Monday, October 31, 2011

The Price For Success Is Paid In Advance

I had planned to attend the APICS 2011 conference since I saw the notes of the previous edition. Since then, I had been looking forward to personally being in the next edition. That plan was executed this past week. It was a great pleasure to mix with the best minds in the industry, who are leading the supply chains of their various companies, all around the globe, to gain competitive advantage. The conference was attended by about 2,000 people from 40 different countries, and would easily pass as the best professionally conference that I have ever attended. I had the pleasure of meeting lots of people on a 1:1 basis, including Rocky Bleiier (Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and author of “Fighting Back”), Jim Donald (former CEO of Starbucks) and Lisa Hershman (CEO of Hammer and Company, and coauthor of “Faster, Cheaper and Better”). It was a blast!

We sure live in a world that is changing at an alarming rate. It is a world of the 3C’s – Accelerated Changes, Overwhelming Complexities and Intense Competition. You can practically start a global business on your laptop, right in your bedroom! Today, we face global competition, and customers can compare prices online. We are expected to meet customer demand and needs in an unpredictable world. The physical borders of economies are being broken and torn down at an alarming speed. Businesses, and individuals alike, need to get a competitive advantage to stay alive. In other to do this, companies and individuals need to follow the advice of Jerry Rice. Jerry Rice, the NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver and the man who has scored more touchdowns than anyone else, was famous for his work ethic. His workouts were legendary for their length and intensity. When asked why he worked so hard, he said, “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t. Think about that!
Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.
Great athletes are NOT great just because of some good genetics. Regardless of your genes and even though you cannot dictate what genes you are born with you do have a profound ability as individuals, as athletes, as people to affect how your genes are expressed. Your exercise training, nutrition, sleep, et.c . all play a role and influence what genes are expressed and which ones are suppressed. Athletes often think “ Well I would work out every day too if I was getting paid millions of dollars". When an athlete says and really believes this then they will NEVER "make it". Such an athlete has failed to realize that there is a price needed to be paid today, in order to be in the limelight tomorrow. You don’t achieve success before starting to pay the price. The price for success is paid in advance! What they do not understand is these athletes who are making money to play have been busting their butts off way before being a pro was even a thought. They love to train, love to compete and enjoy the journey of progressing at their sport.
The price for success is paid in advance!
This doesn’t only work in sports and for athletes. It works everywhere and for everyone. All over the globe, individuals and businesses alike, are gaining competitive advantages by doing the things that others are not willing to do today.
Businesses that are brazing the trail today did things yesterday that other didn’t do. They took decisions that others were slow to take. The launched products that others were still debating on. They invested in new and emerging economies when others were still collecting data. When you see a business leading its sector and market today, be sure of one thing…..they did the things that others were not willing to do yesterday!

Managers that are climbing the corporate ladder today, ahead of their peers, were willing to do jobs that others were not willing to do. They went to locations others were not willing to go. They took on challenges that others were reluctant to take. Today, they enjoy the benefit of being ahead in their career, because they paid the price others were not willing to pay yesterday. This is not rocket science. It is a simple principle.

An important principle of success in all walks of life and in all occupations is a willingness to " Go The Extra Mile "; which means the rendering of more and better service than that for which one is paid, and giving it in a positive mental attitude. Search wherever you will for a single sound argument against this principle and you will not find it, nor will you find a single instance of enduring success, which was not attained in part by its application.

As we see the global market changing more in the coming months and years, may I ask you honestly “What are you willing to do today, that other are not doing, in order to have tomorrow what others won’t have”?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Help Yourself By Helping Others

One of the greatest secret of success is helping others to succeed. Your chances on success increase exponentially when you help other people attain success. Someone once made an observation that has become a signature on my emails. He said “when a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package – and that package contains an unhappy person” This about it for a moment: Have you ever known a genuinely happy self centered person? I doubt.
Your chances on success increase exponentially when you help other people attain success.
I once read a story about a man who was hiking in the mountains. He was taken by surprise in a sudden snow storm and quickly lost his way. He knew he needed to find shelter fast, or he would freeze to death. Despite all of his efforts, his hands and feet quickly went numb. In his wandering, he literally tripped over another man who was almost frozen. The hiker had to make a decision: Should he help the man or should he continue in hopes of saving himself?

In an instant, he made a decision and threw off his wet gloves. He knelt beside the man and began massaging his arms and legs. After the hiker had worked a few minutes, the man began to respond and was soon able to get on his feet. Together the two men, supporting each other, found help. The hiker was later informed that by helping another, he had helped himself. His numbness vanished while he was massaging the stranger’s arms and legs. His heightened activity had enhanced his circulation and brought warmth to his hands and feet. Isn’t it ironic that when he lost sight of himself and focused on solving another’s problem he solved his own problem?

Hakeem Olajunwon is the all pro centre for the Houston Rockets, the world’s champion of the National Basketball Association in 1994 and 1995. The year before they won their first championship against the New York Knicks, Hakeem realized that because he was a team leader, his responsibility was more pronounced than anyone else’s. He recognized that he had a weakness in his game, which was the fifteen-foot jump shot. Think about it. He earned a multimillion dollar income and had been all pro for six consecutive years. However, he felt that the team would never win a championship until he improved his shooting from fifteen feet

Before the 1993-94 seasons, he went to the gym everyday and practiced five hundred fifteen-foot jump shots. That’s an incredible test of building strength, endurance and improvement in performance. In 1994, when the Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks in seven games, there was only one game with more than a five-point difference in the score. Replays revealed that had Hakeem not improved his shooting percentage from fifteen feet, the New York Knicks would have won instead of the Houston Rockets.

Here are some questions for you to think about: First, do you believe that Hakeem is popular with his teammates as a result of the extra efforts he made to help bring the championship to Houston? Second, do you believe Hakeem was thrilled to win the world championship ring? And third, do you understand why he got a significant raise when his contract was up for renewal?

It is true. You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. Hakeem helped his team mates, the owners and the fans gain that championship. He won big-time because he, too, was part of the championship team and as a matter of fact, was named the most valuable player for his tremendous efforts.

The fastest way to reach the mountain peaks of life is to forget about self and help other people reach greater heights.

See you at the top.