Sustaining Success
March 2010
Envision, Evolve, Achieve

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Laurie Mrva
Achieve Success LLC 
What Does it Take to Be a Winner?

What separates those who achieve spectacular results from those who produce mediocre or average results? Success cannot be attributed to gender, upbringing, privilege, environment, luck, credentials, genetics, intelligence level, age, or experience.

Five major characteristics distinguish super-achievers from average producers.

1. Discipline - Winners control their desires and appetites. They control their emotions. They control their time. The most successful people I know are very serious about their schedule. They understand that time is more valuable than money. They set aside time to study, time to read, and time to plan. How many of us have said, "When things calm down and I get my feet on the ground, I'll do some planning"? How about putting planning time ahead of busy time? It takes real discipline. It's certainly easier not to. Winners know the value of practice. Practice, you say? Yes! If you're in sales, you make presentations, right? If you're in management, you probably do interviews, sales meetings, speeches, and negotiations. Top result producers in many fields set aside a portion of their valuable day to practice their presentations, dialogue, meetings, etc.

Sports coaches know that a less skilled but more disciplined athlete will always take the edge, in the long run, over a more skilled but less disciplined athlete.

Neil Armstrong was asked what it was like to actually step on the moon, he answered, "it was just like a drill," because he'd done 300 perfect simulations; more than any other astronaut. He earned the privilege of stepping on the moon first. He practiced more than the rest. He was more disciplined.

2.  Hunger For Knowledge - Winners and high achievers are hungry. Highly successful people are always in a learning mode, like young children. They ask questions like, "How can we do this better, what can we implement to make this job easier, how can we serve our customers better?" Complacency is not a disease winners get, even though the path of least resistance is to stay at our present level than to make the changes necessary to move ahead.

Author Tom Peters said years ago, "We're changing at the rate of bonkers cubed!" Still true today; even more so. In today's business environment, the experts say the shelf life of our current education is 18 months or less. If we stand still, we will soon be obsolete. The best time to change is before you are forced to by circumstances (like a job loss or business slip). Winners have figured this out. They are always hungrily looking for the next change.

3. Enthusiasm - Everyone knows that winners have a positive mental attitude; that's nothing new. But it goes further than that. The most powerful part of a winner's attitude is his enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the outward manifestation of our inner passion. Enthusiasm enables high achievers to keep going. Enthusiasm is a zeal for living. It is the magic that can carry us far beyond our current skills and talents; it helps supersede our deficiencies. The more enthusiastic we are, the more effort we put forth; the more effort we put forth, the more self-confidence we build; the more self confidence we build, the more likely we are to be consistent in our efforts, which produce the results we were looking for in the first place.

Do you want your workplace full of people putting forth consistent efforts, confidently, having fun, while they produce the results you've always wanted? Try sparking a little enthusiasm yourself. Enthusiasm is the best kind of contagious disease I know. If you have read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell, you may be thinking about starting an epidemic of enthusiasm.

4.  Personal Responsibility - Winners take responsibility. They don't blame someone else for their failures. They simply learn by them and make better choices the next time. Rather than use their past as an excuse not to succeed, they make their past become a reason to succeed. Some Americans dream of earning a fortune by working hard to become a professional athlete, a lawyer, a surgeon, an artist, an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, it seems that more Americans dream of winning the lottery, or have Publisher's Clearing House show up and hand them a fortune. Waiting for luck, magic and miracles to make us wealthy proves we don't want to take responsibility and make the sacrifices required to earn our success on our own. The biggest winners I know have failed their way right to success; meaning, they are willing to make mistakes, admit them, take responsibility, face the music, learn the necessary lessons, and move on without fear of making more mistakes.

5.  Commitment - Winners are committed. The classic film "A League of Their Own" tells the story of the first professional women's baseball league, formed during World War II. The league athletes faced hardships and ridicule, as they traveled across the country to play baseball. In one scene, one of the star players is about to quit the team, just before the big playoffs. The coach responds "But I thought you loved baseball?" The teary-eyed player admits, "I did, but it just got too hard." The coach says, "Of course it's hard; if it wasn't hard, everybody would do it." Being successful in many ways, is hard, otherwise, everybody would do it. It's easier to give up on our rocky road to success, than to continue to put forth our efforts when we're not getting the results we want. High achievers are willing to give 110 percent, to keep forging ahead, day after day, doing whatever it takes. Skills can be taught. Commitment can't. We used to have a sign in our office that said, "Did you ever notice how the luckiest people are the hardest working?" If you own your own business you understand what I'm talking about.

