What's Your Flywheel?

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” is a master at perfecting and teaching the theory of the flywheel. A flywheel is a regulator consisting of a heavy wheel that stores kinetic energy and smooths the operation of a reciprocating engine. Once the flywheel gets going, it keeps everything else running at a nice and smooth pace.

Jim speaks of pushing the flywheel theory within your life and figuring out within one’s business what their flywheel is. Once this is accomplished, you can put the majority of your energy into getting that flywheel over the top once and then getting it over the top again, and so on and so forth. The more often we spin the flywheel, the easier it is to keep going and the easier it is to keep the engine running in the right direction. It’s instrumental to one’s business to get into that groove and be focused on that process or that energy that can keep that engine moving. 

In today’s age of uncertainty, many people, are asking more than ever “what is my flywheel? Am I spending my time determining that? Do I have multiple flywheels and if I have too many, how do I push the key ones over?”

With so much shiny stuff and distractions in the universe today, it becomes necessary to keep an awareness of what the key flywheels priorities are and one becomes ever more efficient when they can say no to the ones that don’t make sense.

What is your flywheel? Take time to identify that, what that process is, what energy needs to be put in that is can be leveraged and scaled within those flywheels.

This is not just in business, either. This is in life.

Some examples of flywheels for me are the number of presentations that I give, the number of people I put through the iMatter Workshops and the number of people with whom I share my dreams. It may be the number of steps that I take in a given day, the amount of time I spend truly reflecting and taking care of me personally, the amount of true quality time with my kids or my wife, Cheryl. Imagine the flywheel as a spinning plate, I can focus on balancing one plate, maybe I can do that with two plates, okay that's doable. Getting to three and four, okay now it's on my feet. Five and six, how can I manage all those? Not only do I have to worry about the key ones spinning, but then some of them will fall and then I lose attention to the key ones that matter most.

So, what matters most? What is your flywheel? Define that process, and say no to the ones that don't matter most to you today.