Recently, I had the privilege of heading out to southern Louisiana to go speckled trout fishing. I’ve always loved the great outdoors and there’s always been a part of me that feels free once I get in nature and “away from it all”.
We had three boats and lots of eager fishermen. Now, reflecting on this adventure made it easy for me to see how important maintaining our focus on our objective of catching speckled trout was to our ultimate success. It’s uncanny how similar this fishing trip was to our disciplined focus on our journey of going from good to great.As we headed out just before daybreak, although I couldn’t see ahead, I noticed how rough the water was and that we had a big headwind slowing our progress to our destination. Know the feeling? I think we have all experienced some head winds and rough water as we begin to align with our strategic focus.
Two of the three boats with us went back into the marsh pretty early due to the rough conditions, but my team voted to stay the course. In the marsh, out of the rough water and wind, the other two boats began to fish for other inland fish. It took uncommon discipline for our boat to stick it out, fight the wind and waves to stay with our mission of catching trout.
We were fishing very hard, trying different spots, but the trout were just not feeding well. Then, we changed how we were presenting the bait to the trout. We quit bottom fishing and went to a cork with the bait about four feet under the water. Boom, we started to catch some nice fish.
Trout tend to bite more when other trout are feeding, so when you start to catch them, you want to keep your bait constantly in the water. It creates a feeding frenzy.
I smiled as I realized that is exactly what we have to do in business. First, we must focus on our mission regardless of the challenges. We have to use our knowledge and experience to present our services in a high value way. Wins attract other prospects, and wins make it easier to fish faster and harder. Even when we are on course to meet our goals for smart growth, we have to keep fishing. And just as importantly, we have to take care of the fish we have in the boat to make sure they stay fresh.
That day, we caught 90 trout, more fish than the other two boats combined (Granddaddy said, “It’s not bragging if it’s true.”).
Our boat was full of passionate and positive team members and we had a lot of fun fishing, even though it took a lot of discipline and hard work. We did not get discouraged when we had rough water, headwinds or slow fishing. We remained positive and focused on our mission.
Isn’t it fun to be on the right boat? Grab a rod, bait a hook, net a fish, ice the fish, tell the jokes, take the pictures…be an active part of the team. It takes a team doing all the right things together for a business to be successful. Greatness comes when we stay positive, work hard and prioritize our mission. The uncommon discipline to focus will always lead to a better fishing trip and more business.