Seven dollars was all it would take to become a cool skateboard rider. Or so I thought as I purchased my first skateboard from a discount department store. As it turned out, by the end of the first day with my new skateboard, I had bruises and scrapes on every limb of my body. I also came to the awful realization that I would not be riding my new skateboard beyond that first day. Yes, you read correctly … the first day!
Learning to Ride
To learn how to ride my new skateboard, I took to the streets and sidewalks of my neighborhood in Colorado Springs. Several hours and several tumbles later, my balance was getting better, but the ride somehow felt rougher and rougher. The sidewalk cracks I had cruised over earlier in the day — click-click — now felt like a much more jarring — clunk-clunk. Little pebbles on the sidewalk I had managed to ride over earlier, were now much rougher somehow. What was going on?
An Abrupt Stop
Have you ever pushed your cart at the grocery store and hit debris on the floor? Last week this happened to me and brought my cart to a screeching stop. That was the kind of abrupt stop my skateboard made on a pebble I hit at the end of that first day out. Only after landing on my knees and elbows (once again), and coming face-to-face with the flipped-over board, did I make the shocking and horrifying discovery! My skateboard wheels were about half the diameter they had been just a few short hours before!
You see, I had no experience with skateboards. I bought the only one they carried at the K-mart I went to with my mom. I did not realize that the wheels on the board I bought were made of some sort of clay-like composite. My prized skateboard might have been OK for a few trips around a smooth garage floor, but it was no match for the rough texture of the sidewalks and chip-sealed streets I was riding on. The wheels simply wore down to nearly nothing. I could no longer use the board and my dreams of becoming a cool skateboard rider were over before they started.
Better Board – Better Rider
A few months later, I had saved enough to get a new skateboard. This one cost nearly thirty dollars. It had a thicker plastic deck that didn’t vibrate as much. It had hard rubber wheels and more flexible “trucks”. I could make tight radius turns that would have been impossible on the $7 board! I learned to do 360s … spinning around on just the back wheels. The board lasted for a long time and I became a better rider.
From Horizontal Crashes to Vertical Tricks
A few years later, I graduated to an even better custom skateboard. I picked the deck, trucks and wheels individually. This board had additional features like a deck covered with grip tape for good footing. It had a “kick-tail” that sloped up slightly on the back of the board making wheelies and multi-rotation spins possible. It had wheels of the right width and diameter to manage the rough transitions from the base to the slanted sides of the drainage ditches my friends and I liked to ride in.
I ultimately built a quarter pipe in my driveway. It was only four feet wide, but it was about 10 feet tall with about 3 feet of vertical surface at the top. I became good at riding up the vertical wall, spinning around and riding back down without falling. In the course of about four years I had gone from riding a dumb skateboard and crashing on pebbles in the sidewalk to riding a custom purpose-built skateboard and doing tricks on a vertical quarter-pipe.
What did I learn from my $7 skateboard?
Tools Make a Difference
On a skateboard, quality makes a difference. On the $7 skateboard, the main component to move forward, the wheels, wore out and could no longer manage the most basic terrain. Have the wheels worn out on your business? Take a look under the deck! You might just find that things are feeling more rough in your business lately because your old business operations approach and technology, like clay wheels on a cheap skateboard, just cant carry you smoothly over todays new business terrain. When you lack the experience to even be aware of, much less use, quality tools like those in the EOS Toolbox, you might discover your old ways are worn out and can’t move you forward.
Better Tools Enable Better Leaders
Using a better skateboard allowed me to become a better rider. With the right tools and disciplines, you and your leadership team will expand your business skills, teamwork, and Leadership Abilities and become better leaders. Like a better skateboard with better trucks, you’ll be able to make the turns you want without restriction. You are confident to lift the front wheels off the ground and pivot! Using the right tools and disciplines to run your business also removes friction! When you’re not occupied with putting out fires, you can begin to explore the possibilities of what you and your business can really become.
Great Tools + Experience = Capability
With the right skateboards and some experience, my capabilities dramatically improved. I had built my board for a purpose — and in the end I could navigate really challenging terrain and have fun doing it!
When you have a clear Vision for where you want to take your business you can customize the structure with your Accountability Chart. You can build your business specifically to fulfill your vision and purpose. You’ll get your team working in a united, well-coordinated way. Ongoing Traction with tools like Rocks and your Meeting Pulse will move you toward your Vision. Consistent Traction will give you the experience and capability to take your business places you could never go before … and you’ll have more fun living THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE !
Be great today!
Coach, Facilitator, Speaker
Professional EOS Implementer