January 2020 feels like a lifetime ago. Looking back, it’s highly probable that the world as we once new it will never return and instead we are faced with an altogether different reality.
One thing that is really fascinating is that whilst these are times of uncertainty, we have ALWAYS lived in uncertain times. The landscape is always ever changing, and it is your ability to navigate these changes that can deliver the edge you are looking for to keep moving forward.
Although the last year almost certainly did not go EXACTLY as planned – the experience of the past can certainly contribute to the designing and creating of a better tomorrow.
Reinvention has been a repeating reality throughout my adult life and in a keynote speech I shared with a number of audiences last year, I did what I could to articulate some key factors that help fuel a reinvention. Let’s revisit them together and see how they can help you to achieve more for yourself.
My Secret to Success
I get asked this question a lot and have given very serious thought to any answer shared. From starting my first business at 14 years old to every commitment since, the same set of principles continually serve my forward motion. It may not be sexy, profound or even be re-tweetable – but the simplicity and inward inflection has repeatedly empowered me to find clarity in my actions. So here it is….
“Do the basics, to a high standard – consistently”
As you read this, give thought to your own responsibilities.
What are your basics?
How well do you perform them?
Where can you improve consistency?
Taking personal responsibility for your current circumstances soon empowers you to start to create the change you are looking for.
The Mistake Made by the Many
Imagine being sat at a dinner table and sharing your goals and aspirations, only to be sniggered at and told that you are such a “dreamer” – like it was a bad thing. That was exactly what happened to me in my early twenties and from that day forward it was decided that “dream stealers” had no place or purpose in my life.
Too many people make the giant mistake of thinking that success is for “other people” and fail to even give though and imagination to the possibility of achieving massive things. We are living in a time where the future is unpredictable and that also means it can be better than the past.
Catch a breath now, dream big and decide what massive goals you are going to shoot at next.
How Winners Win
The most profound lesson about high performance is the fact that success leaves clues.
Being a student of success means that any time you are in the presence of greatness you don’t just say “Wow” you instead ask “How?”. Behind this question are habits, actions and mindsets that are different to the rest of the pack and unlock attributes that you can borrow to help write your own success story.
When interviewing one of the world’s greatest Olympic athletes about his performance in the 100M sprint, he shared that on race day he runs the best 110m of his life. The best of the best of the best, continuously move the finish line past where the rules of the game place it.
This same metaphor can easily transpire into your daily routines. Whether it is your appetite to reach out to potential customers, your redesigning of the customer experience following an inquiry or purchase, or even how you look at your results in any of your KPI’s – what you can you do to stretch your own finish line?
Better Beats Best
If I ask an audience of a thousand people whether they would like to perform or be good at something, better at something or do their best at something, there is almost a unanimous response of “best”.
People want to be seen as doing their best and being the best and fail to realize that this very mindset could be stunting their progress. When the focus is on “best” it creates the belief of a gold standard or absolute way of performing and in turn suppresses the possibilities of growth by overshadowing your daily actions. In fact, it is almost impossible to deliver your best. We are evolving and developing creatures and always maintain the potential of change.
Instead, when you shift your regular focus to “better” you are instantly powered by progress and internally motivated to improve. Better still, when better is the focus, you soon outperform your current best.
Mistake vs. Failure
A failure is trying something you have never tried before and it working out differently than anticipated.
A mistake is doing something wrong.
When navigating change, failures are a rich and rewarding part of the journey and mistakes should be avoided. Understanding and defining the difference between these two words is how you can innovate yourself out of chaos. By alternative, grouping the two together creates a paralysis of action and you and your workforce become entangled in fear.
Fail fast and often. Learn quickly and build processes and habits that eliminate mistakes.
Efficient vs. Effective
Being efficient is doing the thing right.
Being effective is doing the right thing.
Your future success is dependent upon the quantity of quality interactions with your customers and teams. For you and every member of your team, identify a list of HPAs (High Pay-off Activities) and ensure that the vast percentage of your time is spent doing these things.
The Missing Ingredient
Trying to summarize my thinking around the current reality and provide reminders of some of the key lessons from our time together becomes pretty complex. If you read through these thoughts looking to find the short cut, fast track or silver bullet to accelerate your success, I apologize for failing to deliver.
The experience I have gained through both my own career and the insights of thousands of other great leaders delivers a continuous and frustrating fact.
“You are worth a percentage of what you earn”
This means that great strategy, powerful tools, premium product and world class skills only work under one condition – the condition that you do the work too. The gradient of the business landscape has certainly changed to a steep accent and there will be casualties. You get to decide how your next chapter unfolds.
In times of change, it’s time to change.
Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and remember that you are in control of far more than you think you are.