Time to up your game?

Q:  My sales goals this year are a hurdle, not a stretch!  I have to hit metrics that no one else had to hit for their promotion—why me?

A: When clients ask “why me?” I remind them that it isn’t personal—it isn’t about you.  “Faster, higher, cheaper and better” is the mantra that drives actions and expectations.  We raise the bar and set new goals.  It is easy to get caught up in it as we watch the twist and turns of the Dow on its way to breaking 27,000 and then  plunging 1,000 points.  

With the Olympics on this week I think about the fact that snowboarder phenome Shaun White—AKA “The Flying Tomato”—scored a perfect 100 in the half pipe.  No one expected skaters to perform a quadruple and now Nathan Chen landed five quads to secure his place on the team.   Erin Jackson breaks expectations as the first African American woman on the long-track speed skating team and her place on the team is even more extraordinary in that she transformed her success in roller blading to success on the ice in only four months.  She joins seventeen-year-old Maame Biney—also black– who will skate the short track.  

And, if the Olympics are not your cup of tea, remember that Roger Federer smashed expectations by winning his 20th Grand Slam.

Federer, like Serena Williams, has redefined the limits. After going nearly five years without a major, he has now won three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments.

Records are being broken in every profession and we collectively expect higher, faster, better.   It’s unavoidable and the name of the game:  Set a high bar with the intention of leaving the competition behind.  Choosing complacency is not an option.

Furthermore, it seems to me that the folks at the top of their game don’t wait for or rely on external competition, they set their own goals.  For example, Elon Musk’s audacious promise to move Tesla’s valuation to $650B by 2028:

To put it in context, only three companies had a market value of more than $650bn at the end of 2017: Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google’s parent). GM’s market capitalisation is $61.5bn and Ford is worth $41bn. 

According to Tesla:  The new scheme is modelled on an earlier arrangement, which required Tesla’s market value to rise in $4bn increments, with testing targets set against the Model X SUV and the Model 3, …Tesla said these targets were seen as “testing” at the time. But nine out of 10 were hit.

I hope that these examples encourage you to view your 2018 performance goals not as a hurdle but an opportunity to take your game to a new level.  Few of us have the courage of Elon Musk.  So, face the fact that the bar is always going to be raised higher; either you can raise it or someone else will. Consider the following: 

  • Are you in the game or sidelined?
  • How quickly will you respond?
  • What do you need to be successful?
  • How will you make the new metrics your choice?

And as we turn our attention to Pyeongchang, remember that the Olympic motto is  “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” 

Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony 2/9

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