Athletes involved in endurance sports – like triathletes, marathoners, and long-distance cyclists – know that failing to prepare adequately might not only mean failing to complete a race, it could cause serious harm to their bodies.
They also know that improving times and achieving new personal bests takes commitment and preparation.
The same is true in business. Commitment and preparation can drive breakthrough results, but planning a new initiative without first getting all the pieces into place and the people enlisted can backfire and hurt the bottom line.
Many who sign up for endurance events withdraw long before they ever get to the starting line. They initially set out with the intention of pushing themselves beyond their known limits, but ultimately they lack the commitment or stamina to persevere. Those who attempt to compete without being fully prepared can end up getting hurt.
Competitors who finish will tell you that they spent a great deal of time getting into shape, and that sticking to their preparation required a high level of personal dedication.
Sales organizations are no different. They achieve breakthrough results only when owners and senior managers set lofty goals, consistently articulate them in a way that the sales and operations teams can take ownership of them, and build commitment across the organization.
One they’ve done this, they need to make sure people are on board and prepared for the challenges ahead.
There are other steps as well:
● Figure out what you and your employees need to do to be ready. Launching a new initiative without this step can end up hurting more than helping.
● Determine what you’re going to do every day toward achieving new goals. This sets expectations and allows you to track progress.
● Commit to letting go of some things. If the goal of your business is breakthrough results, you’ll have to leave behind those things that distract from the core focus.
● Reassess your strengths. Businesses don’t always know what’s working well, but understanding what you’re good at allows you to capitalizing on it.
● Re-evaluate your weaknesses. This identifies the things that need improvement.
● Find your motivation and share it. This communicates a reason for doing things.
● Set expectations. You can’t achieve breakthrough results by taking shortcuts or cutting corners.
● Be disciplined. Know what you’re going to do every day toward achieving your goals.
● Expect different results. Things won’t improve unless it’s intentional.
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