Momentum Podcast: 236

Create Lateral Pressure

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

There is a reason why entrepreneurs start but don't finish projects. Does your business have insane clarity?

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will.

We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution and we always will be.

Creating lateral pressure, this is by far one of the most valuable strategies I use with my high-end coaching clients. Whenever I'm working with somebody who's building the team, building an organization, creating momentum through other people, creating lateral pressure is one of the most important things you can do. This is one of those things that barely any other coach will talk about. Why? Well, because most coaches haven't been in business long enough, haven't coached enough, haven't seen enough companies, and don't have the actual strategies and frameworks to show you how to do things like creating lateral pressure.

Let me explain to you what this means. This is the wrong way to run a business. Here's how it normally works in most ... I would say 99% plus entrepreneurial businesses, this is how they run. There's not really clear outcomes. There's some goals, there's some objectives, there's some numbers on a wall somewhere, but there's not really clear outcomes. There's not clear accountability. Everyone doesn't have a job description, there's not clarity as to who's doing what, there's not separation between people, and there really isn't clear scoreboards. I mean, there might be scoreboards they're using, but they're not clear.

What happens is in a business where there's this murky situation where you don't have clear outcomes, you don't have clear accountability, there's not clear scoreboards, what you as the entrepreneur do is you push people. You push people to do more, to go faster, and you always live with and feel like everyone's not doing enough. In fact, one of the things that people say coming into our Grow and Scale program all the time, before they know how to set clear outcomes, before they know how to create accountability, and before they know how to create scoreboards, they say things like, "I just don't think my team works hard enough," or, "I know we can be doing more and put more out there."

I'll ask, "What makes you think that?" Then they'll say, "Well, it's just how I feel." Well, here's the issue. If you don't have a clear system to manage your team, your feelings are going to fool with you, they're going to mess with you, they're going to be wrong sometimes, they're going to be right sometimes, but your feelings are absolutely not a way to run a business. Your feelings will lie to you. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to somebody and asked them how things are going in their business and they've said, "Not so great." Then we've sat down, looked at the numbers, pulled things together, gotten clarity about what's really happening, and they realize, "It's pretty dang good." Very often your feelings will lie to you.

Here's the right way to run a business where you create lateral pressure. Let's start from the very beginning. In order to create lateral pressure, first, you create clear outcomes for your team that every single member of the team understands. They don't just understand, they can explain where you're going and they know the path to get there. When you have clear outcomes, everyone on the team moves in the same direction. Second, you create clear accountability. Every person on the team has a job description we call a 4R, role, responsibility, results, and requirements. Every person knows what they are doing and the people around them know what they are doing. When everyone mutually understands their role and everyone else's role, it creates incredible clarity.

Three, you create clear scoreboards. Scoreboards for the position, scoreboards for the department, and scoreboards for the company. All three, position, department, and company. If you create these scoreboards throughout your organization, here's what happens. The combination of clear outcomes, clear accountability, and clear scoreboards that the team understands, combined with a team of true believers, will put every single person into momentum and you will find yourself not having to push, motivate, or get people moving forward at all. They will do it on their own. Here's what happens. When you have clear outcomes, clear accountability, and clear scoreboards, there is a ton of lateral pressure created.

Here's what I mean by that. If you think of the traditional org chart with the CEO on top and everyone else underneath that pyramid, what you think of is that CEO pushing, and trying to get people to move forward, and they're on top of the pyramid so they are the driver, they are the person moving things forward. Now, let's think of that same org chart, but let's just look at the people who are involved in it. If everyone has clear outcomes, if everyone knows the accountability, and they have clear scoreboards, then what happens is the team creates pressure for each other. When one person on the team starts performing well, everybody else wants to. When one person on the team starts hitting their goals, creating outcomes, everyone else wants to catch up.

I can tell you this happens every single week in our weekly commitment meeting. The people who got 100% of their commitments done motivate everyone else in our company to get 100% of their commitments done. In a team where you have clear outcomes, clear accountability, and clear scoreboards, and you've created this lateral pressure, here's what happens. This is the magic. This is where everything changes. As the CEO, as the person in charge, rather than having to motivate and push people, when there's clear outcomes, clear accountability, and clear scoreboards, you become a relief valve. You are where they go when they need help, when they don't understand how to get things done, when they feel stuck, when they feel like they're not going to be able to make things happen, and you get to coach them moving forward.

This will change everything in your company. This will change the way you will run a business for the rest of your life and this will allow you to see just how powerful running a business can be. Because when you create clear outcomes, clear accountability, and clear scoreboards, you put people into momentum and not only will your business grow faster than you ever thought possible, but you will be blown away at how fast the human beings in your business grow because they are in momentum. You as the CEO will be in the position of helping them understand what to do next, coaching them, working with them, and helping them create outcomes. This is the real way to transition from transactional to transformation management.

Because here's what happens, when you have no clear outcomes, no accountability, no scoreboards, you have to push people to do more, to go faster. You have to use transactional management. It's telling people what to do, checking that it got done, and telling them what to do again. You've heard me say this more than once, this is the most exhausting, and destructive, and infuriating way to run a company, because you are constantly walking around, running around, checking in, trying to figure out what's happened. But on the other hand, when you give people clear outcomes, accountabilities, and scoreboards, you have that clarity. Then, you coach along the way and you get leveraged results. You go from to-do, done, to-do, to clear outcomes, coached success, and get leveraged results.

Because as the CEO, that's exactly where you want to be. As the founder of your company running your business, you want to be able to coach your team to get the outcomes you want. This is how it really works. There's a reason why so many entrepreneurs fail to build teams, fail to take advantage of the opportunities they create, fail to grow their businesses. There's a reason why so many entrepreneurs start and then never finish projects. There's a reason why so many businesses go out of business every single day. It's simple, most entrepreneurs don't know how to create lateral pressure. Most entrepreneurs are trying to push or pull the company forward on their own. Most entrepreneurs get up every day and feel the burden of trying to create momentum in a business where there isn't clarity and where people don't know where they're going, when they don't know what happens next.

If you look at a football team, there is incredible lateral pressure. If there's somebody on the offensive line and they're standing next to someone who's injured, you better guarantee ... Or you better believe there's a guarantee that they will, one, know about that injury, and two, probably say something to somebody about it so that they don't get wiped out. There's a ton of lateral pressure on a football team. I've been in the gym when football teams are working out. They push each other. They make fun of each other. They drive each other. Why? Because they have ridiculously clear outcomes. Every one of them knows they want to go to the Super Bowl ... Or sorry, they want to get to the Hall of Fame, the Super Bowl, win the season, win the month, win the game that weekend, and get their workouts done that day. There is insane clarity in that situation and that's why there is massive lateral pressure created.

In football, in sports, coaches rarely have to motivate, but they often have to coach success along the way, just like you should. If you're ready to take your business to the next level, if you've had enough of to-do, checking that it got done, and telling them what to do again. If you're ready to step out of transactional management and move into transformational leadership, you're in the right place. Because if you create clear outcomes, clear accountability, and clear scoreboards, and combine them with a team of true believers, you will become the relief valve, you will become the coach, you will get to know your team better, you will see them get into momentum and develop, your company will grow, your people will grow, and that is what we really want as entrepreneurs.

Because every one of us wants to lead in a way that changes people's lives. I have news for you, you're going to have the most significant impact on the people who are most proximal to you, on the people who are with you most often. That is your team. If you haven't yet, go to and give us some information, fill out a few questions, and get the updated and all new output to our Billionaire Code survey. We want to show you exactly where you are as a businessperson, what you should be doing next, and where your focus should be so that you can create as much unlimited momentum as possible.

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