Every accomplished man needs his gadgets, his secret weapons which set him apart and give them the edge needed to succeed in his mission. 007 has his Aston Martin and jet pack. Batman has his utility belt and batmobile. Even Dick Cheney has his trusty shotgun. The same is true for you. You have at your disposal certain secret weapons which, when unleashed, can set you above the competition. In this article we will learn to identify and utilize five of those secret weapons.
Rarely are people willing to dip into their own funds to succeed. This is an unfortunate fact because so often our company’s expense account may not allow for certain extravagancies which are crucial to closing the big deal or motivating our associates. Remember, it is not the hardest worker who wins the prize in business but the one who brings the results. If you need to dip into your own funds occasionally to finish a project on time, then whip out that money clip and use your secret weapon to finish the project with style.
A popular school of thought will tell you that you should make goals obtainable so that associates will never fail, thus building their confidence. Well, this may work at times, but in the majority of instances, it will just keep people from reaching their full potential. The great leaders go in expecting the impossible and then have the faith that their associates reach those goals. What you expect from yourself and from those around you becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, so you can prophecy greatness or mediocrity, the choice is yours. Remember, Orville and Wilbur Wright did not fly a plane believing that only birds could fly and America did not land on the moon by believing they could not reach for the stars.
Your Coffee Mug:
I am not suggesting coffee breaks become the norm but taking the time to socialize over coffee can give you a heads up over others, especially if you really listen during this time. This need not be limited to just coffee breaks. For example, if you know that the boss prefers a particular brand of doughnuts, you can buy some each Monday and make a ritual of coffee and doughnuts in his office before work, while at the same time learning what his feelings and expectations are. Another example would be to take the time to lunch with customers and associates. By keeping your ears to the ground, you can gauge what is working and what is not working long before the actual numbers arrive. You can know who needs motivation and who needs coaching. You will know by spending time with others and by keeping your ears open for problems and conflicts that need to be resolved before they become uncontrollable.
Studies tell us that the maximum learning period for even the most complex of jobs is two years. After that time, you may see different scenarios but the problems and how to deal with them are pretty much the same. Therefore, even if you have been on the job fifteen years, you do not have much of an advantage over anyone else in your position that has been doing the job for some time.
What you do have; however, is your own personal history; your own unique perspective in bringing new and exciting ideas to the table. Are your staff meetings getting a little dull or do you want a novel way to approach new clients? Do not look to what your job has taught you because everyone else will be bringing the same ideas to the table. Instead, think about something which worked for you as a child in school or a technique your family used to use to reduce chaos around the house. These ideas are uniquely yours and will give you a fresh perspective that your colleagues do no have.
The road to life provides many ups and even more downs. It is an unfortunate truth that far too many people fail to learn from their own failures. Your failures should be a catalyst to motivate you, as well as a learning experience that is yours alone. Once you know what does not work, you can avoid doing it in the future.
Failure preceding success is commonplace throughout history. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson each filed for bankruptcy, yet both men went on to greatness. The same is true of Milton Hershey, Henry J. Heinz, P.T. Barnum, Charles Goodyear, Henry Ford and even Walt Disney. Do you believe we have had any president, prime minister, or leader who has not failed at some point in their careers? Each of the greatest mortals of history has failed and each one has looked at it as a lesson learned; a reason to become even stronger in the future.
Never underestimate the lessons you have learned from your own failures and find ways to avoid them in the future. You overcame them once, so to ignore them now would be a great disservice to yourself.
Pay attention to and use these secret weapons we each have at our disposal and, like James Bond, you will find yourself conquering all foes every time you head back into duty, even without that jetpack.
© Copyright 2007 by T. James Musler