What can we learn about KPIs from Ed Sheeran?


During the past few weeks I have been researching current and future trends in content marketing. I have read a virtual ‘stack’ of articles and, between you and me, I will need to read most of them again so that I get the detail and can implement the strategies. What I can report however is that two themes have already emerged: 1) apparently the trend to add value wherever possible, while limiting self promotion, will continue and 2) ‘experience metrics’ will become just as, if not more, important than traditional key performance indicators (KPIs).

A KPI, of course, is a performance measurement that we use to demonstrate how successful we are; it tell us how close we are, or not, to reaching our business objectives. We can use KPIs to gauge our overall success and/or to evaluate particular business activities that we engage in such as our content marketing efforts, or the impact of our practice for our clients.

Experience – or happiness –  metrics, I wasn’t exactly surprised to learn, focus on how the ‘customer’ feels. They take into account whether or not for example:

  • the customer was pleased
  • the experience was customised for the individual
  • the customer’s expectations were met

I have to say I am not entirely clear how the information we gather by applying the new ‘experience metric’ differs, if at all, from the data we gather from a Customer Satisfaction Survey. And it was while I was thinking about this, and about how I can use the happiness KPI to measure the value of my work for my clients, that the following, in my opinion, utterly charming video appeared in my Facebook feed.

And so, if you haven’t seen it already, and even if you have, I would like to request that you please humour me and take two minutes, 1 minute 55 seconds to be exact, out of your working day, to watch the following short video. (Unless of course you really don’t like Ed Sheeran in which case I suggest you move on to the next post.)

Most of you will agree, I am sure, that Ed adds value in spades. Clearly this young woman’s experience is enhanced exponentially when Ed shows up sending her ‘experience metric’ off the happy scale. The outcome is a priceless and unforgettable experience for one delighted fan and for most, if not all, of the audience.

And while we may not, and probably don’t have the singer/songwriter skills that Mr. Sheeran does, or the fan base to match, we can all, each and everyone of us, add value to the peoples’ lives that we touch, be that our customers’, clients’, colleagues’ or our loved ones’.

As professionals, whatever we provide or offer – whether a product or a service – we can aim to create priceless and unforgettable experiences for our customers and clients, and we can use the new happiness KPI to determine how close we come to actually delivering. Can you imagine how your business will be transformed even if you get only part of the way there?

As a Coach I can definitely add value by bringing my clients’ attention to the ‘Ed moment’. I will be asking my clients how they can create priceless and unforgettable experiences for the people that matter to them. I will be asking them how they can create priceless and unforgettable moments for themselves, because it’s all too easy to forget when faced with a to-do list that seems to go on forever, that life doesn’t. Life is short and life is precious.

My invitation to you is that you please make time in your day to think – out loud if it helps – about how you will answer these questions:

  • How and where can you show up and add value?
  • How can you show up and create an ‘Ed moment’ for the people that matter to you?
  • How can you create an ‘Ed moment’ for your self?
  • What are your next steps?
  • When will you take action?

I welcome both your thoughts and your feedback.

The Rocks in the Bucket Time Management Story


Prioritizing and Planning are key to managing ‘time’ effectively.

Start with a bucket, some big rocks enough to fill it, some small stones, some sand and water.

Put the big rocks in the bucket – is it full?

Put the small stones in around the big rocks – is it full?

Put the sand in and give it a shake – is it full?

Put the water in. Now it’s full.

The point is: unless you put the big rocks in first, you won’t get them in at all.

In other words: Plan time-slots for your big issues before anything else, or the inevitable sand and water issues will fill up your days and you won’t fit the big issues in (a big issue doesn’t necessarily have to be a work task – it could be your child’s sports-day, or a holiday).

Do You Believe?

If you have been watching TV lately you will probably have seen the CTV ‘I Believe’ advertisements for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. “Belief ”, the campaign imbues, “is the Cornerstone of our Dreams”.

It doesn’t take a Sports Psychologist to grasp the concept – self belief is fundamental to athletic performance. Athletes have to believe in their potential to perform at their best. They have to believe that winning is a possibility. For some, winning Gold becomes a non-negotiable, so strong is their belief.

