By Marc Beauchamp
Where have you settled for mediocrity? As things begin to shift to a more positive outlook, I want to start discussing high-performance strategies I'm passionate about that play a major role in the results we produce across our businesses and lives.
Let me start with a question: What makes one person far exceed another who has relatively the same intellectual capacity, skill set and resources?
I've been observing salespeople, middle management and executives for over 30 years and have noticed several fundamental distinctions that separate the non-performers from the real producers. When I use the word distinction, I'm using it in the context of a demonstration of excellence that sets one individual apart from another.
I want to share, at least from my perspective, what are driving mindsets and behaviors that, when diligently practiced, can set anyone free from the chains of mediocrity. Mediocrity comes from the Latin word medius, meaning middle and ocris, meaning a rugged mountain. Literally it means to settle halfway to the summit of a rugged mountain.
It's a compromise of abilities and possibility, an arbitration between the drive to excel and the biological urge to settle for the most comfortable option. It's choosing the easier, softer way.
I've seen mediocrity raise its ugly head in my life as well as in almost every businessperson I've had the privilege to work with. It's not whether it will show up in your life but, more importantly, how you will counter it when it does.
Unless you are vigilant, mediocrity will creep up on you. It's akin to the boiling of a frog. What does this have to do with boiling a frog? You've probably heard of the fascinating 19th century science experiment I'm referring to. As the story goes, researchers found that when they put a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog instinctively jumped out immediately. On the other hand, when they put a frog in cold water and put the water to boil over time, the frog eventually boiled to death.
The hypothesis is that the change in temperature is so gradual, the frog doesn't realize it's boiling to death until it's too late. While the results of the experiment are in question, it's a good metaphor for how mediocrity can slowly take over every area of your life.
The distinctions I've identified address the necessary alignment across six domains, which I believe promote the realization of the dream of owning a thriving business and living an awakened life. These domains are the foundation of what I strive to live and share with others, whether they are new to the industry or have been in payment processing for years. This is the foundation.
The six domains are:
The six domains are meant to be worked on and realized so you can apply them across your individual life and business. To maximize each, we must align them appropriately. I use the word alignment in the context of the proper positioning of the parts of your life.
The following 10 distinctions are the core actions or tactics you can deploy to help you realize mastery across the six domains. Extraordinary performers do the following:
These 10 distinctions are guidelines and not meant to be an end all and be all. Over the coming months, I will address each one and explain why I feel they are so important to our collective success. Cheers!
Marc Beauchamp is author of Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry and founder of Bankcard Life, a community for payments professionals. He is offering a free copy of his book to all payments professionals at www.bankcardlife.com/greensheet. Marc welcomes your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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