Grab your cheer shoes and stretch out, we’re treating your business like the national championship team that we know it is…
Picture this: after working tirelessly to reach your goals you finally have that big moment- your business and latest offer are what everyone’s talking about, you’re a household name, and now you have some bigger than ever opportunities knocking at your door.
Those new followers (all 200K of them) are blowing up your DM’s, you’re being interviewed for the chart-topping podcast next Tuesday, you’ve got to pack for the week-long summit where you’re the headlining speaker, there’s an email thread about your upcoming book deal that needs a response, and you need to use the rest of your time to finish all of that curriculum that you’re releasing next quarter.
Basically, your business is blowing up with opportunities that are opening even more doors for you.
But what would happen if these new commitments take over your life as a CEO? You go from blowing up, to a full-on implosion.
If you’re caught up on the latest season of Netflix’s Cheer- the hit show about a team of college cheerleading champions who have now become celebrities in their own right, you know what we’re talking about… A very interesting thing transpired in Season 2 that can tell us a lot about what it takes to run your business like a well-oiled machine, even when you’re in the thick of promotion, curriculum creation, or even on vacation.
Let’s set the scene- Monica, coach of the world-renowned Navarro College cheerleading team, had been an industry icon for years before Netflix ever came a’ knocking. Coach Monica ran her team with force, clear vision, and the right amount of empathy… and it worked. Year after year Navarro College dominated score sheets and became the standard for what a championship-winning team should be. Athletes from around the country would flock to their small Texas town just for a shot at being on Monica’s team. She had the magic, and her team succeeded.
Then they blew up.
Monica and her 2019 team were the featured characters of Netflix’s hot new show, and overnight she became not only coach but manager and PR expert for 20-some college students. You could find her squad everywhere, from prime time Buick commercials to hanging out with Kendall Jenner on the Ellen Show. As their star rose (and rose, and rose) it was clear that it was now equally important to be in promo mode as it was to be in head-down prep mode for the national championship competition.
So by the time Season 2 rolled around, Monica was deep in her own zone of focus- figuring out how they’d top last year’s award-winning routine, doing daily interviews with international media, and preparing to be a featured celebrity on DANCING. WITH. THE. STARS. Wild, right?
Well, as we see this season, Monica ends up dancing away in Los Angeles while her team of athletes is back at home trying to prepare for the College National Championship competition- the thing they’re known for dominating. The team was left in the hands of a less experienced assistant coach who, try as she might, couldn’t get the team to fall in line or bring out that next-level push that Monica always could. As Monica is living out a once-in-a-lifetime dream, we see her athletes end up being ignored when they reach out for support, question their reason for choosing this team, feel abandoned, and lose motivation altogether.
When Coach Monica finally makes her return to the team, she’s lost the faith of her core community [HER TEAM] and has to spend valuable time trying to fix those relationships. Essentially, the work she’d done over years past was completely undone in a few weeks time.
Sure, this is a reality drama and maybe you don’t plan on leaving for DWTS any time soon, but you need to operate under the assumption that you will have your own seasons of focus like Monica did after the show blew up. These seasons might mean you’re away from the day to day of your operations to go off and promote your business, you might be locked in a quiet room making that magic on a brand new course and can’t be distracted and lose momentum, or you might just need a vacation to go live out a personal dream and will be incommunicado for a few weeks.
So how do you “step away” physically or metaphorically, and know that your business won’t implode?
Set Up Your Systems
If you’re carrying your entire business operations on your back, it’s time to look at ways to upgrade. Your systems should work for you, even if you’re off the clock.
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Create a Standard for Communication and Culture
Hire Right, and Train Well
Nobody can fill your shoes, this is the curse of a CEO. But what you can do, and what Monica would have been served by, is hire experts in areas that work together to create the foundation for ongoing success. In the case of Navarro Cheer, this would have looked like one dedicated tumbling coach, a stunt expert who could advise both bases and flyers, a choreographer to focus solely on showmanship and the performance aspect of the routine, and a manager who could handle team logistics…
PRO TIP: Use the 24 hour rule – If the CEO isn’t able to respond within 24 hours, the team has full decision making power and can proceed in the way they deem best.
So the lesson here: don’t shy away from big opportunities, a season of hustle and hyperfocus, or even a period of distance from the day-to-day of your business. The key is to prepare in advance so that your business can continue to thrive as you’re out there creating magic [or dancing with some stars].
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