I spent a couple of days last week working with a number of potential partners on a large overseas project we are looking to get involved with. This group of complementary businesses got around the table to explore ways of working, new ideas, possible initiatives along with how to make the planned initiative a massive success. What struck me about these individuals was that they were best in class. It was a real privilege to be sat around the table because personally it tested me to new limits. It kept me on my toes and indeed stretched my own abilities. A truly worthwhile experience, probably the best “training course”, so to speak, I have been on for many years!
It led me to conclude that if you want to excel in your professional life then seek the opportunity of working with those people who will take you to new limits. The experience will extend your comfort zone, teach you new skills and more importantly allow you to gain insight to how they think and operate. It should also fast track you to putting together a plan for personal improvement. Define whom you believe to be the best in your field and find a way of getting to work with them. Seek to collaborate on a win –win basis. As part of this process you should do away with any personal pride issue or sense of undermining your own capability and explore – it’s about self-improvement and continuous learning. One fact is for sure, in markets as uncertain as they are at the moment, no one should be complacent or unwilling to pursue new ideas and thinking. Change is the only certainty and training/collaborating with the best can put you one step of the competition – it pushes you on to better yourself.
If you want to achieve greater success then align yourself to those who consistently out perform the rest. Be open in your approach to these people and ask them – Please can you help? Or please can I ask your advice? Can we collaborate on new opportunities? By asking in this way you are delivering a complement and acknowledging their expertise and achievement mindset. More often than not people are open to such an approach.
By training with the best you set intentions and expectations that lift your mindset to new levels of attainment. Individuals you train with are different to mentors – they are the sparing partners that you work with to develop and grow your skills on a real-time basis. If the person or organisation you want to work with views you as a potential threat the relationship will not work. Be honourable about your intentions and by no means use it to gain insights that would be of disservice to them – be clear, be up front – if a conflict of interest presents itself then walk away.
Raising our own personal bar becomes a key driver for personal and business growth. Getting into the Olympic squad certainly takes you to new limits.