Chapter 5: From “The Go-To Person’s Guide To Success”
Thought I would share with you a key success concept from my latest book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide To Success”.
There is an old African fable about knowing your purpose in life, which goes something like this:
Every morning, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
When you know your purpose and believe in yourself, like the gazelle or the lion, you are more likely to successfully meet any challenge. This is especially true if you choose to manage your boss and be a go-to person in your company. My son Andrew knew his purpose. He wanted to be seen as a go-to person and he put together a plan to become one. It’s that simple.
To stay the course and move closer toward your purpose, you need to have a clear focus. We’ve all been advised to concentrate on the things we can control. Yet, we often find ourselves spending (wasting) the majority of our time on things we have no control over.
To illustrate this better, take a look at the visual I use with my clients when coaching them on the important concept of “you management”.
The large square on the outside represents the things you cannot control. There are way more things in life that we have no control over than there are things we can control.
I’m not sure what causes us to gravitate toward the larger square. Maybe it’s because of the sheer volume and size of it. If we have a better understanding of the detrimental impact the activities in the largest square have on our lives, our focus, and our purpose, perhaps we would be less inclined to give into those no-value, time-wasting distractions (much like those smelly Skunks!). The result will be a more effective use of our time and a severely decreased level of aggravation.
The middle square represents the things in life that you can influence. To be an effective go-to person, you have to also know how to be a person of influence, which means you are able to get others to see things your way or find a middle ground for compromise. We have more influence over things than we realize, but most people don’t spend too much time trying to influence others. We get too caught up in trying to win or prove our own point instead of looking for mutual win-wins for both parties.
The smallest square at the center is everything in our lives and our careers that we can control. It stands to reason that we should spend the most time concentrating on the things that fall inside the small circle. That is where we’re going to get the highest results and the most benefit. When you work on the tasks and activities you can control, you have the opportunity to produce outcomes that have the greatest impact on you, your boss, your customers, and your company.
If you find yourself tempted to wander off outside of the square you can control, refer back to this diagram and get re-focused.