We hear this often when someone is referring to Derek Jeter, Jon "Bones Jones, Michael Jordan, or Adrian Peterson. There are a handful of athletes out there that exceed in every facet of their space. They dominate, to say the least.
How do they dominate? We hear phrases like, "It's God Given" or refers to something, usually a talent or ability, that is either innate (not learned) or that is so extraordinary that it could only have come from a higher power.
Little do we know that this particular craft was pounded over and over and over, again. They learned their craft. They respected it so much, they worked their every waking minute to be on the top of their field. If you look at Michael Jordan or even Steph Curry. Steph Curry shoots hundreds of shots every day, thousands of shots each week, and millions of shots each year. He didn't just wake up and was able to set the NBA record for 3pt field goals made. These types of performers are considered, "God Given."
The reality is, God had Given them the opportunity to work, the opportunity to be physically capable of grinding daily, pounding their craft, and practicing the techniques, mechanics, and had given them the chance to utilize their cognitive functions to learn, study and absorb the various methodologies to become top of their field.
When we look at the amount of time we have in a day, we are all equal across the board. We are not given more time than someone else, we are not given opportunities, and we are not given abilities, skills or knowledge to become the best versions of ourselves. However, we are given the same amount of time, same resources, and same energy as others who have became the top of their field.
Let me give you an example of my personal successes in life. I grew up on an Indian reservation in Northern Wisconsin. I spent my mornings, evenings and nights shooting on a basketball hoop attached to a tree. I had no black top, concrete area or hardwood court to practice on. I had grass. I worked on my ball handling, shooting, footwork, mechanics and moves. That grass turned into a 10 foot radius of matted down dirt. As I grew older, stronger and more skilled, that 10 foot radius turned into 15 feet, then 20 feet and onto 25 feet. Eventually, I went on to compete on the collegiate level. Nobody had given me that opportunity. The only thing given to me was the same amount of seconds, minutes and hours. Also, I have been in business for 8 years. Nobody gave me a business. I quit my job, I had zero in emergency savings, and zero in my pockets, and zero investments. I opened the phone book and started calling, setting appointments, and drove out to sell new accounts for marketing. I aligned various vendors to resell their products/services and bundle them up as my own.
I'm not really sure any of the elite athletes, successful business people or successful community members around us were given anything. The only thing they were given was the time, the next day to continue their grind.
God had given you that chance to make what you wanted with the time you were awarded.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
How many of us have heard this? "Competition is healthy. Competition leads to innovation, improved customer service, reduced complacency, requires you to focus on your core audience, and educate you on how to better serve your market."
Younger Years: In my younger years I had the firm belief that you can compete with others, take up your time, money and resources watching what others are doing -- so you can copy their actions and try to beat them. Competition. My primary developmental strategy was to find someone who performed ahead of me, I would strive to beat them. Once I beat them, then I would focus on the next person ahead of me, and so on. This worked and got me to a place where my strategy worked -- until it didn't. I maximized my results with that given strategy.
Currently: Then, I started to realize that if I took that time, those funds and resources to expand and improve upon my own space, then, I'm competing against myself. Some may call this, "Dominating." If you listen to interviews of Floyd Mayweather, you will hear him speak about beating himself and competing with himself constantly, he doesn't focus on what other people are doing. He focuses on making sure he is better today than he was yesterday. I started to apply this principle.
The difference: Competition allowed for me to gauge my skills and abilities versus that of others in my market. The problem therein lies the fact that you may not have any go-getters in that group. If there are some real sharks, go-getters and studs in that group, it helps you to keep pace. Unfortunately, that's a hit-or-miss strategy. Once you starting improving upon yourself in a consistent and constant manner - you'll never become complacent.
Action Plan: I predominantly operate in the business development/sales realm. So, I would like to invite you BD and Sales folks to develop a strategy to improve upon yourself. Yes, it is fine to see where you rank among the other great salesmen in your company, city, state, region, etc. but ultimately if you're not improving upon yourself or striving towards a goal... You simply have a wish to become better. You have no strategy. My action plan is this: I rely on the law of averages to help me develop strategies.
