Bring the pain and the results will follow.

At the first signs of pain, most people usually quit.  It could be the pain associated with exercising.  The pain of having to cook dinner instead of going out to eat to save money. Or, it could be the pain of finally tackling that project that you have been putting off.

Our ability to endure pain, physical or mental, could be the secret that leads to success or failure in accomplishing our goals.

Karel Gijsbers, a psychologist at the University of Stirling, in Scotland, published an influential paper in the British Journal of Medicine in 1981. Gijsbers along side one of his graduate students, put 30 elite swimmers from the Scotland National team through a series of pain tests and then compared those results to 30 Club Level swimmers and 26 non-athletes.

The protocol for this study involved cutting off the circulation to the subjects arms with a blood-pressure cuff, and then having them clench and unclench their fist once per second. The “Pain Threshold” was defined as the number of contractions needed to produce a sensation that registered as pain rather than merely discomfort. “Pain Tolerance” was quantified as the total number of contractions before the subject gave up.

The first finding was that the pain threshold was essentially the same in all three groups, starting around 50 contractions.  The second time the test was conducted the results were different. The pain tolerance of the National Team swimmers endured an average of 132 contractions before calling it quits.  Compared to the 89 in the club swimmers and 70 in the non-athletes.

Gijsbers remarked that because of the more systematic approach in which the National Team Swimmers exposed themselves to pain during training, that they had created or harnessed brain chemicals like endorphins, or perhaps simply thanks to psychological coping that allowed them to endure more pain.   He also said that “pain” can be strangely motivating or even required to the highly motivated athlete.

Gijsbers conducted these studies three more times throughout the year and found that the National Team Swimmers scored highest in June, which is their peak racing season; lowest in October, which is their off-season, and somewhere in the middle during their regular training period in March.

These seasonal fluctuations suggest that pain tolerance is linked to the type of training that the swimmers were doing during each of these testing periods. During the season, they were pushing their limits every single day, which provided them more tolerance based on their daily training schedules.

Similar studies have been done since Gijsbers studies in 1981, and they have all concluded with similar results.

So if pain is required to have more success, how do I train myself to be able to endure more pain?

For the purposes of this writing, I will stick to the topic of just exposing yourself to more pain.  To be able to endure more pain, you have to set a goal a reason for that goal.  I have covered those topics extensively in other writings.  Email me if you are interested in reading those bwillett555@gmail.com

In a recent book I read, it discussed the fact that when it comes to exercise that most of us will quit long before we ever run into any possibility of really hurting ourselves.  Our body is hardwired to shut down well before we could possibly ever get in to serious trouble of actually dying.  But if you have ever worked out before, really really hard, you may feel like you are about to die while you are in the moment.

At this peak of exhaustion and mental anguish is when most people quit. They don’t push themselves through the pain, because most of us are don’t want to feel this kind of pain.  However, when you are feeling this pain it is when you are actually burning the most calories and optimizing the benefits from the actual exercise you are doing.

I’m not suggesting you go forever, I’m just suggesting you may want to push yourself during this pain for a certain amount of time, and then each workout after you continue to push yourself to stay in that zone longer and longer.  This is where you will start to see more results and growth.

What about the pain associated with eating dinner at home versus going out to eat.  I have been there before, I was in debt and spending close to thirty to thirty-five percent of my monthly income on going out to eat.  If you are spending that much money on eating out and you add-on top of that twenty-five percent in housing costs, and then all of your other expenses, including the debts.  You can see real quickly that you won’t make much progress on eliminating your debts.

My suggestion is to first figure out how much you are spending and on which days do you typically do this.  I am sure you will see a pattern.  Then decide which days or day you will pick to stop doing this. It could be on Mondays or Saturdays.  It depends on your pattern. It could be on the days you attend class or your kid plays sports.

Now that you have the day picked out, decide what you will do instead. Will it be cooking at home that day.  Or should you pick another day to make additional food, so you can eat leftovers on the day you pick?   Seems like a lot of work doesn’t it?  It is so much easier to just eat out instead.

