Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Top 6 Drivers for Personal Success

These can be called drivers, or they might be better described as values. As you engage your business or career to achieve your vision, you need "rules of the road" to guide your behaviors and priorities throughout the journey.

6. Keep all of your promises:
The promises you make to customers and staff must be sacred. Nothing kills a business or career faster than a broken promise. Integrity is all the more important these days, because the public perception is that there is an enormous lack of it. This integrity-gap perception exists predominantly with corporate executives, politicians and lawmakers, and Wall Street. Anyone that has managed to build their "leadership capital" with those around them will gain followers and customers. There is substantial research indicating that customers are willing to pay more for products they trust.

5. Follow your passion and play hard:
There are numerous surveys that show the majority of the workforce are working in jobs they dislike. This applies to all types of workers, including accountants, lawyers, and engineers. Why would anyone want to work at succeeding at something they are not passionate about? In short, your best and most motivated effort will always be when you are following your passions. This is when you give your best effort without even trying.

4. Know where you're going, and where you're starting from:
Baseball hall-of-famer Yogi Berra once said "If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up somewhere else." Your business or career has to have a vision in order to have direction. By considering the long view and the entire journey, your steps will be easier to identify and prioritize, and you will make better progress. Spinning your wheels in reactive mode will never get you very far.

3. Be prepared to accept risks and learn from setbacks:
There is an old saying "Without obstacles how would you ever know what you are capable of?" Having an open mind so you can challenge your comfort zones is how people achieve great things in their lives. If you push those comfort zones hard enough, there will be setbacks. It makes sense, because you are in uncharted territory when you leave your comfort zones. Remember that you learn more from setbacks than you do from success. Learn from those disappointments, and put those lessons to good use.

2. Build lasting relationships:
This is especially important for both entrepreneurs and for professionals. Entrepreneurs need to focus on customer relationships to convert those into customer loyalty. But loyal relationships with staff is important as well, because staff is also involved in the development of customer loyalty. Professionals need to create strong relationships with peers, but also subordinates and superiors. Developing credibility in those relationships allows the professional to be far more effective at what they do. That being said, the professionals must also develop relationships with their colleagues outside of their own organization. This is the network that professionals will be tapping into if something should befall their position.

1. Being prepared to articulate your value creates opportunity:
And the number one driver/value for success is: the good old "elevator speech".

No matter who you are, or what you do, you will occasionally and unexpectedly cross paths with that one individual that can catapult your business or career. Will you be ready for that chance meeting in the elevator, or supermarket, or charity ball?

The first few seconds of any meeting is your initial contact and first impression, and if you do not get past this step, you will not get anywhere. And so, this is a critical step. Will you be able to convey your unique value in 15 seconds or less? Will you have a compelling message that will provoke a great dialogue? Everyone needs to have their elevator speech down pat. Your 15 second talk must be very relevant, unique, and persuasive. You must also be able to deliver that speech with comfort and confidence, which means that you should rehearse it until you have it mastered. Remember that if you cannot effectively market yourself, someone else will get the opportunity. So you must be ready.

Are you achieving the success you've always wanted? Are all 6 of these values part of your "rules of the road"? Take an honest look at your results, your behaviors, and your habits.
What will you do to make the right changes?


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