I hear tons of the supposed experts telling others that they need a strategy, yet very few of them actually have a strategy of their own and even fewer can tell you how to create one for yourself.
The word "strategy" implies planning. What's your plan? Let me ask that differently: what's your plan for your life, for your career growth, for your fulfillment, for your health, for your relationships, for your spirituality, and for your finances?
Do I mean that you need a plan for all these areas? Absolutely! You must plan each category of your life individually and create a collective plan too. This collective plan is really your strategy for success. So how should you proceed?
For each area of your life, brainstorm and write out exactly what you want. Go into excruciating detail. Write out why you must achieve your end result and exactly what you'll lose by not achieving your end result. Next right out quarterly, monthly and weekly benchmarks that must occur to achieve your success.
That's your strategy, or plan for your success. The tactical plan is the actions necessary to make the strategy work. For the tactical pick your top 3 highest value action items for each category of your life that will beat your benchmarks, and execute them every week. Capitalize on Pareto's Principle where 80% of your success will come from the top 20% of highest priority efforts.
Review your strategy every Sunday. Take an hour for yourself, review your professional and personal strategy, celebrate your victories and mitigate your shortcomings. Does this take time? Absolutely! Will this strategy reward you? Thousands and millions of times over. An hour of "you" time is better than anything else you can do. Turn off the tv, the radio and your email and start strategizing.
Passion, Planning and Positioning are absolutely critical to you success. However, without the fourth and final "P", Persistence, you're unlikely to succeed.
Persistence is simple to define, yet it's the hardest to follow through on. Persistence is your ability to never give up no matter what the odds, to persevere through life's challenges and to keep your fire burning deep when everyone around you has a fire extinguisher.
We're surrounded by negativity all day long, people telling you it can't be done, or to just cave in and take it easy. When you listen to the naysayers, and let them into your mind, than can and definitely will kill your dreams. Guard very carefully who and what you let into your mind and your life.
Persistence says I won't quit, I won't give up and I will overcome any obstacle you put in my path no matter what. Surround yourself with those who share this belief and being persistent isn't quite so difficult. When the world is beating you down, beat it back. Who said you have to listen to the garbage. Let the garbage be overtaken by your action and forward movement.
Dig deep and find your passion. When you find it, hold on tightly and nurture its growth. Keep that fire lit inside you and create a plan. Start executing your plan. While you're taking action remember to position yourself strategically, and when you do that remember never ever give up. Be persistent in your actions. The more persistent you are the more likely you will succeed.
And now you know the 4 "P's" to your success.
There's a small line delineating success and failure, and often times success can be reached by simply following through and pushing through thresholds. More often, though it tends to be a combination of violating one of the top ten reasons or a combination of them below.
There are tons of reasons for failure, and this list is in no way the end-all, be-all list. They are however, the top 10 reasons why I see people failing more than any other collection of reasons.
- Never followed through completely - you can't win if you stop short of the finish line.
- You're afraid to pressure and demand of others what you really must demand of yourself.
- Lack of belief and conviction in yourself, your company and your value offerings.
- Not willing to accept full responsibility for every area of your life.
- Poor judgement when sizing up what's truly required to succeed.
- Having realistic expectations. You set yourself up to be demotivated when you do this.
- Failing to plan every area of your life equally. You can't be a little pregnant. Go all in or not at all.
- Not a strong enough positive mental attitude. Stop letting others negative crap inside you.
- Misjudging hurdles and not planning for the inevitable.
- Failing to constantly up your game through seminars, reading and learning.
You can succeed if you're willing to put the work in. After working with thousands of professionals each year, from all walks of life, I'd have to be an idiot not to recognize why a small percentage succeed and most fail. The reasons are obvious, and this list easily covers overwhelmingly why most fail.
Read this list, study this list, and look deep inside of yourself to find which of these 10 are causing you to not get what you want.
If you really want 2012 to be your best year ever, you must ask yourself this question. What am I absolutely committed to doing differently this year from last year to achieve my goals and make 2012 the best year of my life so far?
Forget worthless resolutions and empty New Year’s promises to yourself. I mean, with deep sincerity, what behaviors and actions are you willing and capable of changing to make this happen? All of us are capable and have the ability to achieve great things, but very few make the commitment to do so.
Start by asking yourself exactly what you want and why you want it. When do you want to accomplish it by? What must I do differently? Who must I become to set myself up for massive successes?
It’s not who you are as a person. It’s who you must become, what behaviors support your goals, and what type of person achieves the goals you’re after.
Commit to being this person every single day. Read and re-read these attributes every single day. Vince Lombardi said it best; “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
Perfect practicing the person you must become to achieve your goals, and you will be infinitely closer and on a far easier path to achievement. Don’t be guilty of insanity. Choose and take action on a different path.