Yet, after years of sacrificing your all to make payroll, tossing and turning at night wondering how you're going to pay the overhead, and trying to set aside a little something for your future, people will call you "lucky." Winners know better. They know what kind of commitment is required to succeed. They know there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

These five common threads weave through the super-achievers, and winners in the world of sales and business. Discipline, hunger for knowledge, enthusiasm, personal responsibility, and commitment: look in the mirror... how many of these threads do you see?

Copyright protected worldwide - Julia Marrocco All rights reserved. Adapted by Sorrell Associates with permission

The Role of Passion in the Hiring Process

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There are a lot of aspects to consider when interviewing candidates for an open position - skill set, years of experience, ability to fit into the company culture, etc.  The list goes on and on.  However, there's one factor that many companies completely overlook, and it can often come back to haunt them.

That factor is passion.

A candidate's passion for what they do could be considered the "X Factor" of any search.  That's because when a person has passion for their job, they're compelled and they're driven to not only carry out the duties of the position, but also to do so extraordinarily well.  For people with passion, going through the motions is not an option.  In fact, it's not even a consideration.

Here are three reasons why employers should hire people with passion over people who lack it:

1.    They're more productive - People with passion don't leave at 5 p.m. on the dot, and they often work through lunch.  They love what they do, so they do as much of it as they can.  That translates into more productivity... a lot more.

2.    They're more engaged - You don't have to make sure they're engaged in their job and with the company.  If they have passion for what they're doing, they're practically self-engaging.  This makes it far easier to retain the person over the long haul.

3.    They're intrinsically motivated - You don't need to throw huge amounts of money or a slew of perks at these candidates in order to make them happy.  Verbal compliments and other forms of recognition for a job well done go a long way.  Once again, this increases the chances of retaining their services.

As you can see, passion has a distinctly important role in the hiring process.  Failure to identify which candidates possess it and which ones do not can have a negative impact on that process.  In fact, it could even result in hiring the wrong person for the position.

Copyright protected, all rights reserved worldwide. ┬ęGary Sorrell

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together."

~ Verna M. Kelly

"Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor."

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go!" - a leader says "Let's go!" 

~E.M. Kelly

In This Issue
What Does it Take to Be a Winner?
The Role of Passion in the Hiring Process
Upcoming Events
March -

Networking for a Need

March 11, 2010 at Carrabba's Italian Grill

In support of Trust House
Need a Speaker at your next association meeting, civic event or conference? I would love to learn about the groups and causes that are important to YOU! 

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Do You Need to Enhance Your Leadership Skills?
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Executive coaching is a powerful way to develop leadership skills and to help drive successful outcomes. Companies are investing in executive coaching opportunities at a rate of about $1 billion annually and growing at a rate of about 40% per year for one-on-one help for increased performance.

Executive coaching helps create awareness, improve performance, generate action, facilitate learning and growth, and helps develop sustainable attitudes, skills, and behaviors for positive results.

It is only effective when the executive realizes that a coach can help them "get where they want to go" and are open to change. A good coach will help you prioritize your goals, achieve your goals, make better decisions, utilize your potential to its fullest, increase motivation, eliminate obstacles, improve morale, and enhance relationships.

Coaching should be implemented within a company for new hires, people being promoted or changing roles, handling major company changes, as an intervention, with training and development programs, and/or as a management tool.

Executive coaching is really about understanding where you are today, where you want to be, and learning what is necessary for you to successfully get there. Coaching helps accurately identify strengths and weaknesses, examine the impact of their behavior on others, and regularly and intentionally reflect on values, goals, and effectiveness.

No athlete, actor, musician, or performer has ever excelled without the guidance of a coach. Leaders are like these people in that their success depends on their ability to perform. It is a strategy that many companies are using to build success!

Executive and corporate coaching is leading many companies and professionals to success. Every person and business can benefit from coaching.

Get a coach! Leverage your leadership, management, and supervisory strengths and build the necessary skills for success today by getting a coach.

Copyright protected, all rights reserved worldwide. ┬ęGary Sorrell

Web Site of the Month 

US Debt Clock

The purpose of US DebtClock is to inform the public of the financial condition of the United States of America. US DebtClock is dedicated to bringing to the public the most accurate up-to-date debt information possible. The numbers are laid out in such a way to give a complete snapshot of the country's balance sheet. Although the numbers involved are enormous, it is still easy to see the relative balance between the wealth generated and wealth consumed.

Check it out at:

About Us
Laurie helps organizations and professionals make positive changes to achieve their goals.  Achieve Success offers customized solutions to your business challenges including strategic planning, leadership development and employee assessment tools to assist with hiring, promoting and developing key skills to enhance success.   

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