What's Your Track Record?  Weekend contemplation

February 02, 2018

We hear the term track record mentioned continuously from the investment community as financial organizations promote track records to entice investors to pony up monies into their products. As any objective adviser would mention while reading the investment disclaimer - past performance in no indication of future results.

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When we think of personal track record, what track record is relevant (or not) to various circumstances of life, family, work and business.

If you are evaluating a new hire for your business, how much weight do you put on the overall decision to hire or not on track record? How much do you factor in their accomplishments from 10+ years ago. This is always challenging for individuals coming back into the workforce after a time away to raise children, family crisis, etc. The clear tendency from most employers after a recent survey of clients is that 75% of the decision making is based on long term past experience. I would argue based on employee turnover rates that this percentage guarantees nothing with regards to employee success.

Think of a sales professional leader or a partner in a large consulting, legal, accounting or professional service organization and their staying power within an organization based upon their sales results from years gone by. I remember 25 years ago reviewing a partner's tax returns of a Big 6 accounting firm (I was employed there) and looked at simple numbers: personal income $1M and client revenue generated by the partner $500K and no growth for years. This was all track record focused and at the time I wondered what value was the partner bringing to the company and the client. Over the years consulting with sales leaders, relevant new sales over the shorter term are becoming a much better driver to selecting future sales team leaders. It's almost like the world of sports and the mindset of: what have you done for me lately.

Having a legacy of experience and track record is important , however as employees and business owners go through the mid-career time frame there are tendencies of staying in cruise control mode and being in the safety zone. If you are an entrepreneur, it's imperative to not rest on your track record, especially if your product or service is not diversified with respect to customers and offerings.

It's no different in the would of endurance sports racing. The pain and mental discipline required to finish a tough event drifts away over time. The longer the time frame between difficult races, the harder it becomes to overcome challenges no matter what their personal track record is. Like everything else in life, no challenges over time will result in stagnation.

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As you look at your career, business and life, consider adjusting your mindset to not only focusing on track record experience or you may become irrelevant in the marketplace very quickly. Long term track record is important but never discount the value of RESULTS TODAY.


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