Have fun - With Douglas Kruger
As South Africans, we rarely think about operating on a world-class level. Lately, we've spent a great deal of time simply focusing on issues of corruption. Our mindsets need to change!
Being world-class - becoming known as a leader in your field - is less about your geography, than it is about your mindset. And you dont have to be a large corporation before you can start thinking like a world-class one.
YOU CAN BE WORLD-CLASS
Ive presented my session, The 8 Imperatives of Being World Class for many South African companies. Here are 4 cornerstone ideas from the presentation, which you can use in your own efforts to move to the next level:
OUT-PREPARE THE COMPETITION
I once met a man from Texas, who had won the World Championships for Public Speaking. When I asked how he did it, he explained that his philosophy was simply: Out-prepare your competition.
"You cant determine the level of skill of your competitors," he said, "But you can certainly be more prepared than they are."
This applies in any field. How many bids have you lost because your company didnt do its research? How many sales pitches were blown because you didnt know what the client wanted? How often has your competition soared past you for no reason other than that you werent as prepared as they were?
Make a commitment today to end that status-quo. From now on, do your homework, and do it better than your competition. This is your first step in gaining the edge, and in becoming world-class.
YOUR EFFORTS MUST BE OUT OF THE BALLPARK
The same World Champion shared a second idea with me. "I remember playing baseball in our old ballpark down by the river," he said. "The best home-runs were always the ones that didnt just make it to the boundaries, but actually flew right out of the ballpark and over the river outside. There was no dispute over whether they counted or not. The kids who hit them were undeniably the best."
He explained, "I quickly realised that to be truly world-class as a speaker, it wouldnt be enough to hit a home-run. My efforts had to be right out of the ballpark. I had to be undeniably the best!"
Could this philosophy make a difference to your service levels, to your management skills, or to your products? Move from mediocre to world-class. Give up the good enough philosophy, and make it out of the ballpark.
IT DOESNT HURT TO BE A LITTLE SEXY
How does the word sexy fit into your workplace reality? Does it seem an unlikely intruder when discussing the notion of being world-class?
Maybe so, but consider this: Do you remember that one guy from sales who was always so cocky and confident? Or the lady who was often in trouble for bending the rules but bringing in the sales? They always got the big assignments, the fun ones, the sexy ones. Do you remember your frustration when they were promoted ahead of you?
And do you remember your bosss frustration when the marketing department the sexy one! got more of a budget than his accounts department?
Finally, have you ever noticed how people who know how to dress, how to walk, how to talk, seem to get taken more seriously? And not just people, it even applies to products on a shelf. Two identical products are sold at vastly different prices simply because of packaging.
Its no coincidence. A degree of PR can do wonders for your image, your business and your own career. And the first step is to be aware of the image that you, and your product, are portraying. Does your image say world-class? Or does it need a tweak?
YOUR HEART MUST BE IN IT
Quite simply, if you dont love an industry, you cant own it. Ownership and leadership fall to those who care, who get involved, who learn everything there is to know about their profession, and who are dedicated enough to meet the other key-players and stake-holders.
You can intellectualise your way to being exceptionally good. But being truly world-class will always be a work of heart !