Business is a practice of mental strength. If you’re a marketing manager or a business owner you are asked to make decisions quickly and then endure the consequences. There is a reason that millions of books are sold every year from inspirational business coaches. Growing an organization takes positive thinking plus ACTION. The mental strength that is need for business success is making the everyday decisions that affect your bottom-line. Below are three exercises in mental strength that successful leaders make every day:
1.) Making decisions that are best for the business. “It’s not personal, its business,” is a pile of crap. Anytime you give negative feedback, fire an employee or make a mistake, it will feel personal. When you care about your business, your mission, and your job, it is personal. At the same time, it can’t be used as an excuse. In order to move toward a goal, you have to be willing to make decisions that are personal. For example, you have an employee, a contractor, a client, or even a sales lead that says they want to move forward, that swears they understand your goals but their actions indicate over and over the exact opposite. It’s a common situation, but every time I have seen someone make the hard “personal” decision of letting them go, the momentum and positive energy that flows from that decision is huge. In organizations without layers of people and resources one person can stop the entire flow.
2.) Failure happens. A lot. The ability to understand your role and responsibility in that situation, then to learn from it and move forward is the Olympic gold medal of mental strength. The good news is, much like working out, it does get easier the more you do it. I know that doesn’t sound like good news, “I have to fail more to succeed more,” but it is. In marketing you take a series of calculated decisions. You monitor and decide what works and what doesn’t then you move forward. There is a reason marketing managers have a really high turnover rate. It is because nobody likes failure however it is the only way we learn. People without mental strength will look at one small failure and use that as the excuse as to why something does not work across the board. Mental strength requires acknowledging the many factors that influence any give situation, including the fact that your role is just one.
3.) Awareness. When growing a business you need to have the mental strength to identify your thought process and the thought processes of the people around you. In doing so you can identify “Why” people make specific decisions. When someone is not tied to a specific goal their decisions often come from “what works for me” or “what is within my current understanding right now”. When you get more than one person regularly making decisions based on what is good for them you can very quickly develop a culture that prevents growth. As a leader that is tied to a specific goal, you have to be willing to ask the right questions, pay attention and lead people towards a higher awareness of their thought process. It’s grueling work. Listening and understanding people, then motivating them past their “comfort” zone is hard but it is the only way to lead an organization toward growth. Whether it is your team, your client or even yourself being aware, asking “Why” and being willing to take action is the definition of sustainable success.
If growing an organization successfully was easy everyone would do it. It requires a constant system of positive messages, meditation and wine (whatever works for you) to give you the ability to make those small mental strength decisions that successful leaders make every day to move forward.