Yes it sure does. But this isn’t getting you any closer to your goals of paying off debt.  Your ability to endure the pain is what will either help or hurt you in achieving this goal.

I am quite sure that if you are reading this your goal is not to be an Olympic Swimmer.  However, I do think you are like most people and want to find a way to get ahead and move you and your family closer to your ideal situation financially as well as lifestyle wise.

To do this, it is going to require you to do things that you haven’t been able to do before successfully.  As my mentor told me, “To get what you have never had, you have to do something that you have never done.”  Maybe this is you as well.

Enduring pain and making sacrifices is not a forever thing.  It is only for a season, a period of time, it isn’t going to last forever.  If you endure some pain during a workout for three months or so, each day enduring more and more.  Eventually you will hit your goal.  If you don’t eat out for a period of time, you will eventually get to a better financial position than you are currently. Believe me, I have lived this personally.

So the question is are you willing to endure some pain to accomplish your goals?

To your success and your future.

If you need some help with this contact me at bwillett555@gmail.com I am currently meeting with clients to help them achieve the things they want in their life and in their career.

Excerpts for this blog taken from the book Endure; Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance written by Alex Hutchinson. 

 

 

 

 

3 reasons that is preventing you from achieving your enrollment goal

As a long time Admissions Manager, I know first hand what it means, and what it takes to meet or exceed an enrollment goal, or meet budget.  I can remember in the good old days, like the early 2000’s, and in 2007 through 2010, the excitement and fun we were having meeting our goals and kicking butt.  I was also in my late twenties, and early thirties, as well, so I am sure that was part of the fun.

But today it is different.  Everything is different.  The competition is different.  The way you enroll a student is different. The way a student decides to go to school is different.  The staff you are hiring is different.

I honestly, can’t think of one thing that is the same, other than some of the major reasons why a person decides to go back to school or not.  And the process on how and why a person chooses one college over another is still the same.

I don’t think the industry will ever go back to where it was.  It is just too different in all the ways I stated above.  However, I do know a school can increase their chances of meeting and exceeding their budgets by implementing a few of the suggestions or processes I describe here.

You don’t have a process:  I have gone into school after school, after school.  And I have spoken to leader after leader, and owner after owner of schools for years. And they all say the same thing. “Our Admissions teams know how to enroll students.” And what I inevitably find, is that if they have ten Admissions Advisors, they will have two that do know how, five that are winging it, and two that are about to be fired, and one that should be fired.

Just because a person delivers results, it doesn’t mean they know how they are doing it. If they don’t know how to do it, then they definitely can’t train others how to do it.  This is what I find in school after school.  The leaders are leaving the training up to other Admissions Advisors who may or may not, even know what they are doing.

Secondly, the process is not a process on how to appeal to motives of prospective students and help the student understand themselves better and why they want to go back to school.  Nope.  The process is an application, a financial aid appointment, maybe an assessment, and if the student does these things, then the institution will allow them to start school.  And maybe the student will start school.  If they do, they may actually attend a few semesters or quarters.  But when the going gets hard, the student usually gets going.  Right to the withdrawal process and out the colleges doors.

The solution is to work with a reputable company that has a history of creating an effective Admissions process that helps Admissions teams get results, while keeping the students best interest in mind. I know most institutions these days, always have what is best for the student in mind.  But it is important to also have a standard process that not only helps the Admissions advisors, but also helps the student.

Old school leadership:  I have found myself using the term old school leadership more often this past week than I ever have before.  I guess, because I keep seeing it so much.

What is old school leadership?
Here are a few examples: 
My people don’t need any training. 
I do the training myself. 
People will just show up and do a good job. 
We are just fine right now. 

When I hear any of the above things, I just roll my eyes and laugh.  Because this is closed-minded thinking and this is obviously not what is best for your school.

