I’m going to let you fill in the blank on your own; but “treadmill” is the word for me – The damn thing just doesn’t work and I think I know why.
First though, let me give you some background: My wife and I bought the machine a few years ago. Mostly for when it gets to be that time of year when it’s just plain too cold out to go for walks and jogs on our road. It’s a great machine. It even has a cup holder, a place for a TV remote, a heart-rate monitor, a lap counter, and many more features that I don’t even know how to use. We spent a fair amount of money on our machine, and at first we used the HECK out of it. Let me tell you, I was a running fool. (Ok, not true. I was more of a “slow-lopin’ fool”.)
As time went by, our usage of said machine started to slow down and get more and more sporadic. In fact, there’ve been times when the machine was more of an expensive storage shelf than a piece of exercise equipment.
The fact is, right now I could walk down to my basement, turn on our treadmill and everything would light up and work just as it did the day we bought it. However, you surely wouldn’t know this by looking at my slightly-less-than-firm-midsection, so I’m going to cast blame on the machine. I mean, that’s what we do right? It couldn’t POSSIBLY be because I’m lacking the discipline to get up, get on the thing and log a few miles. That’s preposterous!
Aside from being a husband, a dad, and a gracious friend of many, I’m also a Founder of AMPT, a technology company that is “hell-bent to motivate and recognize the good behaviors of every employee on earth”.
As any of you in business know, starting a company is anything but easy. When I started this company, I was coming off a failed attempt at previous startup company. Starting over fresh was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. At first, I couldn’t afford electricity in our office, so I charged my computer at night and worked remotely during the day with an artist to build a “clickable prototype” for the idea my co-founder and I had about providing an effective way for leaders to instantly recognize greatness of their front-line employees from anywhere they happen to be.
We knew our solution had to be simple, effective, and align employees with their respective cultures. We had a grand vision, and one that would end up solving a massive problem for many organizations, but without the discipline to show up every single day, the idea would’ve died before hearing the one glorious word we worked so hard for: “Yes”.
There were mornings when my wife would even question why I was getting up, getting ready, loading up my trustee sidekick of a Yellow Lab Jaxson, and heading to a dark, vacant office. She had to think I was nuts. The thing is, I was. I am. Maybe. But that’s another topic, for another blog. The truth is, I myself, questioned my actions on a sometimes daily basis. But I knew one thing: If I didn’t show up, nothing would happen. I had to condition myself to get up, dress up, and show up. Before long it was my routine, and it worked!
The data and research that is coming back from our growing list of clients is amazing. Even more impressive than our initial hypothesis that if we built our platform simple enough to use, employees and leadership teams would do just that. In fact, what we’ve found and continue to find is: Strengths-based recognition on our platform (AMPT) is 99.18 % more likely to drive employee engagement and 100% more likely to improve performance than traditional strengths offerings.
That stat even surprised me. So, I reached out to a couple of leaders from organizations that have extremely high numbers of “active users” to learn from them. Do you want to know the number one thing these high users did that no one else did? They did it. The number one factor that leads them to “do it” is discipline to be present and active on our platform. Not once, not every once in a while – but they hold themselves accountable to spend a few minutes on AMPT, every single day.
Discipline plays a major factor. Yep, who’d have guessed that? One Leader told me, “of course it took off like wild-fire at the beginning, but our usage slowly dwindled. It’s always been WAY above the 3 or 4% usage of the last platform we used, but I wanted more. So, I made a decision to recognize at least one person per day. Before you knew it, the rest of my Administration followed. Now, it’s an embedded part of our culture.”
Think about what’s working, and what’s not currently working in your life. Could the outcomes be different with a little more discipline and maybe even some educated change in how you’re approaching the situation? My guess is yes.
Would it also apply to me getting in better shape?
My guess is… Yes.