Creating a winning mindset for business growth can be challenging even at the best of times due to a lack of clarity and life’s many distractions. However, attaining a winning mindset for business growth can take your ability and opportunities to a whole new level.
Creating a winning mindset for business isn’t a temporary fix but one that endures for the long term. In other words, it requires discovering new insights, the creation of new habits and the continual reinforcement of those habits.
This is where a seasoned and experienced voice speaking wisdom into your life and pointing out needed course corrections can make all the difference. Hence why I sought out Dr. Jeff Spencer, who has been at the forefront of human performance and achievement for over 40 years (and has coached, mentored and been the Cornerman to some of the world’s highest achievers from Fortune 500 leaders to Gold Medal Olympians). He exactly what it takes to create a winning mindset for business growth and how we can do it.
- What is a cornerman?
- The essentials of creating a winning mindset and showing up consistently?
- How do we set the RIGHT goals? So how do we pick the right goals?
- How do you get the rest of the organization on board with the right goals?
- Why do you need a champion who is human-centered, mission-oriented, and number-oriented?
- How does the Goal Achievement Roadmap work?
- What is the difference between the human mindset and the champion’s mindset?
- How to reinforce creating a winning mindset?
- Why you should have an advisory board to meet with on a regular basis to guide you personally, as well as toward your goals
- What is the champion’s golden rule?
- What are the 10 steps to achieving greatness and creating a winning mindset?
- How to ensure progress toward your goals and legacy
- How to create your legacy statement or evaluate it?
- How to ensure that you have the right emotive force behind your goals and legacy statement to ensure success?
- How to handle negative feedback or consequences as you go on this quest or journey?
- The essential daily rituals to help with creating a winning mindset?
- Listen to the Podcast episode with Dr. Jeff Spence
- Some topics we discussed include:
- Links and resources mentioned
- Connect with Jeff
What is a cornerman?
The term cornerman comes from boxing. The fighters are in the ring, but each boxer has a team at one corner of the ring. The cornerman is usually an older guy that’s watching what’s happening and yelling instructions in real-time to his boxer.
Billy Lefebvre, the owner & head coach for Bantam Boxing, explains the importance of such a person in this video:
The cornerman’s role isn’t just preparation. It includes advising someone in real time so they can perform their best. This is a role you would have seen in the series of Rocky movies.
Rocky had the old guy Mickey in his corner, and Rocky became a perennial world champion because he had the counsel of a very wise sage in his corner.
- Have a cornerman, coach, and mentor so they can each provide their expertise.
- You need people to provide a broader perspective to help pull the parts together.
- You also need people to provide a narrower individual perspective.
The essentials of creating a winning mindset and showing up consistently?
According to Jeff’s Goal Achievement Roadmap, the very first step to prepare for anything is clarity.
Why? Because when you have clarity, you know that the goal that you’re pursuing is the right goal. There are a lot of smart goals, but smart goals are not always the right goals.
Having the right goal gives you:
- Goal focus, or “go-cus,” which is the ability to hyper focus on what needs to get done so you’re efficient.
- Peripheral vision, so you are not “blindsided” and taken out of the game if you ignore the threat.
- Better options could shift our trajectory to a much better goal.
You can often miss that. And that’s why clarity—of values, of goal, and of vision—is key. That becomes your north star. That allows you to move with confidence toward goal achievement.
How do we set the RIGHT goals? So how do we pick the right goals?
People tend to have a collection of what Jeff calls “provisional goals.” But until you accept a specific goal to pursue, a right goal, then you are only “considering” provisional goals and not committed to any of them.
The RIGHT goal has:
It must be important. Achieving it must be significant for you.
- Intellectually, is it stimulating enough? Will reaching it help you grow to a different level of mental capacity and brain power?
- Physically, does it fit you? A goal that is “too big” might lead your body to say, “Well I don’t want to do this because I’m not sure that I can do it.” But if it’s the right size, you’re going to feel a sense of excitement and engagement. You will want—maybe ache— to achieve it.
- Spiritually, does it have value? Ask yourself, “Is there enough humanity in this for me? Yes or no?”
When you look objectively at the criteria and indicators of a goal, you develop a different relationship to it.
- How much emotional connection is there between you and the goal?