In short, determine what is true for you and what is important for you. You'll have quotas, goals and objectives but ultimately you can only do what you can do. Sounds cliche' but you need to improve upon yourself at the pace you're able to improve. Go out, put your face out there, ask questions, solve problems and close deals. No fear.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
4 Differences between Leaders & Managers
As previously mentioned, Management is a function of business, meanwhile Leadership is a role within the hierarchy of the organizational structure which provides inspiration, influence and communications.
Let's look at 4 areas that are extremely critical to any group, business, organization, cause, etc.
Managers count value. Managers count hours, count productivity, and the steps taken to ensure productivity is on pace -- that's what some call, "Internal Controls."
Leaders create value. Leaders create value through (1) leading by example and (2) leading by enabling people -- those are the hallmarks of action-based leadership aka Servant Leadership.
Managers have subordinates. Managers are creating subordinates by providing rules not guidelines. Rules create checklists, guidelines produce results. Take for example, a manager on a power trip instills a set of rules. Subordinate creates a checklist or "To-do" list and runs through said checklist within the confines of their scheduled work hours. Checklist, complete - good. Checklist, incomplete - reprimanded.
Leaders have followers. Leaders are creating followers by providing guidelines. Guidelines provide you with a framework for completion -- allowing for flexibility, ownership, and creativity.
So, how does influence come to play. Look who you go to for advice, as well as look who comes to you for advice. Again, leaders create followers and followers need guidance while subordinates need clarification to complete the checklist.
3. LEADING or MANAGING
Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success There is a very simple test to determine what you're doing. What weighs the heaviest of your daily workload?
Managing People ---- Managing Work ---- Leading People
You can manage people, you can manage their work (micromanagement), and you can lead people to do two things (1) complete their own work and (2) manage their own workload. There is a huge difference between all 3 forms.
4. INFLUENCE or MANIPULATE
There is a unique understanding of leadership versus management. You can look at the leadership or management of your organization and if you're in a leadership or management capacity -- look at your own style.
Managers manipulate. Let me explain. Managers manipulate you to perform by setting disciplinary rules that coincide with your performance. If you do not comply with these rules you are subject to disciplinary actions.
Leaders influence. Leaders don't need rules, rather they provide guidelines and objectives that support results.
Are you influencing your employees to achieve the objectives that support the mission and overall goal of your organization?
I have a theory, your style (management or leader) produces 2 different types of employees.
Are you a Leader or Manager?
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
When you hear someone speak of leadership of a particular group, organization, team, company or cause, we immediately associate the term, "Leadership" with the same term of "Management." If you're in management, you might read books on leadership, study leadership and speak with folks in leadership capacities.
They are not the same... Yes, I said it. Leadership and Management are two entirely different streets. You can travel down Leadership Avenue, but you cannot synonymously drive down Management Street.
The importance and significance of this post is that Leadership and Management provide 2 entirely different and vital functions to any group. Some folks associate leadership with traits and characteristics. "He/she definitely possesses leadership characteristics" is something that we've heard when there are folks up for consideration of hiring or voting.
Management is the function of budgeting, planning, staffing, training and structuring employees and jobs in order for the organization to function properly. Management is a function.
Leadership is about providing direction, broadcasting a vision, empowering people to produce useful and effective change.
In most of our organizations, governments, companies and groups we sometimes over-lead and under-manage while others under-lead and over-manage. Next time you look at your organization, business, group or cause -- you first need to look at your management AND your leadership to better determine if the organizational structure is properly set up for the future success. Do you have managers in leadership and leaders in management? Sometimes, that makes the difference between successful business or overly expensive leadership salaries.
This is a concept that all of our "leaders" and "managers" really need to understand and perhaps their expensive advanced degrees and accolades never provided them with these teachings.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
Curtis DeCora is the Executive Sales Consultant for Optimize Business Solutions. Optimize Business Solutions specializes in helping small to medium sized businesses decrease operating expenses, increase sales and streamlining your business processes. Feel free to contact us with any questions
Curtis DeCora is the Chief Executive Officer with Optimize Business Solutions and also a Senior Account Executive with Integra Business. The experience and expertise is backed by 8 years of B2B sales, starting 44 small businesses, and helping clients save an average of $9,381/year.