If you’ve been with us here at LearnDoBecome for awhile, you know how much we LOVE helping our members to build STEP Command Centrals. (Steps to Everyday Productivity — STEP is our signature program.)
But as we’ve been teaching this process for 15 years, we’ve mostly served individuals, who purchase our programs with their own money–strictly for the relief it brings them in their personal and professional work.
Eric and I have received dozens of requests from businesses, government agencies, and organizations to provide some kind of group training, but the reason we have turned all of those invitations down can best be explained by this story:
Years ago, Eric and I went to lunch with a friend of ours who runs a business with about 10 team members. This friend mentioned that the team’s systems were incredibly disorganized, so we popped by the office after lunch so I could check it out. After spending 5 minutes with one team member–taking a tour of their project management software and asking a few questions, I could instantly see the problem.
As a quick summary, this is what was happening:
- There was no distinction between routines, one-off tasks, or projects.
- Nearly everything had a red overdue date next to it, so people pretty much ignored all “deadlines.”
- Support materials (like digital files, email messages, etc.) were kept nowhere near where the tasks related to the clients were kept, so there was a lot of time wasted just trying to find things.
- Team members were just coming into work, hacking away at whatever they felt was most urgent, and then going home feeling pretty frustrated.
The company was losing a lot of money, client relationships weren’t optimized, and I could feel the stress of the business owner.
I offered to come and do a one-day training to get the team organized with the basics of a Command Central, and our friend readily agreed. It felt exciting to me–a chance to actually help a whole business to get on track.
The entire week prior to this training, I was incredibly excited. I put together a really solid day of training–with reflection questions, worksheets, exercises, and color printouts. I made brand new presentation slides, and I went over them — again and again– with love and enthusiasm. I wanted to bring my best to the table, and I just imagined how happy and relieved they would all feel when the day was complete.
You can probably guess where this is going….
It was a disaster. The team members had no skin in the game. They hadn’t asked for me to come or paid anything for the training, and they were in the middle of their “work whirlwind.” Why on earth would they want to listen to me when they had hundreds of emails and frustrated clients wondering when their work would be completed?
I finished half of my presentation–with sweat dripping down my back the whole time (because I was trying to make connections, but everyone was just working on their computers). Then I pivoted to something else in the middle and ended several hours early.
I held it together until we got home, and then I just curled up next to Eric on our bed and cried.
“I worked so hard on this! Everything I shared would have solved their problems! They didn’t even care!”
It wasn’t that I was mad at them, it’s just that I felt I’d been naive to think everyone was going to be excited to listen to me.
And at that moment, I decided I would never put myself in that situation again.
Unless a person feels pain in some way from being disorganized, and unless they are willing to put some effort into solving that pain, it’s a waste of time and money to buy “a program.”
But Eric and I have had some interesting conversations lately, and I think there’s a better way to do this.
One of our conversations was with another business owner who found out about what we do here at LearnDoBecome and said, “Oh, I’d love to put my team through your training.”
Recalling our past experience, we were hesitant to respond, but then we asked some deeper questions and started brainstorming further.
Here’s the idea we came up with, in a nutshell:
- An employer/leader of an organization invites team members to go through STEP–or a team member shares the STEP opportunity with an employer.
- If it’s the employer who wants to team member(s) to go through the program, perhaps there is some kind of an incentive/bonus for completing the training…like a day off or additional payment. If it’s the team member who wants to complete the program, and the employer isn’t quite sure if it’s worth the investment, perhaps there is some kind of arrangement where the team member agrees to front the costs, complete the training and show how effective it is, and then get reimbursed for all or part of the fee.
- If the individuals go through the whole program within our refund window, and they are NOT more calm and organized than they’ve ever been in their lives, all their money is returned. LearnDoBecome has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- But if they do get success with the program, everyone is better off–with less stress, more joy, and a foundation of solid organization that will naturally influence others in the company!
When we shared this idea with several business owners in our mentorship groups, they felt like it was a win-win-win. And I’m feeling that way about it, too!
In fact, to test this theory further, Eric and I just created a special letter that our LearnDoBecome community members can give to their employers–explaining what we do in our Four Weeks to Finished program and requesting the organization invest in their professional development.
It feels really natural as I’m writing this. I don’t know why I’ve felt so nervous about this (probably because of that experience years ago!), but anyway, I thought I would share this with you, so you could let us know your thoughts–and perhaps have this conversation with your employer or team members (depending on your role in your organization).
One part of the employer letter says, “How would it feel if your organization ran more like THIS?”
And then it details these 5 bullet points:
- Everyone is on the same page–with a focused list of projects and routines that will help the organization reach its objectives.
- There’s no need to procrastinate because the next steps are so simple and clear that it’s impossible not to know how to easily move forward.
- Calendars and lists are uncluttered, with the top priorities organized beautifully, and nothing is ever late or forgotten.
- Team members can communicate needs within the framework of a proven system–so expectations are clear and everyone can be trusted.
- Files, tasks, emails, messages, and materials are effortlessly organized, enabling each person to spend their time doing their most essential work.
Then it continues with, “Yes, this sounds like a dream, but it’s how our team operates here at LearnDoBecome, and we have trained tens of thousands of individuals over the years to do the same.”
All right, that’s all for today, but please download this copy of the employer letter–if you’re an employer, or if you have an employer, or if you know an employer you think would be interested!
I have this dream of a Command Central on every desk because I know it will change the world for the better. And I so appreciate your support, encouragement, and willingness to help spread the word and learn how to reach those who need us.
Four Weeks to Finished – Would you like to work personally with me, Eric, and Team LearnDoBecome to build your full STEP Command Central? We open this special group coaching opportunity once or twice a year, and we would love to have you join us! Our next start date is Thursday, September 7th, 2023! (And if you’re reading this later, click that link to find out when it’s launching next!)
Steps to Everyday Productivity – Our signature program designed to help you build your full Command Central and get out of overwhelm for good!
Our ARISE membership – an amazing gathering place for community members that are using their Command Centrals to refine relationships, health, finances, individual purpose, and more. We focus on a new topic each month, and this is an amazing opportunity to receive coaching and support from Team LearnDoBecome. You can sign up for a free, 7-day trial here.