7 Keys to Success

I recently participated in a business television programme, which highlights the work of international speakers and business coaches. The host of the show asked me what I would deem 7 things that successful people do. The show is aimed at small business owners (like myself) and it hopes to inspire and equip those in the SMME sector to strengthen themselves and their teams to reach greater levels of effectiveness.

Once the show is live, I'll make sure you get to see it!

So, herewith my 7 Keys to Success.

1. Vision - it’s been said so many times that the word vision itself has lost a bit of sparkle, but the truth is; human beings are designed in every way to pre-programme ourselves with “what we want” before we create the drive and energy to get there. High performance people go a few steps further. They write it down, give themselves a time frame and create a general plan of how to get there. They still stay flexible, because life isn’t static. Countless studies have shown that those who make their goals as concrete as this, are over 90% more likely to succeed, than those who don’t.

2. Be teachable - It doesn’t matter how much you know, you will never know everything there is to know. The most successful people in the world know this. They remain open to new ideas, are willing to learn from unlikely sources and make mental and physical notes about new things. Carol Dweck calls this the Growth Mindset. People with a growth mindset (rather than a Fixed Mindset) are willing to learn or change. They create mental and emotional neuro pathways to pick things up in their environment; which are likely to lead them to achieving their goals and dreams. 

3.  Learn, Learn, Learn - I’m a strong advocate for continuous learning. Knowledge gathering should not just be confined the formal “in class” environment. In fact, the broader one spans your net of curiosity, the more creative you become. Creativity is a vital component of problem solving. The most successful people in the world are excellent problem solvers, because they're curious about the world around them. They're willing to learn beyond their formal education.

4. Master yourself - How you respond to things that happen, be it failure, the unexpected or just simple little mishaps in life, often says a lot about your ability to self manage. Those who can self-manage or self-lead, are better positioned to lead others. If you can lead others successfully, than you can influence them positively. 

5. Rapid Resilience - Everyone has the ability to bounce back from a set back. The difference with high performance people, is that they can do it quickly.  In athletics, it is well documented that those who can recover quickly - from injury or failure - rise to the highest levels of their performance, other than athletes who spend weeks and months in recovery. You need to find thought techniques and coping mechanisms, which will allow you to handle setback gracefully and manage hard times like a pro athlete.

6. DelegateIn order to appear on top of their game, many try to do it all themselves. This is - off course - impossible. After studying the behaviour patterns of people like Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey, one realises that they recruit the best and trust & rely on their teams to deliver their vision. Letting go can mean the difference between earning $2mil (doing it all yourself) to $200mil (doing it through the strengths of others). The trick is to still make it look like it’s all you! 

7. Reflect - Martin Luther King Jnr. once said that “A life not reflected upon is a life not worth living”. In Alan Greenspan’s book The Age of Turbulance he mentions that he spent every day of his life reflecting on his day for 15 minutes. Using a self-reflective tool or technique helps one to stay on track with goals, adjust quickly if they don’t work anymore and to grow more quickly, because you get feedback on how you’re doing in relation to where you’d like to be.

I'm incredibly aware that this list does not cover it all. I'm quite sure there could be a thousand more points added to it. I tried to make it digestible. Maybe I'll do so in a later post. 
For me, the bottom line is; 'can I implement these principles on a daily basis?'. 

In the words of Aristotle:
"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence - therefore - is a habit, not an act."


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