Why is this important? Because in the infamous words of Henry Ford

Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right.

When the World’s greatest performers are separated by 0.01 of a second there is no room for self doubt.

But what about the rest of us mere mortals, not competing on the Canadian equivalent of MountOlympus this February – what role does belief play in our daily lives?

In William Butler’s beautiful poem He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven,Butler imbues the reader to

“Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”

The tragedy is that, more often than not, we tread all over our own dreams with our doubts. We simply don’t believe in ourselves and what we are capable of.

You see, ‘Belief’  truly ‘is the Cornerstone of our Dreams’, and, if at your foundation is the limiting belief ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I don’t deserve it’ it really doesn’t matter how many goals you set, or how many dreams you have, you will be unlikely to follow through. After all, you can always write the book – next year; you can always apply to be a Presenter – next year.

If this is you, you are not alone. The Road Less Travelled, by psychiatrist M Scott Peck, is the best selling self-help book of all time, with over 10 million copies sold, because it opens with the now infamous and, in my opinion, dream crushing statement

‘Life is difficult.’

Clearly this line has resonated with millions of people around the world since its publication in 1978. And yet the notion that ‘Life is difficult’ is just a belief – the author’s perspective – and you can choose to believe it, and all that goes with it, or not. You can, if you prefer, choose to believe something that offers more potential, such as ‘Life is what you make it’, or you could even choose to believe that Life is Wonderful, Abundant, a Blessing…..fill in the BLANK.

The great thing about that little book, that 2006 phenomena that was/is ‘The Secret’ is that it brought to popular consciousness an idea that NLP has promoted for years – that you get back what you put out there AKA The Law of Attraction. Now, the deal is that The L of A applies to your thought too, and so, once you have thought it – it is out there, and the Universe will deliver. In other words, when you choose to focus on Life is difficult for example, guess what you get back

The point is, it’s time to tread carefully – think about the Universe as a restaurant – start listening in to your own internal dialogue, and next time you catch yourself ordering a main of ‘I’m not good enough’, with a portion of ‘I don’t deserve it’ on the side, you might want to cancel the order, literally, shout out loud – CANCEL, CANCEL, CLEAR.

It’s time to tread carefully and see your limiting beliefs for what they are – thoughts that no longer have a place in your life – and consign them to the Museum of Old Beliefs. You used to believe in Santa Claus didn’t you – and now you know that that belief is no longer true. You can file ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘I don’t deserve it’ in the same place – you used to believe them, and now you know they are no longer true. It’s up to you what you want to believe about the world and its inhabitants; you can choose what you want to believe about who you are and what you are capable of.

It is time to tread carefully and accept responsibility for what you have created with your thoughts, and the decisions you have made. It is only when you are at Cause rather than at Effect, (otherwise know as Victim Mentality – there’s nothing I can do about it – and Blame Frame – as in, it’s somebody else’s fault); it is only when you actually climb back into the driving seat of your own life that you will be empowered.

It’s time to tread carefully and recognize that you are responsible for what is present and what is missing in your life – and if you’re not happy with what you have created it is time to do some serious soul searching, and by that I mean go search for your soul, the essence of who you are – the person you are when you allow yourself to just be….….and when you find that space ask yourself these fundamental questions ‘Who am I becoming?’ and ‘Who was I all along?’ (before you took on any limiting beliefs).When you re-connect with your soul in this way you will find the personal strength and motivation you need to make your dreams come true.

Finally, I would like to leave you with my favorite quote of 2009

You can choose to reside in a place of fear, a place where you doubt who you are and what you are capable of becoming OR you can choose to believe in the best version of yourself.

Detective Mac Taylor, CSI New York

You never know where you might find inspiration!

What are beliefs?

Our beliefs are thought processes – thoughts about what we hold to be true, they are true for us, and because they are true for us we think and behave in ways that support them, even when they don’t support us. Beliefs either support or hinder us. We have beliefs about the world we live in, the people in it, about ourselves and what we are capable of.