As a business coach I was in awe of the performances of both Jessica Ennis and Mohammed Farah on Saturday night at the London 2012 Olympic games. I thought that the last game of premiership football, when Manchester City got two goals in the closing minutes of the game to go on to win the Premiership, would be hard to top. But the triple gold medals for Team GB on Saturday night topped it for me.
It’s a rare event that I’ll edge closer and closer to my TV in a captivated whirl wind of frenzied enthusiasm for a sporting event – as I’m usually a very level headed guy. The last time that I shouted at my TV set was when Liam Neeson was trying to find his daughter in the excellent thriller “Taken”. So what makes an Olympic or business success?
For me the Olympic flame burns in us all whether we are sports people or business people. It burns brightest when we have an almost obsessive desire to achieve our goal. Without obsession there is not going to sufficient energy to push us further than other people on the field, in the board room or other businesses when competing for the same customer base.
An obsessive desire to reach our goal, the clarity of the journey that needs to be travelled, and the intensity of the focus of the end result (gold medal or winning business) are the secret keys for me to both Olympic and business success. Don’t get me wrong there are other factors like your personal style and how you engage with people but without these three keys the rest is mere window dressing. Even the most abrasive of personalities can flex their style to be charming and engaging but few will have the courage to replicate what really counts – to have an obsessive desire for success which is so strong that they can already taste and see their success.
1. Obsessive Desire for Success
I’ve read for over a decade about how the secret of success is to have an obsessive desire for success. But what does this mean? Well just take a moment to think about what Jessica Ennis and her fellow Team GB mate Mohammed Farah had to do in order to realise their momentous Olympic success. I was particularly impressed by Jessica because her Heptathalon gold medal represented a multi discpline across seven disciplines – hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m sprint, long jump, javelin thrown and the 800m sprint. In order for Jessica to win she needed to prepare her path to success. According to www.handbag.com Jessica stated the following about her training regime
…It’s amazing to think I’ve spent 10,000 hours since the last Olympics preparing for 2012. To stay at the top of your sport takes effort and dedication
Furthermore a quick glance at her website shows the full desire and dedication of not just Jessica but also the people around her to attain success at London 2012. As it states on Jessica’s website, “it takes a dedicated team to help Jess perform to the highest level”. “Team Jennis” includes: a physiotherapist, a soft tissue specialist, a coach, a javelin coach, a physiologst, a biomechanist…and that’s before you get the “management”. And on top of this hours of training at least five days a week.
What we can take away from this is that in order to be successful in sport or business you need to have both an obsessive desire and huge dedication. Rather than working on some elses goal consider how you can encourage others around you to help you achieve your goal. And lastly if thinking about the attainment of your goals doesn’t make you jump for joy you’ll probably not have the deciation to see it through – especially if its a hard to get goal.
2. Clarity of the Journey Ahead
Are you willing to do what it takes to be successful even it means giving up some of the things that you love? When most people realise what they will have to give up to be successful whether it is free time, leisure pursuits, time with their family it is no wonder that most people decide that the reward is simply not worth the effort. To stay on the path to success is to some extent dependent upon how successful we are at reminding ourselves why we are doing it and identifying what the next steps are that will take us further towards our goal. Consider Brian Tracy’s video below for a 10 step method for goal setting:
For the likes of Jessica Ennis it is difficult for her to drift off track, but for most people, who do not have a team of people working for them, it is all too easy to drift away from the target. In order to reach for success in business many high achievers employ an executive coach to help business leaders stay on track. If you would like to know more about how an executive coach could help you achieve your business goals then please contact me for a free consultation.
As a practical take away for you, consider the following tool for getting clear about the journey ahead. Firstly, think about your end goal – the place that you want to get to. Then think about what it would feel like. Really live the moment. Enjoy the feelings of success. Spend a few luxurious moments sipping and feasting at the table of success. Then look backwards at all the key milestones that you needed to get to in order to be successful. This is a simple goal setting technique of projecting yourself to your future success can be both empowering and give access to powerful insights into what action you need to take.
3. Intensity of Focus
What happens when you truly focus on one thing? You magnify all of your potential and energy on that one thing. However, the problem is that most of us split our attention across a multitude of different things. Its no wonder why success evades us. There simply isn’t sufficient momentum and focus to propel us forwards. If our goal and clarity give us our destination and route way to success then our focus is the engine that propels us forwards. If the engine is off or on low what happens? We drift or at best make progress at a demoralisingly slow pace.
So as a practical take away try the following technique to keep you focused. Its the 1% a day rule. Imagine if you focused on getting 1% of the way to your destination in one day. 1% is tiny in comparison to trying to get the whole goal in one go. If you applied this principle how long would it take to reach your goal? Well maybe not exactly 100 days but you may surprised how quickly you build momentum Why do you think that so many personal development gurus and experts talk about achieving success in 90 days. The secret here is to keep the motor running every day even if only for an hour so that success is inevitable.
If you enjoyed this post then take a look at a post that I did almost a year ago about how Usain Bolt would make a great businessman. Tell me about your obsessive desires and how you were able to meet your goal?
To your success,