is moving in the right direction, we’re taking actionable items.

There is a rhythm, whether it’s daily for lower levels. Monthly or quarterly for accountabilities. I’m a CEO of my company and I have a board meeting once a month and there’s a level of accountability. One time a month where I have to report on my business. All I’m suggesting is if you want to get things done, number one, you’re probably going to have to make some changes.

You’re gonna have to maybe change your schedule, change a process, perhaps change some people. But again, remember to focus on the main thing: what’s really, really important. Many of us are trying to recover our businesses from COVID and that usually has to do with sales, it has to do with revenue, and it has to do with cost controls. Focus on what’s important, create actionable items, a compelling scoreboard, and a cadence of accountability.

Think about this and how you can implement some of these things in your business to improve the business this week, this month, or this quarter. My name’s Terry, I’m your friend. Thanks for tuning in. 

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