Regardless of if you’re looking for fame, fortune, freedom, or the ability to provide for your family, the rules for success are the same. Now this may sound strange but there’s a clear skill set that you need to develop if you’re going to progress in your personal life and in your career.
The four pillars of success weren’t discovered by me, but I’ve used them in my life to take me from a place of scarcity and fear to a place of abundance and confidence. Similarly, my team and I have built AJG Direct on these pillars and whilst they may seem simple… the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work to master.
Thankfully, you’ve got me here to share with you what the four pillars are and actionable techniques to enable you to build these skill sets.
I draw a lot of inspiration from sports, so throughout the article I’ll be using building an amazing 5-a-side team as an example.
Pillar #01: Sales
So, the 5-a-side football season has begun,you’ve been training all winter and you shots are on point and your fitness is the best it’s been since… well ever. The problem is that you don’t have a team!
You know a tonne of great players, the only problem is that they’re already playing for other teams. How are you going to get them to leave their current team and join yours?
This is where your ability to sell comes in.
You need to:
- Find out why they’re unhappy with their current team
- List the benefits of joining your team
- Show them why your team is going to be the best 5-a-side squad
By hitting those three main targets you’re going to be able to provide a better 5-a-side experience for them and have them stay with your team because they’re having such a great time playing with you.
One of the hardest things for people to do is sell themselves, so in this section’s exercise ask yourself:
- How have you benefited teams you’ve worked with in the past?
- What rare or unique skills do I have and how can they benefit others?
- Why should someone work with you and not someone equally as qualified?
These are difficult questions to answer,but once you learn how to sell yourself you’re one step closer to becoming unstoppable.
Pillar #02: Recruitment
You’ve developed the perfect pitch and everyone wants to join your team, but you know that not everyone’s right for your squad. There are some real A-players clamouring to sign-up with you but you don’t know if they’re going to gel well, what do you do?
Recruiting the “best” players isn’t always the best option. You need to build a team that works well with each other; A team that can read each other’s movements and act as a single unit rather than a group of individuals kicking a ball.
Finding the players that are right for you involves:
- Discovering their motivations for wanting to join the team
- Understanding what it is that they want to get out of the team
- Making sure that they’ll work well with the other team mates
By far, recruiting the right people for the role is the most time consuming aspect of building any great organisation be it a football team or a business. It’s your ability to read people and discovering what makes them tick that will bring you success.
Even if you don’t run a business, you can still practice your recruitment skills on your friends. Ask them:
- Why they think you’ve been friends for so long
- What it is that they enjoy about the friendship
- What draws them to people and what pushes them away
When you’re building a business figuring out what people expect from relationships is the biggest factor in selection.After all, you’re going to be seeing a lot of them if they’re right for the role.
Pillar #03: Management
After going through hundreds of applications to join your squad you picked four other individuals that work well with each other and that have demonstrated an ability to make mistakes and learn from them.
You’ve reached the “management” stage of running a tournament winning 5-a-side team. Management, on the surface, appears incredibly similar to leadership. Great managers are often great leaders, but the key differences are:
- Managers keep people following the system, leaders look at how to evolve the system
- Managers keep everyone happy,leaders keep everyone successful
- Managers explain what, leaders show why
To use that last point as an example; a manager will explain what needs to be done to be successful (e.g. what the players should be doing during training),a leader will explain why (e.g. so the team can be the best in league).
Whilst you’ll eventually become a great leader, you need to first understand an organisations processes inside and out so when you get the opportunity to evolve them you know exactly why you’re making the changes.
This exercise may sound silly but go with it. Plan a party with food. Planning a party with food requires:
- Buying the right amount of food
- Building a process to make the food
- Keeping all the guests happy
Weirdly, these are all essential management skills. Look at which of the tasks you do well and which give you a headache,that’ll show you which area of management you need to work on.
Pillar #04: Leadership
After losing a couple of matches the team is losing motivation. Practice games and training has lost the spark it once had. How are you going to fix this? By being a leader.
Being a leader means having the ideas and vision for taking the team to success. It means that you need to be able to see what’s going wrong and come up with an idea to fix them problem. For example you might:
- Scrap training for a week and instead go for drinks and create an environment where each player can talk about what they’ve done well and how they can improve
- Have the team play a different sport for a week to show them how far they’ve come at working together
- Build relationships with other coaches and have them give the team feedback on how they can improve
It sounds tough, and that’s because it is.Being a leader means giving yourself to a team. When they lose you handle the burden. When they win, you give them the glory.
As a leader it’s your responsibility to come up with new strategies and implement them to move your organisation forward. It’s one of the hardest things to teach as every single one of you will have a unique leadership style. The best way of learning how to be a leader is to do. You could try:
- Building a group focussed on a hobby you enjoy
- Looking after a group of children
- Starting a 5-a-side team
Where to go from here
The four pillars of success are easy to understand but difficult to master. If you’re looking to achieve your goals and reach your dreams, you need to master:
- Team building
- Having a team effectively implement systems
- Creating visions and looking anew ways of doing things
Thankfully, you don’t need to do this alone. Instead of building a tournament-winning 5-a-side team, come join our team at AJG Direct. We’ll enable you to build the four pillars without having to go through the hassle of choosing what colour shirts to wear and booking football pitches.
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