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Brian Moran, the author of 12 Week Year, joins Scott today. If we have a bad month in an annual plan, we usually just try to make it up later, so Brian’s strategy is to shorten the time cycle into a 12-week year. When Scott has implemented this into his mortgage business, he finds Brian’s vision to be 100% true. Brian talks about why his concept works, what it entails, and how we can implement it into our own business.

Timestamped Show Notes

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[3:16] How did you get into this niche?

  • I’ve been in business since college. Somewhere, early on, I really got switched in to the notion of what it takes to perform at your best.
  • We live, breathe, and sleep on getting our clients more of what they want, faster.

[4:27] The concept of the book is changing the way you think in planning. Explain that for the audience.

  • As we started, we were getting good results, but not as good as people were capable of.
  • Everybody set annual goals, and they were broken down quarterly, monthly, and weekly, but there was still a barrier.
  • We borrowed from an athletic concept and redefined a year as twelve weeks.

[6:32] When I make annual goals, I have found that sometimes if I have a bad month, I tend to push at the end of the year. By shortening the cycles, it makes every day count. Have you found that with people who have executed this strategy?

  • Yes, but it shouldn’t be stressful. It’s about doing the things that are most important to your future.

[6:51] In the book you talk about lead and lag indicators. Can you explain this concept?

  • Lag indicators are measures of the outcome. If my goal is to lose weight, pounds lost is the lag. If my goal is to make sales, then sales is the lag.
  • It’s called lag because there’s a time lag on when I start to work on it and when it comes to fruition.
  • Lead indicators are not outcome measures; they’re more predictive. They have a high correlation to the end result but happen earlier in the cycle.
  • You have to realize that we control the actions but not the outcomes.

[11:49] You talk about this idea of productive tension. What is it and how can we harness it?

  • It’s the notion of when we’re clear on our goals and actions, we’re not perfect with our execution.
  • If you take some new ground, there are going to be challenges, so tension is created.
  • To reconcile that tension, we often drop out; we stop measuring results because it’s uncomfortable. That doesn’t help you at all.
  • The productive way to deal with it is to sit with it until it causes you to behave differently.

[13:45] You say that most people’s understanding about balance is flawed. Can you explain that?

  • We’ve been led to believe that balance is about spending equal time in various areas.
  • I don’t think that’s possible, and even if it was, it’s not going to bring you satisfaction.
  • We talk about intentional imbalance. We should determine where we want to spend our time instead of society determining it for us.

[15:20] What is the importance of creating an ideal week?

  • If you can’t put together a super productive week on paper, then you can’t do it in reality.
  • The first time you do this exercise, you’ll find out that it’s not all going to come together like you thought.
  • It’s about creating some rhythm and structure in your week.

[19:06] Talk about the three major time blocks that we need to place into our calendar to create a rhythm we can rely on to be more effective.

  • When you create the ideal week, you’re not looking to fill in every spot. You need to have margins, because things do happen.
  • There are three primary blocks that we talk about: the strategic block, the buffer block, and the breakout block.
  • The average professional has about forty hours of work on their desk at the end of any given day. Also, the average person wastes two hours per day, every day, at work.
  • If you structure your day differently, you can work less and make more.

[24:51] You have said that more than 60% of the time, the breakdown is in the execution, not the plan.

  • The primary breakdown is on the execution side, but people typically want to change the plan because it’s easier and they don’t know where the breakdown happened.
  • We track the lead and lag indicators, but our clients score their execution.
  • The 12-week year is all about making small adjustments more frequently.

[26:52] Let’s talk about the concept of accountability versus ownership.

  • Most people equate accountability with consequences.
  • Accountability is really the understanding that we have free will of choice and then taking ownership of those choices, including the consequences.
  • It’s a subtle difference, but it’s probably the most empowering concept there is to live the life you want to live.

[29:43] Where can people find you?

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