Under the Kimono - Samurai Innovation
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Under the Kimono

Personal Drivers Yield the Greatest Results

Personal Drivers & Corporate Drivers:

Great businesses and organizations have systems and drivers that determine their highest value actions. For many of these entities, it has taken years to develop these standards that guide their performance.  Yet, the great businesses maintain these standards through a thorough process of reviewing and maintaining their personal standards.  This leads to consistency, which is a powerful factor of being successful with results that seem almost predictable.

How can you implement personal drivers in your life?

Do you have systems for organization and productivity at home and in your personal life like a business does?

If you take a successful, going concern and study it, you will find a set of drivers leading excellent performance.  The same holds true in your business and life.  You can establish a set of drivers that yield great results when focused on consistently and with ritual and habit.

What is a Personal Driver?

A personal driver is the motivation we have that compels us to take action. Each of us has a set of motivations for everything we do in life.  The greatest part is that we are each unique and individual with motivations for our own preferences that match our unique talents, skills and life design.



How Does Innovation Occur?

Many people I talk with want to do better and see increased results from their personal and corporate efforts.  People ask me, “Shane, how does innovation occur?”  Or, they ask me how they can easily increase the level of innovation in their business or organization. My answer is that it happens when you have a desire to see something new or different happen.

The Samurai Innovation definition of innovation is “being able to bring possibility thinking to solve old or recurring problems with new ideas and techniques”.  Many of my innovations in businesses that I owned or operated were a product of my decision to make a powerful change in the results I wanted to have happen.

Over a decade ago, I owned a catering business.   The industry had a certain way of presenting take-out sandwiches in a non-descript, upright, plastic container wrapped in plastic.  I found this to be a very boring way of presenting a sandwich.  The theory of my industry colleagues was that nobody cared about sandwich presentation since this was a to-go item that was made for utility and functionality versus aesthetics.  I argued the opposite.

Didn’t the person buying a sandwich deserve and desire the same presentation as they would see in a corporate boardroom catering platter?

I also had a few other challenges:

  • My competitors were around longer than I was and had greater market share
  • These plastic containers were quite expensive on a per unit basis
  • You had to order these containers in quantities of at least 2,500 units which meant valuable cash was tied up sitting on the shelf
  • Boring, unappealing presentation with no way to differentiate myself from the competition

So I set off to overcome these challenges.  After some research, I found a horizontal tray that allowed me to present the sandwiches in multiple formats.  I also added garnishes of lemons, parsley, limes, or carrots to liven up the presentation factor.  Plus the trays came in different colors which appealed to different groups.  In addition, I was able to develop a custom label and a bigger one too since my sandwich “real estate” doubled.

I remember the first time I presented this to a long time caterer.  He laughed at me and said those famous last words that precede many good ideas, “that will never work”.  Guess what?

It worked!  This one innovation opened new doors, brought in new customers, improved my image and allowed me to compete with the “big guys”.  I quadrupled the business sales in just 18 months.

What one innovation is waiting for you to discover in your business or organization?

The Kimono

What is a kimono? A kimono is a Japanese term for a jacket.  In martial arts, we wear the jacket or kimono to train in.  The kimono offers a consistent uniform around the dojo (school or training hall).  Plus the kimono are usually made of heavier materials to withstand the rigors of physical training.  There are also kimono that are more elegant and worn to formal events and celebrations.

But what does this have to do with helping you reach your goals, dreams and desires twice as fast with half the effort?

Metaphorically, a kimono represents what we show the world about us and our business.  The four elements of your kimono are:

  1. The exterior shell that others see
  2. The image you project
  3. Personal Unique Identifier (your reputation)
  4. Your hidden inner self

Most often, we don’t always reach inside the kimono.  For many, this is a scary experience to go within and think about what you truly want to see happen in your life.  For businesses, this is the strategic planning initiatives that may or may not occur.  If they do happen, are they engaged in regularly?

Do you take the time to be strategic and as the old cliché goes, work “on” your business rather than “in” your business.

The kimono leads us to evaluate and ask the tough questions that help us to define the results that we want to see materialize.

What Leads to Why

Opening the kimono helps us look at your “big why”.  A “big why” is the most burning or pressing reason that you want something to happen in your life or business.  This is the fundamental stage of defining what you want to see materialize.

You may identify with one or more of the following phrases:

  • The What
  • Focus Point
  • End Game
  • Your Big Why
  • Results You Seek
  • The Game

Which phrase do you connect with?  This will give you a glimpse into what drives and motivates you.  Some of my coaching clients thrive in business by seeing it as a game to be played and won.  This helps keep a perspective that at the end of the day, a game is over and real life and essential priorities kick in.

Other clients like the word “focus”.  It helps them remember to concentrate their focus on defining their essential priorities in order to achieve their goals, dreams and desires.

8 Power Questions to Discover Your Big Why

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with your life and business?
  2. Why do you want to accomplish this?
  3. In what areas of your life and business are you feeling stuck?
  4. What obstacles are in your way?
  5. What is life asking you to do differently?
  6. What are the most important goals you want to set for yourself?
  7. Why do you want these goals?  – or –  Does someone else want them for you?
  8. Why is it important that your business is successful?

Samurai Core Integration Model

Once you understand what your Big Why is, you can take the steps outlined in the Fundamental Success Indicators™ program to align your why with your essential priorities.  The results come from understanding and using our Samurai Core Integration Model.  The model uses three key geometric shapes to represent the 3 foundations of our life: our mind, our body and our spirit.

Each foundation plays a key role in bringing the three planes of existence together.  The samurai and all martial artists understand that having these three elements working in harmony creates dynamic results.  For you and your business, this equates to:

  1. Strategic decisions and planning
  2. Execution of your essential priorities
  3. Completion and evaluation of your results

This is a never ending cycle.  Once all the elements are integrated together, you will begin to see greater results in your life and business.

Our next article will help you focus on defeating the Enemy of Average.  We all face times and pressure points in which there is a compelling force to operate well below our potential for greatness.  We will help you examine methods and techniques to overcome this Enemy of Average in your life and business.

Please leave any questions or feedback below and we will be certain to get back to you.

Domo Arigato


About the Author Shane Fielder

I am a grower of human capability and a business builder. The best part of my life is helping people become stronger and develop their skills, talents and character in order to lead powerful lives. I have had the great privilege to study under some of the greatest minds of business, leadership, health and fitness along with the most talented Martial Arts instructors. My passion is helping people to become even more powerful in life than they already are.

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