First of all, there is never a good time to conduct training.  There is always another start.  I get it.  But, everyone needs training.  Ask the greats.  Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and you name it athlete.  They train three times more than they ever play their actual sport.  I am sure you have heard this comparison before, so if it wasnt convincing then, I am not sure it will be now.

Most people will show up and want to do a great job, but they might not know how.  Or they might mostly know how, but there could be one or two things that they could learn that could change the game.

Secondly, training is not only about the actual material that is covered, it is about the camaraderie that is created amongst the team.  And when in the right kind of training environment, where people are stretched and pulled out of their comfort zones, this could be huge confidence boosters that can significantly impact the results of your team.

You don’t even know what they are saying:  Here it is. Yes.  I am pitching my product to you.  Under the Trump Administration every one has gotten really excited and are optimistic about the future.  By the way.  I am as well.  However, let’s be honest here.

This train is way on down the tracks here. We had eight years of increased scrutiny and more and more regulations.  All of that is not going to be overturned in a year or even four years. And this is really not the reason, you would even consider buying my product anyway.  My product is for helping your team, your people, and your processes to get better.

Sure you can use it for compliance and verification as well.  But, our product is for developing people.  When you run a secret shopping campaign at your school, it is to find and eliminate things such as inefficient processes, bad language from your Admissions teams, and then lastly even validation and proof of what you do well.  Contact me at the info below if you want to schedule a free complimentary shop.

When we run a secret shopping camping with one of customers, it is first and foremost and opportunity to use it to coach and train employees to get better.

Let me ask you.  Do you have a process that helps students discover their own desires for going back to school?  Do you have “old school leadership” in place that is preventing you from reaching goals and budgets because of their mindset?  And lastly, do you even know what your staff is saying to your customers?  I mean prospective students?

As the owner of MPACT Group Inc. and a long time Higher Ed executive, I know the challenges your Admissions teams faces and I take a new approach to training and developing todays current admissions workforce to get the most out of them.

If you are interested in learning more. Reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

 

The training your company needs and who should actually provide it

After doing training and development for ten plus years, my experience tells me that most companies are not doing enough training in the areas where people need the training.  In many cases, they are spending more time on training people in the areas that don’t necessarily give that person or the organization its best return on investment.

I have created a list of the different kinds of training and development a company must provide and who should be providing it, in my opinion.  And at the end of this article I suggest the amount of time that a company should be training in each of the training areas I have described.

In this article, I use the terms inside trainers and outside or external trainers.  Whenever I use the terms outside or external trainers, I mean the same thing.  It means either bring a training company in from the outside of your organization or send your employees to a conference, or some kind of training being provided by an outside or external company.

Soft Skills (foundational skills):  These are commonly called the soft skills.  Communication, interpersonal relationships, managing stress, small talk, listening skills, etc.

These skills are the most important skills of all in my opinion.  I don’t care who you are and what you do.  The chances are, sometime between five years old and who you are today, you have lost knowledge of how to be nice to others.  It isn’t totally your fault, in the hyper crazy world you are just busy.  You have been conditioned to respond to someone before they are finished talking.  You have learned to cut people off in mid sentence. You have lost the ability to disagree agreeably, if you actually ever learned it in the first place.

The foundational/soft skills are the basics of human interaction.  And for whatever reason, today, because of technology, we just don’t communicate face to face enough that when we are asked to do so, we just aren’t very good at it.

Who should provide this training? In my opinion most training departments within a company aren’t equipped to handle this kind of training.  Hiring an outside company is the best way to deliver this training.  The reason I say this, is because the outside company is working with lots of other companies, their material is very specific to this area, but it is very applicable to all organizations.  Because the challenges that come up, in the area of soft skills, are universal to all people.  Someone within company can get certified in a specific training program that delivers these kinds of skills.  But even then, unless they have many years of delivering this kind of training, I would suggest a company still hire an outside company to deliver the training to get the most out of the dollars spent on it.

