When nobody is watching ...

Since some time I am subscribed to Seth`s Godin blog. I like it pretty much since he normally sends very concise (aprox. 5 minute reading) and powerful messages. Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, influencing the way people think about marketing, change and work.

One of his last post was called "Self directed effort is the best kind

I encourage you to read it, as said, it is very fast to do it and I ensure you that after reading it, my present blog post will make much more sense.

From the moment I saw the post titel in my inbox, it totally called my attention. And the content totally matched my expectation.

How many things do we really do, just because they genuinely matter to us, because they mean something to us and not because we have (on purpose or not) a "police man" making us doing them? I did the excercise very quicky for myself and the balance was pretty good: there were a bunch of things that I do because I care and technically enjoy doing them, while there are others where the "police men" work, and pretty well. 

I do not think that it is necessarily bad to count on such police men. It`s not ideal ... but it`s not really an issue as long as the quantity of the stuff you do self-directed exceeds the quantity of the stuff you need an extra stimulus to do. Anyways, I am not an expert in the topic and so far, what all I`ve done is just referring to Godin`s post. 

So ...this is a blog about entrepreneurship and therefore, I could not help inferring couple of things for the entrepreneurial world. And the strongest example that came to my mind was Endeavor, the organization I currently work for. 

First thing that came to my mind is that Endeavor (in the context of Seth`s post) is an army of police men that force Entrepreneurs to excel even more than what they already doing. I am aware that the word "force" is very strong, but after having worked as Entrepreneur Services Manager for more than 4 years at Endeavor Colombia, witnessing directly how Entrepreneurs receive and use our services, I feel confident when I say that the difference that we (Endeavor) make does not only have to do with the knowledge that we pass to them, the real difference relies in the capacity that we have to act as "accountability" agents for Entrepreneurs, that are always there to remind them of the commitments that they do to themselves. During the past 4 years such commitments have been things such as "doing a business plan to move to the next level", "stepping out of operative work and hiring a manager", "putting together a board of directors" or simple tasks as "analyzing their Financial Statements to look for possible red flags". I am 100 % sure that 90 % of our Entrepreneurs know how and want to do all of the previous, but for some reason, they are not used to put self-directed effort into that. It`s not only a matter of knowledge, it`s a matter of lack of self-directed drive. And what is behind this self-directed drive (not only for Entrepreneurs, but in general) remains a question mark for me. 

Recently I debated with some team mates about the role of Endeavor in the execution of projects with the Entrepreneurs. The discussion automatically came down to the role of the ESM  - Entrepreneur Services Manager -  (also called Key Account Manager in our jargon) and how involved  the ESM should  get into the day-to-day activities of the entrepreneur in order to catalyze the execution of the tasks associated to the Endeavor projects. In the end, our model works only if the Entrepreneurs execute timely the advices that are given by our group of Mentors.  Some people are more of the opinion that the "Self directed effort" of the Entrepreneurs shall be the one to drive the process and set the pace and other people (like me) even if not disagreeing with the past statement, are more of the opinion that we are actually there to provide any needed oversight that helps them to go beyond what "Self directed effort" allows, even if this implies an important investment of time and energy ... which in the end is the same time and energy that the personal trainer puts to make you burn 700 calories instead of 500, as Seth´s analogy suggests.

What do you do when no one is looking, what do you make when it's not an immediate part of your job... how many push ups do you do, just because you can?

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