Use This Joint Venture Secret Weapon

When my mechanic told me that I needed to replace the water pump in my car, my first question was, “How much will that cost me?” His wise reply was, “Let me tell you what it will cost you if you DON’T replace it right now.”

Imagine a pilot, flying through a storm, who ignores his instruments. Even though his altimeter shows that he is losing altitude, he sighs, “Oh, it doesn’t FEEL like we’re dropping like a stone…” Ridiculous. Or the insurance salesperson who disregards the scoreboard on the wall and says, “I have a good felling about this coming week – I have a lot in the pipeline” or "My kids have been sick." We’ve all met salespeople who live in denial and use excuses to avoid reality. Then, of course, you find the people who will not accept that their spouses are having affairs, even though the entire world knows it. Maybe you know someone like that?

We all like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Nobody enjoys confrontation and it’s nice to be understanding and forgiving. It’s tempting to overlook the sins of other people; perhaps then they won’t notice our own shortcomings. It’s easier to close our eyes to uncomfortable realities. We don’t like to be reminded of the fact that we’re off target, slipping back or missing the mark. We tend to shoot the messenger, or hide weakness behind the guise of political correctness or “good manners”. It’s like taking the X-Ray that shows that the patient has cancer, and to avoid the treatments, we paint over the bad pictures. It doesn’t change the facts; it simply prolongs or delays the inevitable. In fact, it worsens the situation. Instead of intervening and correcting things, we escalate the downtrend and maximize the damage. Pay me now, or pay me later. Like the waterpump analogy, later is much more expensive.

Here is the secret weapon to Joint Venture Success: Set specific, measurable goals and refer back to them, measuring your success every single day. A guided missile corrects its course every fraction of a second. The autopilot in an airplane does the same thing. Measure, correct. Measure, correct. Adjust until you reach the goals. The more you measure and correct, the faster you will achieve success. Set the standards. Years ago, I met a man who told me that he could show me how to double my sales. I ask him how that would be possible. He asked me how many times a week I held sales meetings for my sales people, and I replied, “Once a week”. He said, “Hold a sales meeting every day and you will double and then quadruple your sales. The bad salespeople will leave because they don’t want to be held accountable. And your good salespeople will flourish.” I followed his advice and soon quadrupled my sales. Winners pay the price, while losers run away, crying that you're nasty.

Set specific, attainable, exciting, measurable goals for your Joint Ventures. Monitor them daily with your JV partners. Objectively confront and correct to make sure you stay on track. Be flexible and focus on the goals. Don’t allow excuses. Hold people accountable and be accountable. Be serious and committed to your goals, and you will have discovered the secret weapon to success.

Robin J. Elliott

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