Skills Training: Includes proficiencies needed to actually perform the job.  This kind of training is very specific to an individual job description or category.  It could be sales, customer service, engineer, project management, leadership, etc.  Skills training is the kind of training that helps someone get better at their job.

Skills training is ongoing and never ends.  Unfortunately, we as humans can learn anything we want, but what we learn and what we actually retain are terribly opposite at times.  To ensure a person gets and keeps the information that they need to be successful on the job.  Repetition is critical.  How often do they need it?  Everyday is what I say. To really learn, retain, and actually apply the skills.  A person must constantly be practicing and learning. Period.

Who should be delivering this kind of training? Obviously some of this training is going to be very specific for certain jobs in the company. I would suggest maybe a person who is doing the job, but also has the ability and the time to train others.  Not everyone can train someone else to do what they do.  The chances are the manager isn’t proficient enough or fresh enough to teach these specific skills either.  By the way, that is okay.

Sometimes this training may land within a human resources department as well. Again, I caution this because unless the person has actually done the job, they may not have the credibility or the depth of knowledge necessary to train the skills required effectively.

Again, depending on the job, hiring an outside company might be best.  Especially once everyone on the team has gone through initial skills training that is provided.  Having an outside person come in that has a different voice, a different perspective, and delivery methods that reinforces what the company has already trained the employee on.  This only enhances the employees skills and helps them buy-in to the philosophies even more.

Leadership Training: I had to create a separate category for leadership training. You could easily put it under skills training or soft skills/foundational skills training.  However, because I believe, and it has been validated over and over.  Leaders drive the effectiveness, the engagement of employees, and the overall success of an organization.  This kind of training should not be taken lightly and should be a significant investment made by all companies and organizations.  Equipping leaders with the skills to problem solve, lead people, have empathy, coaching, delegation, project management, celebration, etc. should be one of the primary focuses of all companies and organizations. All companies rise or fall on the ability of the leaders within that organization.

Who should provide this training? From my experience working inside a company, I have always found that a good external training company is always best when it comes to delivering leadership training.  The reason I say this, is because the chances are you have already heard and learned the leadership practices within your organization.  To get new ideas and ways to approach things, the best way is to bring an outside company in who will have a different perspective and different insights.  This will allow your leadership team to grow and add more tools and skills in the area of leadership to their toolkit. Or you can send leaders to a training program.

Professional training and legal training: This is the kind of training that is very specific to a job classification or specific job task.  For example, it could be accounting.  They must keep up with all of the current tax laws. Lawyers need specific training as laws change.  Human Resources must be kept up to speed on the current employment laws. Leadership must be kept up on the current hiring and firing laws if they are the ones interviewing candidates.

Who should provide this training?  Well, some of this training can be purchased from outside companies that focus on this.  Training such as sexual harassment, discrimination laws, certain health and safety mandatory practices, safe driving, etc.  Since most of this kind of training is driven by laws, codes, mandates, requirements, etc. It is pretty straight forward.  The key is delivering it in a way that isn’t mind numbing to the people who have to attend.

A company may have someone in human resources deliver it.  Or there are many companies out there such as skillsoft and other learning management systems that provide    online courses to deliver this training.  Again, this is more of a check the box kind of training, however, it is important.  So delivering it in a way that makes it memorable is very important.

Team Training: Everybody is part of a team.  If you have more than one employee in your company, than you are working as a team.  The challenges with the teams is that it is comprised of people who have different agendas and sometimes even different priorities. The goal with team training is to get the team working together as a team.  It could be breaking down barriers, improving productivity within the team, or just getting the team to know each other better.

Team training is very important.  The more a team knows each individual and who they are, they are more willing to give people respect and encouragement when things aren’t going well.

Who should provide this training? It depends on how bad the team dynamics are.  If it is very bad, then my suggestion would be to have an outside firm come in and do the training.  The reason for this, is when someone internally does it, the team looks at it as being pushed on them, and unfortunately, no matter how objective the trainer is, the people involved will think that the trainer has a bias in how they interact with the group and the individuals.

