Three Tools to go the Distance

Competitions date back to the beginning of time. Whether it was for glory, land, a wife or politics we have used competition as a way to judge the best against the rest. Lets be honest, we as humans want to know the best and for those that are inspired by it, what to strive for.

The leaders of the world are inspired by competition. Those that strive to be the best and strive even harder when they are told they are not. It is the café owner down the street, coffee shop shift manager, team leader of your local running club, the president of the Rotary club or the mayor of your city. We are surrounded by these mighty creatures who strive for the best and if you are still reading this, are probably one of them.

Getting inspired has never been my problem and being challenged is something I have always thrived on. It is a wonder that anyone still picks me to be on their team, as I will fight the fight and strive to win. While I keep it clean and only accept a fair win, a good competition brings out the best in me, I hope. Yet love and passion for the win isn’t going to be the only thing that carries me across the finish line.

I recently arrived home from a weekend filled with competition. While friendly, I found my blood racing, my heart pumping and my adrenaline running. I pulled out all my tricks and lead my teams to victory and what I realized is that it was three key tools that brought home the blue ribbons.

Whether you are gearing up for your biggest revenue year, marketing a new service, expanding your plant or hiring a new team, going the distance takes three key skills.

Determination

Tool: Annual Plan

Google says determination is a state of being. Too be determined is too be focused on a set of goals. So, I guess goal setting has something too do with staying determined. Hhhmmm..goals inspire determination. As I sat with this, I pondered the idea that it was inspiration that truly brings you home that win. Yet, inspiration isn’t big enough. I know, I know, everyone talks about it and don’t get me wrong, I get that you need inspiration. But inspiration isn’t going to push you through mile 12, it isn’t going to keep you awake at 4 in the morning and it surely isn’t going to get you dialing that next lead and hence, potential sale. It is staying determined, determined to keep doing what is necessary to do. So, find your goal and get inspired to stay determined.

Consistency:

Tool: Schedule

By far it has been consistency that has achieved some of my greatest accomplishments in life. You cannot control everything and everyone has good days and bad, successful weeks and failures and focused and off track years. It is through good old fashioned consistency that actually achieves the goal. Four days of running, 52 weeks a year is better than 20 good weeks, 20 off weeks and 12 no weeks. You hear me? Slow and steady wins the race. Well, not true. Slow and steady gets you to the race. Then run like the crazy rabbit you are on race day. Make sense? After applying this to my long distance running, I began to think that this could be true for my marketing and sales efforts for my business and you know what? It worked. From the days of cold calling, I remembered that 100 calls a day, lands 25 appointments, that lands 15 sales. Do this every day, five days a week and the momentum I am looking for is achieved. Doing nothing one day and everything the next is just exhausting and unrealistic. Now consistency takes a diligence and accountability that many leaders don’t have. This very concept has always been a dichotomous one for me. Shouldn’t leaders be the most accountable, focused and committed? Nah, you guys are crazy, precarious, excited and jumpy. Chasing shiny objects is what you do best and in no way does that support accountability. It takes a good set of tools, calendar and mentor to build these behaviors. It was the great Warren Bennis who once said, “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That is nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. Leaders learn, ask and get help.”

Growth

Tool: Quantification and Implementation

As you get started, you are going to see spots where you can do better in that moment. Taking pause points to review the reality of how well or not you are doing against deadlines dates, timings and goals will actually propel you more than not. Now, don’t get me wrong, don’t pause too long—you will loose time, but a quick stop at the water station can only rehydrate you and keep you in it for the long haul. Before starting anything, have these stopping points identified and the indicators needed to assess. This could be related to expenses, financial projections, time allocation and project depth.

These three tools are just the beginning and of course, there are tools, actions and behaviors that are necessary to achieve the success these three tools can bring. Going the distance isn’t easy; otherwise everyone would be doing it. Yet with  curiosity, care and commitment to figuring out where your problem areas are, you too can run and win your race.

Need that push to take you to the finish line? Lets talk.

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