- How do you name that?
- And can you spell out what that is?
- Is there enough aspirational elevation for you, for your team, for your community, for the world, for humanity?
- Does the goal embody the right values that call you to the game?
- Do you have the time to do it?
- Is this the right time to do it?
- Is the time from now to the completion date acceptable?
This exercise is like a vehicle. If we really take the time to put pen to paper, to examine the criteria, if we even have to fight to answer the questions, we develop a different level of commitment to the goal. If it doesn’t feel right or if we can’t really say that it’s a right goal, well then, it’s probably not worth pursuing at this time.
That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong goal. You can park it in the garage and come back to it later. But it’s better to scrutinize it sooner rather than later—to be really clear that it is a right goal. And once you’ve determined it’s the right goal, then you have to decide whether it’s a goal that you can pursue.
How do you get the rest of the organization on board with the right goals?
Why do you need a champion who is human-centered, mission-oriented, and number-oriented?
You need a champion with the right combination of being human-centered, mission-oriented, and number-oriented because if the numbers don’t make sense. The goal might not be achievable.
So, the numbers are important to creating a winning mindset for business growth because that’s part of why the business is there, and if you have shareholders, of course, there is a huge responsibility.
If you have a goal with a soul, it makes the role a little bit easier to play. Having this combination can create a very powerful incentive for people to get not only the economic benefits that descend into every nook and cranny of the business but also a level of human commitment that creates a level of understanding above and beyond any mere transaction.
And when we have that, especially in today’s world where the importance to the younger members of our teams is to achieve more than just a number, their contribution to the whole really means something to them. And so, this is an opportunity to fuse the generations as well.
Jeff says he has worked with Hitachi Vantara on a variety of levels as they relate to the performance of individuals within a business. Having that human commitment is important, especially among members of the executive committee who are busy with broad responsibilities that might not be evident to the rest of the company. Because without such commitment, it would be hard to do the visionary planning that is needed.
How does the Goal Achievement Roadmap work?
Jeff says that the first half of his model, the Goal Achievement Roadmap, is actually about preparation. Preparation happens before you even start actively pursuing the goal. There are five steps to it:
Step #1 Get goal clarity. Make sure you have the right goal because that gives you goal focus.
Step #2 Understand your motives. When you understand the reasons why you’re doing something, it gives you drive. And you must have drive.
Step #3 Determine the impact. How will the goal affect you, humanity, the world around you, and your legacy? And why is it important to determine this? Because it gives you purpose. And unless you have a core conviction to start and finish the goal, you might stop early, you might give up prematurely.
Step #4 Develop a champion’s mindset. When you have a champion’s mindset, you have courage. You will do what must be done, when it has to be done.
Step #5 Gather your resources. This is where you do a thorough vetting of the time and energy, materials, supplies, skills, knowledge, team, and all of the other things that are required, to make sure that you have sufficient inventory to pursue the goal.
What is the difference between the human mindset and the champion’s mindset?
Human nature has two opposing forces that influence our decision making. The first is the human mindset that is survival-based, and the second is the champion’s mindset that looks at historic wisdom and innate intelligence to make its decisions. The champion’s mindset is pliable as opposed to the human mindset, and it has a library that it can compare experiences against.
These mindsets are constantly fighting with each other.
The human mindset is fear-based. It says, “Well what do I stand to lose here?” You can’t win if you come from that mindset, it’s not possible.
But the champion’s mindset, our innate wisdom, knows that if we look at an opportunity asking, “What do I stand to gain?” we are playing great offense. Champions always look for a way to solve a problem.
How to reinforce creating a winning mindset?
The battle between our human nature and our champion’s mind occurs 24 hours a day, every day of our life. So even if you were to do a weekend program or training you would need to do some follow-up to make sure that you’re very clear about needs to be done to reinforce the new mindset.
Jeff in his workshops makes sure that participants look at the distinction between the human mindset and the champion’s mindset and commit to the latter.
Because if you don’t commit to creating a winning mindset, then it’s very easy to lapse back into the human mindset because the human mindset is always on, you can’t turn it off.
The human mindset is a high-speed reflex that’s impulsive and terminally frustrated.
However, when you act on what the champion’s mind tells you to do, you don’t follow your primal instincts. And that takes a lot of discipline.
