A couple of months ago, I started a series of themes of the week based on a book I had been reading at the time by John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins called, Change Your World. I cannot say this too many times, “YOU MUST GET THIS BOOK!” You will be so glad you did.
This week we talk about Chapter 7 – “What Gets Done Gets Measured.” Notice the interesting little tweak that Maxwell and Hoskins did there. They took a fairly famous quote/concept by the management guru, Peter Drucker—“What gets measured gets done”—and turned it around. You will see why in a moment.
Maxwell opens the chapter with an anecdote about going bowling with friends. He said he hadn’t bowled in close to forty years, and he was terrible. However, as the games moved along, he started knocking down some pins and then even had a strike! He said it was so much fun.
But then he offered the conclusion he came to and the reason for telling us the story: bowling wouldn’t be fun without the pins. The whole point of bowling is to try to knock down the pins. The pins make all the difference. If there are no pins, there is no point.
The pins are the measurement tool for the game of bowling. You know how well you are doing at it by the number of pins you knock down. For those of us who might say, “I just bowl for the social aspect or the exercise,” he asks, “But could you really enjoy bowling without the pins?”
He’s right. The energy and fun of bowling comes from seeing how well you’re doing. Without a measurement tool, it isn’t worth the effort.
What does that have to do with changing your world?
“What Are You Doing for Others?”
Maxwell quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Life’s most persistent question [is] ‘What are you doing for others?'”
He then talks about Tom Rath who wrote a book titled, Life’s Great Question. Rath talked about the purpose of finding your strengths as adding value to people and making meaningful contributions over a lifetime. He noted, “You can begin by connecting your daily efforts to the way they contribute to specific people’s lives—connecting what you do with who your work serves.“
Rath goes on to say, “…people experience a far greater sense of belonging and more sustainable wellbeing when they connect their efforts in the moment with a larger influence on others.”
Maxwell adds, “In other words, keeping score matters as much in making a difference as it does in bowling… keeping score brought energy and fulfillment to people’s lives. Measurement matters.”
Maxwell then talks about why they turned Peter Drucker’s statement—“What gets measured gets done”—into their chapter title—What gets done gets measured. “Because in the world of helping people and nonprofit organizations, many people judge their effectiveness based on how their efforts make them feel rather than on results. That’s no way to change the world.”
Maxwell then explains how Rob Hoskins’s organization OneHope does exactly what the title of the chapter says. “At OneHope, what gets done truly gets measured. Rob and his team never assume the work they’re doing actually works. No matter how good they feel about what they’re trying to do, no matter how good their intentions are or how noble their purpose is, they don’t assume they’re making a difference. They use data to verify what works—and what doesn’t.”
Rob Hoskins then explains the evolution of his use of measurement tools to figure out exactly what was happening in his organization. “I began a journey, a journey I am still on today, to do more than measure activity, but commit myself to measure what matters, to measure results.”
The Five Ds
Hoskins developed a framework for gathering data, tracking progress, and measuring positive change. He called it The Five Ds.
Discover—Find out what’s really going on and who is doing something about it.
Design—Develop a strategy that begins with the end in mind and builds on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Deploy—Implement your plan. Start small, fail soon, and adjust often.
Document—Measure to make sure that your intended outcomes are being accomplished.
Dream—Start the cycle over, expanding what works and abandoning what doesn’t.
Maxwell and Hoskins then go into detail on each of those five Ds. I’m not going to do that here. What I am going to do, though, is offer a few of the great quotes from them and from people they quote that help show the importance of measuring what you do to make sure it is working.
The first is something we at Proactive Coaching talk about in our presentations often. Maxwell says, “Like anything else in life that we want to see improve, we have to be intentional about it. Success doesn’t happen by accident.”
You may occasionally stumble into success of some sort. But you will only become a success through prolonged, intentional, and purposeful work toward achieving the success you seek.
When talking about deploying, they talk about how this is where the action is. This is where we start to put the plans into action. They quote Walt Disney when he said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” You can talk about things all day, but if you want something to actually begin happening, action is necessary for anything to start.
People will often focus on experience as being a huge key to success. They believe that what you have done is a huge force in becoming wildly successful. But philosopher John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.”
I love this concept. The length of time and the experience of doing something are not the only factors that determine how good we are at something or what we have learned while doing it. We must take time to work at understanding our experience, reflect on it, and figure out what it all means for us to truly improve, grow, and develop at it.
Just because I have been a coach for over 40 years doesn’t mean I am a good coach. What have I done during those 40+ years? How much have I studied my craft? What have I learned? How have I applied the various experiences that I have gone through to improve myself?
Am I the same coach today that I was 40 years ago?
30 years ago?
20 years ago?
10 years ago?
Even 5 years ago?
I hope not. But the main reason I should be different today (and hopefully better) is because that I have taken the various experiences I have had through the years, reflected on them, learned from them, improved from them, developed from them, and grown from them to become a better version of myself and a better version of the coach I have been.
Take your experiences, study them, reflect on them, learn from them, and grow from them.
I have always loved the concept of The Process of something. In fact, I sometimes focus too much on the process and not enough on the results and outcomes.
Results and outcomes show us what we are committed to. That’s why they are so important.
However, your process is what will get you the results and outcomes you get. If you focus on doing the right things the right way at the right time, you should find the results and outcomes working out for you more often than not.
But the key is that you are focused on the process to get there. You are focused on doing all the little things that are in your control—effort, attitude, discipline, mental toughness, team-first attitude—that you need to do to create the results you are seeking.
The heading for this final section of the chapter is “Transformation is a Process—Not a Destination.”
Rob Hoskins’s Five Ds is a process designed to create transformation on teams and for people. And the beauty of The Five Ds is that they are fairly simple to implement. Maxwell & Hoskins say:
Anyone can discover, design, deploy, document, and dream. You don’t have to be part of an organization, be a technical person, or know statistics. If you can observe and ask questions, make a simple plan, follow through on it, check to see if your actions are accomplishing what you had hoped, and then adjust your plan to improve it and make it better, then you can do this.
But one of the biggest keys to it all is that you measure what you do. “If you don’t measure what you’re doing, you won’t be able to get your great idea to give you the results you desire.”
Maxwell and Hoskins close the chapter saying, “Transformation is within reach of anyone who is willing to change themselves, live good values, value people, and collaborate with others to bring about lasting positive change.”
Next week we move to Chapter 8 – “Let’s Keep Talking.” I like that idea, as talking is something some people will tell you I never stop doing!