If it is just normal team building stuff and the team just needs a boost or the manager just wants to continue to build upon the team engagement.  Then a manager could do it, or someone from human resources.  Again, it must be someone who is skilled in facilitating and getting a group involved. My suggestion is to always go outside of the four walls of the company as well.  There is something about getting outside the four walls that creates a better training environment for the team, especially in these kinds of trainings.

Safety training Is a type of training that occurs to ensure employees are protected from injuries caused by work-related accidents. Safety training is especially important for organizations that use chemicals or other types of hazardous materials in their production. Safety training can also include evacuation plans, fire drills, and workplace violence procedures. Safety training can also include the following:

  • Eye safety
  • First aid
  • Food service safety
  • Hearing protection
  • Asbestos
  • Construction safety
  • Hazmat safety

Who should provide this training: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is the main federal agency charged with enforcement of safety and health regulation in the United States. OSHA provides external training to companies on OSHA standards.  Also, someone in-house could deliver this training as well.  A safety director or someone from human resources. Again the key is to make it fun, and this requires a skilled facilitator to do so.

Technical or Technology training: All jobs have some kind of technical training involved.  It could be something like teaching a server how to input food into the system, to showing a sales person how to use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) to prospect for clients.  Most companies (I hesitate to say all) have some kind of computer system that helps them manage they work and their business.  It could be something very universal such as Microsoft products, to something very specific and tailored to their industry.  Whatever the technical training is, a company must invest in it to make sure people know how to manage the business.

Who should provide this training? Most companies are using something very specific that is being provided by another company.  For example: Salesforce which is a CRM for sales people, or WordPress which is a website developer.  Whatever the software is, the chances are the company providing it will have a team that delivers training.  I always suggest using that team as much as possible to deliver the training for your employees.

Now some companies may have little nuances that the company that they are buying from may not be familiar with.  In that case, you may have someone within the department deliver the training or human resources. But for the most part, the company that is providing the software or the system should have some training that you either get when you buy the product as well as ongoing training.

Quality Training:  Refers to equipping the employees with the means and expertise of preventing, detecting, and eliminating non-quality items, usually in an organization that produces a product.  Many companies use the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to help develop what the quality standards are. But equipping the employees within the company to administer these standards is what is most important.

Who should provide this training: Just like technical or technology training this kind of training can be administered from an outside company like ISO.  But most companies usually have someone within their company that oversees quality.  In this case, this person must become skilled at training and delivering quality training to the people who need to know it.  Again, the people who are receiving this training must understand the quality standards and be able to actually point it out when the standards are not being met.  So teaching the people who are managing quality is a job that requires someone who is very technical, but also very creative in their training and delivery methods.

In addition, I want to point out that some companies hire someone from within to oversee the quality.  If that person has never been exposed to any outside training or outside quality metrics, then a goal of their development should be to expose them to outside best practices.  I have seen too many times where a person has been promoted up to oversee quality, and unfortunately with their very limited experience, fail to develop a world-class quality system.

My hope after reading this is that you have a better understanding of the different kinds of training that is important to deliver within your company.  As I stated before, many companies are simply not doing enough training in the areas where the employees need to be trained.  Or they are not getting the right kind of training that really helps an employee develop new skills or enhance their current skills to provide a better return to the company.

A company should be spending no less than 50% of an employees training time in enhancing that employees skills in the job they are required to do.  Another 20% of the allotted training time should be in soft skills development.  And the remaining 30% should include technical training as needed.  Professional training as needed. Safety and Quality as needed.

All of these percentages are based upon what a person job is.  It will vary significantly, depending on your role within the organization.  The key point though is ensuring that the employee is getting the training that will allow them to deliver better results in their position. When a person has the skills to deliver better results in their position, because of the training they are getting, this is how companies grow and so does the employee.

Again, I have learned through my experiences that everyone thinks they can train.  Just because you know something, it doesn’t mean you can train someone on it.  Highly skilled trainers and facilitators know how to engage an audience.  They know the right practices and methods to get participation and make the learning and training experience enjoyable.