Why you should have an advisory board to meet with on a regular basis to guide you personally, as well as toward your goals
Having an advisory board, according to Jeff, is a business and life imperative.
Nobody is exempt from that because nobody can outrun their blind spots while creating a winning mindset. Many things that we think are true are not true. So, we had better know this sooner than later, otherwise, we’re going to step into an unnecessary problem.
Part of the advantage of getting sound counsel from people of wisdom is that they can determine your trajectory, and they can see what’s coming that you might not see. They’d rather have you step around a preventable problem than learn it the hard way.
Jeff says that most problems are 100% preventable. So, I’m a really big fan of having the right type of input to keep us sober and keep us on track and help us avoid preventable problems.
What is the champion’s golden rule?
The champion’s golden rule is, “You do the homework, the test is easy.”
What that means is first you prepare and then you perform. Preparation is what allows us to start pursuing our goal responsibly. Then, once we’re pursuing our goal, it’s executing the steps and adjusting and adapting in real time to conditions that must be appropriately engaged so we can achieve our goals on time, and hopefully under budget.
What are the 10 steps to achieving greatness and creating a winning mindset?
Creating a winning mindset has two parts according to Jeff. The first is preparation and the second is performance.
Here is how he breaks it down. The five steps in preparation previously covered are:
Step 1: Get goal clarity.
You must have goal clarity because it gives you goal focus.
Step 2: Understand your motives
You must understand your motives and have the right motives because they give you drive.
Step 3: Determine the impact.
You need to understand the impact of your goal because it will give you purpose.
Step 4: Develop a champion’s mindset.
You need the champion’s mindset because it gives you courage.
Step 5: Gather your resources.
You must have a thorough vetting of your resources before you start, because then you can trust your preparation and ensure you’re ready to start pursuing your goals.
The five steps on the performance side are:
Step 6: Start
Once you start pursuing your goal, the objective is to produce a lift-off. This is a measurable outcome that confirms to you that you’re pursuing your goal. And that’s important because it confirms to you and anyone else that your preparation was appropriate. And it also demonstrates that you’re now actively pursuing the goal, so everything that you’ve been talking about is now real.
Step 7: Honeymoon
At this point, you may be euphoric because you’ve gotten a good start, that you haven’t stumbled, and that things are moving along. But there’s always a risk in a honeymoon. What do we know about honeymoons? They all wear off.
This is not a sign that it’s a bad plan or bad management or you can’t do it. It’s supposed to wear off, and when it does, you can call it and take a reality check to recalibrate everything. Then move on to the next step.
Step 8: Face the daily grind
This is the longest and most difficult period of any business. It’s also where you start doubting yourself and saying things like:
- I’m not getting back anything like what I think I deserve from the time and effort that I’m putting into this.
- Maybe I have the wrong goal.
- Maybe I can’t do this.
- Maybe I should quit.
If that’s what you think even though it’s not true, then you talk yourself out of something very good. A lot of times people will quit one step before they have the moment when their belief is confirmed. That’s why you need mentors and advisors. You need the right metrics to keep you in the game when you’re in that daily grind.
The promise of the daily grind is that you will get up one day and believe that you can do it.
Step 9: Break out
When you believe that you can do it, that’s not always a good thing, because that’s when you think that you’re done and that everything is going to complete itself automatically. That’s when things start to stall.
That’s where you go from believing you can do it to knowing you can do it—when you’re confident and certain you can achieve the goal.
This happens when you have a breakout performance—when the organization or the team experiences an indicator that was prescribed deliberately as the equivalent of achieving the goal. But it’s not the goal.
Step 10: Cross the finish line
Rather than try to speed up and get there quickly, fearing that you may trip if you don’t get there fast, you must take your time and pace yourself to get to the finish line, because if you don’t cross the finish line, then you don’t win.
How to ensure progress toward your goals and legacy
You simply take the pulse of where you are on an ongoing basis to understand whether you can contribute effectively.
You take your goals and run them through the right goal criteria. Otherwise, there could be a catastrophic outcome, which might have otherwise been prevented. Oftentimes when people have a huge success, they want to come back and top it. That could be fatal.
How to create your legacy statement or evaluate it?
