Creating the Championship Mentality

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Editor’s Note: A version of the guest blog appeared in RV Executive.

I’ve found that the secret to dealer success balances between two circles. Nature decrees that you can’t occupy both circles simultaneously, but you must be in one at all times. Call these circles Beyond Your Control (BYC) and In Your Control (IYC).

Neither circle discriminates against anyone, but the variables inside can either create or destroy a championship mindset.

Understanding BYC

There are thousands of things inside the BYC circle: weather, taxes, factory programs, interest rates, co-workers, hot-headed customers, governmental policies – you name it.

There is nothing championship about standing in the circle of things Beyond Your Control. By its very nature, the circle of things Beyond Your Control blocks productivity and diverts success by wasting focused energy.

In addition to gossiping, griping and complaining, people operating in this circle worry about things over which they have no power. Worry splits teams, breaks relationships, clouds your decision-making. Before you realize it, systems break down and mediocrity becomes a lifestyle.

It is impossible to grow or succeed when you operate in the circle of things BYC. Unfortunately, this is where most people spend the bulk of their time.

Understanding IYC

The championship mentality lies solely in the circle of things In Your Control. While BYC holds thousands of things, IYC consists of only three things:

  • The way you think
  • The way you talk
  • The way you act

The secret to this circle is its simplicity. Frank Outlaw demonstrated his understanding of IYC’s power when he said, “Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny.”

Focusing on the way you think, talk and act means goal completion and successful results.

Cultivating IYC 

Step One: READ with Intent 

Reading stimulates thought and thought dictates action. If you want to improve your leadership skills, read how great leaders improved theirs. If fear has you paralyzed, read a book on how to overcome it. Champions make time to study their craft. If time is short, grab a motivational CD or a book on tape and listen while driving. How you do it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you do it.

Step Two: TALK with Determination

Talk follows thought and determines action. The way we talk determines our level of success.

When we say, “I’ll try to study more,” or “I’ll try to work on my technique,” or “I’ll try to sell one today,” chances are we will fail. Why? The word “try” is an open door that always offers the user an out. Winners don’t “try” to work on their technique; they work on it. Power’s mantle rests on the shoulders of those who replace “I’ll try” with “I will.” Say it like you mean it. Be determined to achieve your goals.

Step Three: ACT with Purpose

Actions speak louder than words. Execute a hand-written, activity-based action plan at the start of each day. Include professional objectives as well as personal goals. Be specific. If your goal is to improve customer delight, be careful of vague, hand-written goals like, “I will send out some thank-you notes this week.” Let your actions speak. Hand-write a list of specific things you will do and make that goal a reality. “Today I will write 10 thank-you notes to customers I talked to but did not sell.” Writing out your goals does take time, but the process of writing them creates momentum. Like a welder’s torch cutting metal, the simple act of writing down your goals in specific language focuses your energy into purpose-filled activity.

It’s Your Choice

You can allow people and events Beyond Your Control to dictate a life of inaction, frustration and regret or you can command your own destiny in the circle In Your Control.

Harness your thoughts and keep them moving in the right direction. Feed your mind. Fill your speech with words reflecting your level of determination and act out your plan. Think like a champion. It’s that simple.

Chris Alford

Chris Alford is a father, a North Carolina native, and a 30-year veteran public leadership speaker. He is a requested RVDA presenter and conducts high-energy events that grow sales and personal leadership. Chris’ articles have helped thousands of readers improve profitability by ‘Making Success Simple.’ He can be reached at [email protected]

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