One of my early mentors had a plaque hanging in his office that read, “Success is the result of Good Judgment. Good Judgment is the result of Experience. Experience is the result of Bad Judgment.”
I must have looked at that sign for months before I realized that it was true in every area of life. What is bad judgment? Is it a series of failures, or as Thomas Edison say, a series of successful ways not to achieve our desired outcome?
So, if we’re on the road to success, you should welcome whatever results you achieve and learn and adapt your approach from them. It doesn’t matter if you’re in sales, management, a parent, etc. What does matter is that you don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over; otherwise, you’re just committing insanity.
You can’t manage and improve what you don’t measure, so here’s my recommendation to you:
1. Keep a journal or notepad with you at all times.
2. Every time you make or attempt to make progress towards any goal, write down your outcome.
3. Record your results and your approach.
4. Notice what and how you’re getting.
5. Didn’t get what you want, change your approach, but make sure you record it so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
Now, from your recorded results you should have a solid journal full of strategies on how to accomplish a great number of outcomes. Use these to propel your successes. Oh, here’s one last tip if you’re in sales building relationships (and aren’t we all?) – Nothing says I love you more than either padding someone’s wallet or fixing problem for them.
Look through your journal and see if you have discovered any possible solutions to a problem a client or prospect is facing and go help them solve it selflessly. They’ll pay you back many times over in thanks.
Use your bad judgment to your advantage to achieve your success and help others along the way. Give selflessly to others and you’ll build value far beyond what your competition could ever dream of.
Ever hear the expression - if you lay down with dogs you'll end up with fleas? That's true in every area of your life.
If you want higher quality personal and professional results, than you absolutely must raise your standards; your standards for who you surround yourself with, how you interact with others, how you take care of yourself physically, how you manage your days and life, and your expectations for success.
Litmus test, take a look at your five closest relationships and pick one person's income and weight. I'll bet you weigh within 10 pounds and earn within $10,000 of what they and everyone else in your group weigh and earn.
Want more money, better health, and more overall success, then raise your standards and find a peer group who has what you already want. And if you're a really great friend bring along those who want more too.
I play tennis, and I'm always striving to improve. One of the best ways for me to improve is to raise my standard of who I play, so I always play better players. It drastically raises my game, it works every time, and you'll feel far better about yourself.
What can you do to raise your own game? Who can you seek out and play, learn from, or get coaching from? What areas of your business do you need to raise your expectations and standards? How about your skills?
Raise your standards, change who your playing with, and you'll radically improve your business and personal success.
My wife and I were driving to a lunch date recently, and on one of the corners we pulled up to there were two men standing next to each other. Nothing out of the ordinary except, one was dressed professionally in a suit and tie and the other dressed in rags comparatively speaking. Me being me, I asked Kelly what's the difference between the two, and she gave me all the usual answers; from upbringing to education.
All of her reasons may have had an impact, but the real difference was drive and focus. People from all walks of life have started with nothing and made something of themselves. The man dressed professionally clearly had the drive to get ahead, and he couldn't have the drive unless he had a target to focus on – some goal, desire or result to pull him to greater levels.
Circumstances do not matter. What matters is what you do with what you have. Maximize your resources just as the well dressed professional has. Define your target with laser-like focus, and create the drive to get to win. You get to choose what you want in life – is it winning the game of life or living in rags? Your choice.
What makes an outstanding leader? Depending on you who you ask, you'll get a number of definitions and descriptions. One common definition is summed up by saying that leadership is one person, or a group of people who can influence others in support of a common goal. Bulls#!%, that's what I say. Obviously that's pretty ambiguous. Sure it defines leadership, but not what defines a leader.
Leadership is really defined by the actions and behaviors of an individual and/or group that allow them to influence and direct others towards a unified result. In other words, everything they do or say is in congruence with who they are and what they're striving to accomplish. They walk their talk, and more often than not, let their playing do the talking as they say in sports.
So what are the characteristics of outstanding leaders? That list is quite extensive too depending on whom you ask, but here are some common basics to get you started.
• Leaders set higher standards
• Leaders are charismatic
• Leaders are effective communicators
• Leaders focus on success principles
• Leaders manage their time ruthlessly
• Leaders set goals
• Leaders build rapport
• Leaders nurture teamwork
• Leaders have a strong clear vision
• Leaders coach to help others grow
• Leaders have unshakable integrity
• Leaders are persuasive
• Leaders build relationships
• Leaders embrace change
• Leaders maximize their resources
Leaders are made, they aren't born. These skills and behaviors are a good start