If life were a competition, how would you win the race? At home, life might seem tranquil. Nobody interfering with our thoughts, our activities; our flow of life seemingly unaffected by others. As I type these lines, I am alone in a quiet room, experiencing nothing similar to a fierce competition. The reality changes immediately, however, once we leave the four walls we call “home”.
We suddenly realise that both in business and in career, other companies and other people want the same as we do. What can we do to get ahead of them?
Harvey Mackay, best-selling author and popular business speaker, shared his experience on how to get ahead of your competition in a speech in Taiwan. I call these the Mackay Outperformance Rules.
These rules are based on the assumptions that:
– Luck is not the only decisive factor
– We can influence our own performance
As we can see, our ranking can belong to the top 20 percentile by just showing up. There are 4 additional actions that allow us to outperform almost 100% of businesses and people surrounding us. Now let’s dissect the 5 Mackay Outperformance Rules:
1. Show up: As simple as it might sound, showing up requires a lot of preparation. Imaging you are going to meet a customer. Before this meeting could even come to place, you must have prospected potential customers, wrote e-mails, made phone calls, visited their website, searched their address, dressed up appropriately. No wonder by showing up, we can get ahead of 80% of our competition. There are so many steps before showing up, that lots of people might have failed half way and gave up. Being able to show up is the signal of a good start.
2. On time: Continuing our sales meeting example, being on time shows respect to the counterpart. Because business is conducted on the basis of respect and trust, this is undoubtedly extremely useful. Culture might weight the importance of the time factor a bit differently, but there is no doubt that being on time is a desired quality. If we apply this rules to other areas of life, it means doing the things at the appropriate time. For example, if you are cooking and you turn off the oven just in time before the food gets overcooked, you would have done much better than your competition.
3. With a plan: This is a must for anyone who is into business. Speaking about a plan is thinking through a strategy. How do you plan to proceed? If you want to win a sales mandate, how do you plan to proceed in the corresponding discussion? If you want to grow the business, what is the plan? How detailed the plan should be is certainly a topic of its own, but having gone through a plan arms us against the unexpected. Doing it professionally, we should have at least two plans: a plan A and a plan B – in case plan A doesn’t work out.
4. Seek excellence: Seeking excellence has a lot to do with our own goals. Some people might settle as long as they have got what they wanted. I have heard of some people who would only do the necessary to survive. Even if they manage the rest, their performance might be mediocre and in particular not sustainable over time.
5. Execute plan: This is the real action. Unless we execute the plan, we might not see the results of the planning we have done. Those who execute their plans are definitely far ahead from people who do not. We know that a bird in hand is worth more than two in the bush.
These Mackay Outperformance Rules should be a guide for us in life. They are not one time actions nor are they simple distractions. We have to implement them continuously and reap the results bit by bit. If we cannot eat a lunch in a bite, let’s also not expect to outperform in a step.
The rules of the “game” are now laid and we can start playing. May those who best apply the rules win. Remember that in life, as in a game, it’s not only winning that matters, sometimes it’s just about giving out the best of ourselves. Good luck!