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Discipline and Cadence: Using Them Effectively in Business

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June 5, 2017
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Fun fact: When I first started GruntStyle, I had no business experience. I literally Googled, “What is business?”, and my search results were disappointing at first. However, after starting out sleeping and selling out of the back of my car 7 years ago, to now having over 200 employees and the best team in the business world, I want to share with you the one thing that we found is crucial in running a business that can be applied to every part of the organization. We call it discipline by cadence. [caption id="attachment_11941" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Hudson)[/caption]In the Army, we wake up early at the same time every day, march in formation, perform battle drills, and train as a unit. This is important because of its’ efficiency. It’s efficient, not because it’s the fastest way to do things, but it’s the fastest way to complete a task on a much larger scale with a lot of moving pieces. Anyone can walk faster, but with everyone marching with their left foot hitting the ground at the same time, it makes a large entity move quickly in unison.It’s a discipline by cadence.In business, we found this to be absolutely true. However, you have to first accept the fact that there is no 100% correct answer out there to your business question. Your business questions will always have a dozen right answers accompanied by a thousand wrong ones; and for what you lack in experience, you can make up for discipline. Here’s an example to help explain: GruntStyle is a clothing company. We know that we should put out new clothes all the time, but when we first started, I would just push out more product as the ideas started populating in my head. The problems that could come up with this strategy is the lack of efficient sales made, or the possibility of diluting my store with too much product. It was chaotic and unorganized, so I came up with a product release formula. I’d release a new t-shirt design twice a week without fail. I had no idea if this was the right formula, but I knew that I would never know if I didn’t try it out and stick to the plan after it got started. I could always adjust the formula later, but the sales started to roll in and we started to grow more.There are so many things to worry about when you’re running a business, organization, or department. So spending some time creating rules, or a cadence, of how it operates and then having the discipline to stick to it is important throughout your endeavor, and especially important at the very beginning when it’s going to look like it has no traction. Every department can have their own set of rules or cadence, it’s up to you as the leader to determine what they are. Even a poor plan that is organized and disciplined will be more effective than a chaotic unplanned mission.

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