I believe great business leaders and great athletes have a lot in common! The playing fields or competitive settings may differ, but the qualities of both competitors are very much the same!
So, what does it take to become a corporate athlete and business champion? The solution is so basic and so simple and yet is overlooked by most way too often.
Success in and out of business and sports is directly related to how willing you are to venture outside of your own boundaries and comfort zone. It's not the natural talent or the business experiences you had, it is not the physical gifts or the advance degrees that separate the best from all the rest.
It is instead the simple habit of "getting comfortable at being uncomfortable" that drives a corporate athlete to go beyond where they’ve been. The corporate athlete is never satisfied with simply doing a good job. They are continually looking for the competitive advantage, for a better way, for a new approach that their competition hasn't yet produced or even thought of. Simply put, these individuals aren’t satisfied with just doing their best. They are successful because they are willing to do what ever it takes! These precious few take advantage of the quiet power of hard work and self-development!
Let's start with something basic. You may not have the best presentation skills. You may not fully understand the subtleties of a P&L. You may not have cracked the code for building strong teams. Perhaps you didn't have the same coaching or training and development opportunities. Your leadership techniques or style may be unorthodox or misunderstood. All this notwithstanding, you can still become a business champion and out-perform others. "How?" you ask, disbelieving.
Keep in mind here that success is about consistently stepping outside your comfort zone. It's about pushing your own limits. Pushing your envelope so-to-speak. It's about GETTING COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE. The more you place yourself into a position where your challenging your own comfort level, the more you refuse to be satisfied with the status quo, the faster you'll progress and develop as a business leader and a person. What does this really mean?
Let's start by taking an honest look in the mirror, specifically a look at your weaknesses. Most leaders don't like doing this. They don't like looking at or working on their weaknesses because they're not good at them. It's not fun. It feels when being inadequate at something. Guess what? You'll always be limited by your weaknesses, so enthusiastically embrace the opportunities that your weaknesses present you.
The corporate athlete is always looking for how they can strengthening their shortcomings. They know it is the fastest and smartest way to bring their performance up to the next level. Don't take the easy way out. Don't be satisfied with doing just what’s comfortable or what you have always done to get by because when you do, you're just simply lying to yourself. Get comfortable being uncomfortable! Avoid doing what you have always done, do whatever it takes!