Jeff says this is a necessary part of the process and we need to be mindful as we’re going through our career from its inception.
As part of his process, he has built into Step 3 an impact safeguard.
This is where you vet yourself against the question, “What’s the impact on my legacy of achieving my goal?”
How to ensure that you have the right emotive force behind your goals and legacy statement to ensure success?
Emotions play a huge role in our lives. In fact, we know that most buying decisions are based on emotion rather than logic. Hence why having the right emotional force is vital to creating a winning mindset.
In the criteria for a RIGHT goal, the G in “RIGHT” is “gravity.” That’s our emotional attachment to our goal. And so really, it’s in Step 1, where we’re clarifying a provisional goal to see if we should accept it as the right goal when we actually ask that question.
Jeff says there’s always an interplay between our intellect and our soul and our spirit that’s looking at this.
That’s also why in the right goal criteria we have indicators, which is the I in “right.” One of the indicators is intellectual. “Is this goal enough for me intellectually, does it stimulate my mind?
Is it big enough for my brain?”
Jeff recommends that we ask about the two other indicators.
- “Is this appropriate for my body,” and
- “What does my soul think about this, is this right for my soul? Is there enough humanity in this?”
So, we do have several opportunities here to measure our goal before we even start pursuing it against the questions that you’re asking.
These questions will help to loop the answers back into our search and quest for creating a life of value and meaning for ourselves.
How to handle negative feedback or consequences as you go on this quest or journey?
You need to decide for yourself where your life value is placed and how you contribute to that. Some people are comfortable staying at one job for 30 years. Other people are meant to jump around and make different contributions. What’s important is that we identify who we are and how we do things and what suits our style best and that we remain committed to that.
Jeff says –
“Our constitution is a unique combination of things that we didn’t ask for. And the person who has the best chance of contributing the most joyfully and living a life of tranquility of being on purpose is the one who understands that path and is surrounded by those people who cultivate the skills to perform and excel on that path.”
As we develop that capacity, we can then align ourselves with a scorecard about the value of our commitment, and how that is not only relevant to us but showcases to others what’s possible. There’s plenty of room on this planet for the diversity and the variety of people who can contribute significantly in their own unique ways.
The essential daily rituals to help with creating a winning mindset?
Jeff says – There are four key sacred times that occur during the day that he believes are pivotal, and will determine the success of that day.
1. Decide—How are you going to show up?
Jeff says –
“The most important thing that you could do, if you were going to do only one thing that day, is just to decide how you’re going to show up. Are you going to bring your best to humanity and give humanity everything that you’ve got, unconditionally? Or are you going to make people pay for your bad day?”
2. Remember why you are doing this.
3. Wash the day off.
Once work is over, you must wash the day off. It’s a great time to go work out, go for a walk. Doing something that’s completely different than what you did for your business, to kind of let your mind go idle while your body is active, to reset itself. That’s a way of washing the body off, washing the day off, so to speak.
4. Give yourself permission to sleep.
The final ritual occurs when you put your head on the pillow at night. Give yourself permission to go to sleep. The world can live without you for six to eight hours. You need a quality night’s sleep for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. In the morning, you may have the answer to a problem that staying up all night won’t solve.
Listen to the Podcast episode with Dr. Jeff Spencer
Some topics we discussed include:
- What is a champion’s mindset
- The ‘calling’ that changed the course of Jeff’s life
- How can preparation make your biggest challenges seem easy
- Should you invest in a cornerman, coach or mentor to create a winning mindset for business growth
- Why should you embrace the process rather than the result
- How does taking a smart inventory help you to achieve your goals faster
- Why setting the RIGHT goals are essential to massive success and how do set them
- The difference between the human mindset and the Champions mindset
- How to master the process of developing the ‘Champion’s Mindset’
- How does producing excellence honor your potential
- Why do we always need to be evolving towards our biggest future
- The Champion’s Golden Rule
- The 10 steps to achieve your greatness
- PLUS: How to determine your legacy statement
- and daily rituals you need to perform to create a winning mindset for business growth
Links and resources mentioned
- Check out Dr. Jeff Spencers site
- Get a copy of Turn It Up!: How to Perform at Your Highest Level for a Lifetime
Connect with Jeff
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