When is the last time you had an external company come in and provide training for your organization?  If it has been a while, I would suggest trying it out and seeing what kind of result you get.

I hope you found this information to be useful.  If you did please share it with others.

To your success and your future.

Good Training vs. Bad Training; be wise in which one you attend

As a trainer, speaker and author for many years.  I know what good training is and what bad training is.  I have delivered both of them myself.  I apologize publicly now to those participants.  They probably know who they are.  Also, I know the difference because I have experienced both myself many many times as a participant.

So what is the difference between good training versus bad training?

I am follower of many authors and speakers.  Many of them are ones that I reference in my training courses.  They are really good at speaking and motivating or inspiring you to think differently about your situation or about what a future situation could look like.  We all need these kinds of people and events in our life.

However, we also need what I call “skill” based training.  Meaning we actually look at concepts, learn them, and then apply them in a classroom environment/training environment where a coach can provide us feedback on how we applied the new skill in an application based approach.  This is the difference between good training and bad training.

How it works: 

We all must have the right attitude when we attend a training session.  This is on you to bring it with you.  Then it is up to the trainer to deliver new knowledge.  It may not be totally new knowledge, but it is knowledge that you think you know, or you used to know, and you may not be applying it correctly, or at all at this point in time. Which is why you are in the training to begin with.  Then, once you have the new knowledge you then must apply it two different ways.

1st:  In a real situation in the classroom environment where a coach can provide you feedback on how well you did it. We call this role-playing.

2nd: You apply it in the real world (in a real life scenario at your workplace) and then you tell your coach how it worked for you.  The coach would then provide you some feedback based on how well the situation went or didn’t go.

Lastly, you now take these new skills that you are applying frequently and start to change these into a skill or habit.  All of this takes time and a coach.

Now the other necessary requirements for good training versus bad training is this.  I typically have adults in my training courses.  Adults are busy, they have children, they usually know it all already (this isn’t you is it), they have been doing their job for many years, they don’t have the time to devote to training, etc.

So what does good training need for adults to actually learn:

Adults must want to learn:  This goes back to the attitude I mentioned earlier. We make decisions for two reasons.  We are usually desperate or we are inspired.  My hope is when you attend a training session you are inspired to do so. However, if you are desperate, it works to.  I just don’t recommend waiting that long to get there.
Adults will learn only when they see how they can apply it: It must help them today.  If it isn’t going to help them today, they are most likely not going to be interested in the training.
Adults learn by doing:  As I mentioned above, good training has an application piece to it.  Where you actually apply what you just learned and then get feedback on how well you did it.
Adults have problems: We all do right (lol).  However, an adult must see a problem with what they are currently doing and they can also see how the training can solve their problems. 
Experience exists:  Adults usually bring a certain amount of experience to the table during training.  They want to see how they can use that experience and then use the new knowledge and build upon that experience to a desired solution.  Good training allows adults to do just that.
Adults learn best in an informal situation: Children have to follow a curriculum. Often, adults learn by taking responsibility by the value and need of content they require to understand and the particular goals it will achieve, being in an inviting environment and having roles as an active participant in the learning process makes it efficient. (wikipedia)
Adults want guidance: Adults want guidance on how they did and how they can do it better.  This guidance will allow them to become better at their job and provide for their family.  They want guidance on how they can apply the concepts in what they are already doing. They don’t want to be told what they have to do and they don’t want to have to use everything the exact way.  They want to be able to take what they know and the new knowledge and apply it the way they see it working.

Now is this a promotion for Dale Carnegie Training?  Maybe.  Because we do exactly what I just outlined above.  So yes it is.  However, it is how adults learn as well.  You can’t argue that.

If you are an owner, manager, leader, or an individual and are looking to enhance your skills in leadership, sales, communication, employee engagement, presenting in front of a group, customer service, etc. you name it and the chances are we can assist you.

