Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5 Success Secrets

Sophie, you can't be successful if you don't get out of bed!

     Everyone is looking for the secret to being more successful, even Sophie. Sophie doesn't like to get out of bed, and for a little dog, that may be the pinnacle of success. But you want more than Sophie! Following the example of successful people there are five very distinct traits they possess. None of this is rocket science and none of it is hard. The difference between very successful people and the rest of us is focus and dedication. They practice these five secrets every day. That's right, every day! With just a little dedication and resolve, you can do it too. We are so blessed to live in a country where this is possible, it is almost criminal that more of us don't use these tools to achieve the success we all want. So let's get started!

1. You need a Plan, Man
     But you knew that, right? But did you do it? No. No more excuses. Sit down and make a plan for the next 30 days to reach a goal. Paste it on the wall, make it the wallpaper on your phone. Make it simple. When you make a plan, write it down and review it each morning and throughout the day, it lodges itself in your subconscious. Once this happens you are aware of things happening that will aid you in the successful completion of your plan. It's like having a helper looking out for all the little things around you that will aid you to your goal.
     What should be in this plan? Fair question. This plan is for one goal. Here's an example. I want to change my job. Simple. What steps do I need to take to accomplish this goal? The first step is to clearly define what the goal is. "Change Job" is fairly vague. "Move to a management position in my field, either with my present company or another company". Now, this is a clear goal. So your next step is to figure out the steps you need to take. It's like a road map.

2. Follow the Yellow Brick Road of Your Plan
     Here we go! Make the steps in your plan and follow them. What steps need to be taken to reach the goal of a management position? These are logical and easy to determine. We need to learn what any company wants in a manager. This is a generic want. Then we determine the steps needed to acquire those qualities. Maybe companies want Six Sigma training, or management experience leading groups. Here's where the plan becomes interesting. The goal remains the same, the steps to achieve the goal are fluid. They will be determined by the journey.
     You're scratching your head, I can see it now. Plan with movable steps. Yes, it will have steps that change and morph. That's because any plan is a living thing. As you move along the steps, learning and discovering more about the requirements to reach your goal you will either add or delete steps along the way. Think of the moving staircases at Hogwarts that Harry Potter hand to navigate.

3. Document, Document Document
     On your journey up the road of your plan, you will learn new things. There will be Ah Ha moments. You want to document these. This will build a library for you on how you solve challenges and how to achieve your goals. The first plan is the hardest, with the knowledge you will gain from this first plan, the next goal plan will be much easier.
     Keep this documentation of what works and what doesn't in a notebook for future reference. Give it an interesting name and title your discoveries with memorable names. My personal book is call "The Book of all Knowledge".  So you're drawing a blank as to what to document. Say you talk with your boss and ask what you need to do to be considered management material and your manager laughs at you. That's something you want to write down. Direct managers are not the best sources for information.
     So you move on and after tossing some ideas around you hit on the idea to ask one of the HR professionals. This person takes you seriously and gives you good advise providing several of the steps you need to take to reach your goal. You want to write that down, HR can be a great resource. Undaunted you move on with your quest and ask a vice president. You find this source gives you good information that is different from the information you got from the HR professional. You want to document this also. Use multiple sources. Easy.

4. Brighten the Corner Where You Are
     Your mother taught you this. Your Sunday school teacher taught you this. It's not rocket science. You are not a island, you are part of a group and you need to rally your minions to reach your goal.  That's right, you can't do it alone. So you want to attract people to you who will help you. This means that part of your goal is to become a positive, nurturing person. Oh, the humanity! I'm telling you to be kind and stop complaining. Suck it up Buttercup, strap on the honey bucket and go forth and make the world a better place because you live in it.
     Ok, you don't think you can do it. You can and you should! Everyone flocks to positive people. You have a plan. You have a goal. You're moving up. You can afford to be kind and supportive to those around you. What you are really doing is gathering your minions. Yes! you need minions! Not just for this goal, but for all the goals you have yet to reach. You will rise on the tide of the people supporting you. Think of it like a mosh pit at a concert. You can jump in, but without all the hands to catch you, you break your neck.

5. Assimilate, Add Diversity
     The Borg had it right. "Resistance is futile, we will assimilate you and add your uniqueness to the collective." You are the Borg! And, even though you are the most intelligent person in the world, you need a source for ideas. Different points of view will add to your goal, round it out. What the heck am I talking about?
     As you move through the process of achieving your goal, you will run into other ideas. These will be like bright stars on a dark night. IF YOU DON'T WRITE THEM DOWN YOU WILL FORGET THEM! When you find one of these diverse ideas that acts like a springboard, assimilate it into your goal process. No! I'm not saying get off track, I'm saying add it to what you want with your goal. What would that look like? Our goal is to land a management position. As we walk through out steps to the goal one of our minions makes a comment that management has no idea what the workers do. Hmm you think it true. So as you move toward your goal you tuck this little gem into your bag of tricks and work it into your plan.

That's it. Now, go forth and be successful.


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