The importance of ‘desire’ – Strategically 3 is a magic number

All good things come in 3’s ….. and so it is with strategy.

The key 3 ingredients to maximize business potential are VISION – PLAN – DESIRE. However DESIRE is the most important ingredient. Which of these 3 states of mind do you recognize in yourself?

  1. SATISFIED (my business is doing ‘okay’)? 
  2. URGENT NEED (to make business changes)? 
  3. NEVER SATISFIED (I want to maximize my potential)? 

Collabor8 desire


The reason why DESIRE is the most important of the 3 key ingredients is because business owners can use business growth experts (like Collabor8) to help them identify their Vision and produce a Plan to achieve it. However, only the business owner can personally bring that Desire to make it happen – and to keep going – and keep going – and keep going until they finally achieve their vision. As I often say, ‘I can help you maintain momentum, but I can’t inject you with desire’! Thats your job.

Actually – it is also hugely important that not only the business owner, but also the whole team have the necessary desire to succeed. The difference in financial performance between a team of ‘navy seal’ types and a team of actively disengaged ‘eeyore’ types is huge. But thats a story for another day.

Lets look at the illustration above to demonstrate each of those 3 states of mind.

SATISFIED (my business is doing ‘okay’)? 

Look first at the middle of the 3 boats in the illustration. The boat represents your business and the water level represents business performance (profit level). As you can see from the picture the business is ‘doing okay’. At the bottom of the water are a number of rocks. Each of those rocks represent business issues (areas of potential business improvement). Some of the problems are bigger than others – but all businesses – will always have lots of ‘rocks’ that could be addressed. The satisfied (perhaps complacent) business owner knows that things could be improved (by addressing the ‘rocks’), but they are ‘doing okay’ and don’t seem to have the ‘desire’ to get round to making the necessary changes.

URGENT NEED (to make business changes)?

Now look at the ‘boat’ (business) at the bottom of the illustration. Here the ‘water level’ (profit level) is much lower. It looks like the boat may be about to ‘hit the rocks’ (or even ‘go bust’). Suddenly, you see that the attitude of the business owner changes. Suddenly it has become urgent for them to address the business ‘rocks’. You hear them saying words like – ‘reduce inefficiency, cut costs’ – ‘get those invoices out the door quicker’ – ‘collect that overdue cash’ etc. In England we call this behaving like a ‘blue arsed fly’!

The really interesting point is that the ‘rocks’ (business issues) are the same in the illustration. It is only the ‘water level’ and the attitude, or desire, of the business owner that has changed. In the first scenario they were satisfied (complacent) and in the second they recognized the NEED to make changes (key word being ‘need’ – they are not in control).

NEVER SATISFIED (I want to maximize my potential)? 

Now look at the ‘boat’ (business) at the top of the illustration. Here the ‘water level’ (profit level) is much higher. Things are ‘going great’. The reason why that is the case is because the owner has already started to make the necessary changes. The owner WANTS to make changes (key word being ‘want’ – because they are in control). They understand that if they are going to maximize their business potential – then they have to always keep on addressing the ‘rocks’ in their business. They truly understand the definition of insanity (see illustration below).

Collabor8 change


So – a key rule of strategy – first think: 1. VISION? – 2. PLAN? – 3. DESIRE?

But then, in particular, remember the huge importance of DESIRE – and truly embrace addressing the ‘rocks’ and really WANT to change your business and maximize its potential.

Because in strategic terms – 3 is a magic number!


For more information, contact Paul Latham.