Please reach out to me at brian.willett@dalecarnegie.com or just respond in the comments area on this post.

kentuckiana.dalecarnegie.com 

To your success and your future.

 

Are these 7 things holding your business back?

In 2012, Dale Carnegie and associates conducted a study in over 80 countries and across businesses large and small.  This study was conducted to see what the needs were in all of these organizations across the world. The most valuable asset in any company are the people who make up the organization.  A company can only be as good as their weakest link.

Here are the 7 things that the research concluded were the biggest driving opportunities for these companies.

1.  Change Readiness:  People driving change and people willing to change.

2.  Living in Silos:  Collaboration between departments.

3.  Virtual Teams:  Engagement for the team members who work virtually.

4.  Non-Traditional Selling: Team members that don’t traditionally sell, changing their mindset to realize that everyone is in a sales role.

5.  Mid-Level Leadership: Leadership development for mid-level leaders.

6.  Sales Force: Changing the sales force mentality to engage with the client more and challenge their clients with a new thinking style. This requires better questions, observations, and analysis from the sales person. Is your sales force equipped to do this?

7.  Partnerships:  Leveraging relationships in the marketplace and building stronger partners that can assist you in serving your customers.

Each one of these areas are around developing people.  What is your development plan for the people?

As you look at the list above which areas do you believe your company is dealing with the most?  What is your plan to develop in this area?  Individuals who read this blog.  How can you start shifting your mindset to become better equipped to help your company develop in the above areas?  I would love to hear your feedback.  Please email me directly at bwillett555@gmail.com or post in the comments section.

Brian Willett

Are you an Elite Olympic Athlete…

Right now everyone is watching the Winter Olympics.  It is pretty amazing watching these elite athletes do what they do.  The Olympic Athletes of their chosen sports are no different from the Professional Football Players of the NFL, or the NBA Basketball Players, or Major League Baseball.  The difference is that professional sports teams have a season every year that is highly televised whereas the Olympics only come every four years.

What is amazing to me are the stories of the Olympic Athletes.  Yes we see the highlights of what these Olympic Athletes accomplish in the Olympics, but the stories of triumph and obstacles and adversity is what I like the most.  We are just blessed to see the results of their effort and it is really cool.  They work for four years to do what they do.  They plan, they execute, they train, they work hard to be the very best in their sport. Mediocrity doesn’t even get them to the starting line, it is all about excellence and that takes training and constant development.

But I have a question for you.  What are you doing to be an elite athlete of your chosen sport?  When I say sport, I mean your career or your job, which ever you call it.  Either way, what are you doing to be the best, or the elite your chosen field.

As a Corporate Trainer, I recently reached out to several people who had an excellent opportunity to take advantage of some very beneficial training that most people have to spend thousands of dollars to get, but they can do it for free.  The people I invited I assumed since they have chosen the field they have chosen, they would want to be elite in their field and be the best (some call me naive, but I assume the best of people, until proven otherwise), but instead of taking advantage, they chose to not participate. If you are not training for your success, you are training for failure.  There is no in between.  You are either progressing or regressing.  When a car is in neutral, it will not go forwards or backwards unless you are on a hill.  I believe a career is that way as well.  You are either going forward or backwards.

I recently read that Elite Athletes will do whatever it takes to get an edge.  (Not a Lance Armstrong Edge), but a legit edge.  I believe this should be the same in a company as well.  Whether you are a bank teller, an engineer, a VP of Sales, a sales person, it doesn’t matter (all careers apply) you should do whatever it takes to be Elite in your chosen field.  Why wouldn’t you?  Some people say, “Well I don’t have time.”  Ok, the company doesn’t have time for you to be mediocre either.  Some people say, “This is not a job or career that I want to be in long-term”, then my advice is quit.  Life is too short to do something you don’t want to do.

I will never be an Olympic Athlete or a Professional Athlete.  However, I am working every day to be an Elite Athlete in my chosen field.  I encourage you to do the same, why wouldn’t you want to be the best!