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Maxims from Mike - 3 Steps to Success

Hello Leaders,

Welcome to Today. Today's Leadership and Personal Development tip deals with Steps to Success.

Maxim: There are no shortcuts to long-lasting success.

Three Points

1. Success comes from intentional living. It is achievable for most people. However, most people will not achieve it. It's not because they cannot. It's because they will not. It's because they choose not to have success. This choice ofttimes is subconsciously, if not unconsciously, made. It's a choice to be ordinary at best; a choice to be less than average; a choice to be substandard; a choice to accept whatever life gives them. Success is available for those who choose to be extraordinary; who choose to be significantly above average; who choose to be stellar; who choose to demand the best from life! Bottom line, success is a choice. It comes from intentional living. However you define success, set a goal to achieve it and be intentional about reaching it.

Steven Covey captured this concept well in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In short, they are Be Proactive; Begin with the End in Mind; Put First Things First; Think Win/Win; Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood; Synergize; and Sharpen the Saw. The effective successful people Covey engaged were very intentional about success. Many came from very humble beginnings. But they were intentional and very disciplined in reaching their goals. You can be too. This bring me to the second point.

2. Success requires discipline. Intentional living is the first step. But let's be clear. Intention without action is fruitless. For example, setting a goal is a very good first step. It shows intention. But unless you takes steps to achieve the goal, the goal is only a dream that may or may not happen someday. Be a disciplined person. If your goal is to get promoted, get on your manager's calendar. Ask him or her to outline what needs to be done for you to move to the next level. Then do it!

Perhaps a manager tells a salesperson she needs to achieve 110% of her quota for two years to move up. She sets a goal for 120% (she is on her way to being an over-achiever). She breaks this goal down into quarterly and monthly targets so she can track where she is at all times. She takes sales training courses to improve. She networks with top sales people within the company and with other star performers in other industries. She interviews various customers to learn what they expect from top salespeople. She checks in with her manager twice a month to keep her updated and to ask for any need assistance. She builds relationships with the product owners, finance team, marketing, etc. to expand her network of contacts. Everyday she does something to move closer to her goal. The interesting phenomenon that takes place is while she is moving towards her goal, she is growing personally and professionally, becoming a better person and a more valuable resource. She is a person of discipline! But it does not stop there.

3. Success involves work. You can work hard or you can work smart. Either way, it still takes work. There are no shortcuts to long-lasting success. In the preceding example, the salesperson worked hard and smart. Too many people want to have fun before work. The problem with this is after the fun, who wants to work? If you are living according to your purpose, fun and work can be synonymous. If not, do the work first, then reward yourself with fun. It's like eating a meal. Dinner comes before dessert.

I was blessed to be known as the person in sales who developed strong executive relationships with my customers. I was asked to mentor others and help them learn how to do likewise. This skill did not come without a lot of effort and hard work. During sales conferences, while some of my friends were out enjoying themselves, I was taking sales classes, leadership classes, presentation courses, negotiation courses, etc. These were in addition to the required product classes. It required discipline and hard work.

Knocking on doors and being rejected by some was not fun. Having a customer who does not want what you are offering is not fun. Seeing others achieve great success while being a rookie who was still learning was not fun. They key was to be intentional about sales success, having a disciplined and focused approach, and doing the work. Success is there for the taking but it takes real work. It happened for me. It can happen for you.

Are you ready for success? It's yours. Go get it. Be intentional, disciplined, and do the work. If you need help in this area, please contact me. Let me help bring out the best in you and/or your organization.

That's it for now. Until the next tip....

Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO

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