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The Power of “I Will” vs. “I Wish”

May 16, 2016

The other day, I was talking to a client who is the sales vice president for several companies which live under the umbrella of a larger company. One of the companies had significant quality and delivery challenges which were serious enough to cause the company’s sales to tumble by 1/3 during the 2009 recession. With the help of the company operations group, the VP and his colleagues addressed and solved their company challenges. Yet as you can imagine a bitter taste lingered in the mouth of customers. Turning the sales ship around was challenging.

This particular company sells its products through agencies (think manufacturer’s reps). So the VP began a pilot effort with several of these agencies to learn whether he could jumpstart sales. He began frequent in-person visits to these groups and enthusiastically explained how the company had solved its challenging issues. Just so you know, this VP is very positive and visibly exciting. His efforts and his infectious enthusiasm and energy succeeded – year-to-year sales increased by 24% at the targeted agencies.

The VP dreams beyond resurrection for his company. He said, “I wish I could double this company’s revenue in five years”. When I heard the word wish I asked him, “Do you just wish to or will you double revenue in five years?” He chuckled a bit and said, “When you put it that way, I will double revenue in five years”. Since he has done it, he already knows how to increase sales at a 24% growth, a rate that will double revenue in less than three years. He simply needs to teach others how to grow too!

What you pay attention to grows. What you conceive of becomes reality. A wish is something that needs to be recast as a commitment. I will either reach my dream or I won’t – it’s a yes/no question, a decision, a commitment and above all, a choice.