by Cheryl Powers
Facts, while indisputable, merely describe the state of something. They point to things which are real, which exist but which don't necessarily explain why or how they got that way. And which, if viewed from another vantage point, may even seem to prove something else entirely.
Sherlock Holmes knows this well. Holmes out-sleuthed the police detectives time after time. He was especially fond of showing Detective Lestrade, who always seemed confused by the facts of a case, the errors in his thinking. Lestrade was notorious for drawing incorrect conclusions, making disastrous assumptions, and taking circumstantial evidence at face value -- all of which left him unable to solve crimes. Until Sherlock arrived on the scene, that is.
"My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know."
Sherlock has a penchant for solving problems. His secret weapon is uncovering the truth. He has an uncanny gift to see tiny details no one else sees. He unearths data the others overlook. He applies logic ruthlessly and without emotion.
Sherlock's success at solving crimes can be largely attributed to the fact that he refuses to work without real data. No data, no theories. His theories are a byproduct of the data. Because Lestrade and the other detectives lack data, they fall prey to twisting the facts to fit their erroneous theories, which gets them nowhere.
"I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." ~ Sherlock Holmes
Are you looking at the data in your business or are you twisting the facts to fit incorrect theories?
In my work, I often speak with CEOs who are dealing with unpleasant facts in their companies. While they can often point directly to the problems, when we dig deeper they don't know why they continue to have the problems.
Not growing fast enough.
Not enough new opportunities.
Too much discounting.
Losing out to the competition.
Lack of accountability.
Too many quotes and proposals being made without wins.
Too much or too little turnover.
Customers can't see your value.
Sales manager spends most of the time selling or doing the closing.
Takes too long for a salesperson to ramp up.
The problems are pretty bad. In most cases, they are costing the company millions of dollars. And what's even worse, most of the time the CEO has already spent a great deal of time, money, and resources trying to fix them. Yet they persist. Why? Because they lack the data that would explain the real causes.
"It is better to learn wisdom late, than never to learn it at all." ~ Sherlock Holmes
Once we furnish the CEO and their executives with the data they need and a roadmap to follow, they can then move forward and fix their issues once and for all.
I help CEOs and presidents evaluate and significantly grow their companies. In addition to providing tools, strategies, and programs for significant growth, my company, Align Strategic, also recruits sales and sales leadership talent with guaranteed results. If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it. If you'd like to reserve a seat for our next live event, click here. To connect on Linkedin, please consider following our page or simply send me an invitation to connect.
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