By Keith Lubner, Co-Founder of Channel EQ.
In any profession, getting better is something that we should always strive for. Over the course of my career, I have taken note of individuals who seem to always be able to “up their game.” It is truly astounding to see them constantly reinvent and reinvigorate themselves. There are many triggers that these “superstars” employ to become better individuals, better team players, better managers, and better performers. Here are 5 of them that you can utilize to “up your game”.
- Flush Your Business Pride. If you really want to “up your game”, take a trip to humble city and get rid of your pride. Seek out people who will make you get better, who will give you advice, who will coach you, and who will guide you. There isn’t one person on this planet who knows everything about everything. There isn’t. And, if you are in business, there’s a trick you can utilize that will speed you to results: use 3rd parties. We see it all the time. People bring us in and we can speed them up when it comes to training (because we do this every day and we have best practices etc). And, we can give honest (and sometimes brutal) feedback and insight – something leaders ALWAYS need to hear….well, good leaders. Prideful organizations slow themselves down.
- Manage Your Emotions. My business partner Jeb Blount recently released Sales EQ. In it, he describes how ultra-high performers (UHP’s) master emotional intelligence to soar above the competition. One of the things he mentions is how they effectively manage their disruptive emotions in order to win. We see this all the time and it’s something you must do in order to elevate your game. In 2016, Villanova won the men’s basketball national championship with a last second shot. In 2017 Jordan Spieth won the British Open by overcoming a horrendous tee shot on #13 in the final round by going 5 under the rest of the holes and winning. How did Villanova or Jordan Spieth win ? Talent – yes. But, it was more of their ability to manage their emotions in a time of tremendous stress. Villanova ran a play called “Nova” – a play designed for 5 seconds remaining on the clock and a play they practiced EVERY day. Their coach knew that if they got into a situation where they needed to use the play, the kids would simply execute the play and not let the emotions of the moment get the better of them. Jordan Spieth – he did the same thing. He practiced shots every day and when he had to execute a difficult “blind” shot, he did it. He minimized the damage on that hole, controlled his emotions, and proceeded to execute on the remaining holes for the victory. Up your game by managing your emotions by practicing situations within your particular domain.
- Up your Activity. Increasing your activity level when exercising releases endorphins, which increases your mood and gives you an overall feeling of “euphoria”. The same concept holds true in what we each do for a living. If you increase your activity, you feel better and you start to see more results. It’s simple. For example, take the salesperson. If he/she makes one more call to one more prospect each day, he/she will increase their pipeline. They will feel better because they will have more opportunities to close more business to make more money. Increase your activity levels in whatever you do and you will see lower levels of anxiety and stress, higher overall production, and a rise in overall well being.
- Focus on Balance. Ok, this one is easy. Time and time again I read about how high performers create balance in their lives. They maintain routines in work and they shore up their equilibrium by duplicating the same at home. In work, they create balance by segmenting or blocking their days around tasks. They then stay committed to the assigned task within the prescribed timeframe. They also do this at home. For instance, I know tremendous leaders who will workout in the early morning hours, jump into their business day, “turn it off” as soon as they walk back in the door, and “keep it off” until family time is over. Take a look at most leaders and most of them have a routine and practice maintaining balance. And if you really think about it, anything out of balance doesn’t work properly. Up your game and focus on balance in your life.
- Up Your Learning. What book are you currently reading? Me, it’s Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I just finished What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. On my desk is The Secret Game by Scott Ellsworth, The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn, Consumption Economics by J.B Wood, Todd Hewlin, & Thomas Law, People Follow You by Jeb Blount, and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. There’s a lot of reading to be done, but that’s the point. I purposely buy books and stack them on or near my desk. This visual reminder pushes me to continually learn because I’ve “learned” that if you constantly can see a goal, you will subconsciously be trying to always accomplish that goal. It’s why we write things down. It’s why we create lists. These reminders push us to achieve.
“Be as you wish to seem.” Up your game!
Keith Lubner acts as an advisor and mentor to several of today’s leading channel organizations on strategies, tactics, and programs to accelerate growth. He is a world-wide recognized expert on enablement, channel sales & marketing issues, and channel leadership. His training programs and workshops have been delivered across the globe to several start-up and multi-national organizations.