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How to create results

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Turn on the TV or flick through a magazine or newspaper and you’ll see stories about high flyers. They could be holding up a book they’ve written or celebrating the growth of their business – it doesn’t matter what they’re doing, they glow with success.

When you see them you wonder, how did they do it? How have they achieved it all? But most of all you ask, how can I do it?

Anyone can get results according to Terri Hawkins, founder of People In Progress, a company that runs courses to bring the best out in companies and the people within them, it’s pretty simple when you’ve decided what you want and what you have to do to get it.

“You’ve got to settle on what it is you’re going after,” says Hawkins, “and become committed to creating that, it’s the recipe for success in life, not just in business.”

Hawkins has watched all the successful people she knows live their lives by some simple but powerful guidelines. “These people really do live by them and by committing yourself and concentrating on these behaviours, you’re giving yourself a great chance of success.”

So how do they do – or better still, let’s try to get an answer to that more important question – how can you do it?

The first step, says Hawkins, is being clear about who you are and what you want. “Organisations need to have an identity as well as a vision,“ she says.

“I ask my clients to close their eyes and imagine their most perfect world. Who’s in it, what are you doing, what’s it look like? You have to visualise it and that gives you an idea of where you need to be. Visualise the next 10 years for the business or yourself.”

Hawkins admits that while it sounds relatively easy, for many people this may be the hardest hurdle to pass. “A lot of courage is required at this stage, it is about being completely honest with yourself to come up with your core values, once you’ve done this, the rest should flow,” she says.

Communication is the most important thing in life. But not that many people know the significance of communicating with yourself. “It is crucial, particularly when you are leading an organisation or a team, you have to be a leader and you can’t do this properly if you are not listening to yourself,” says Hawkins. “Once you’ve listened to your inner voice then you can start with others.”

Organisations are finding that the better they are able to communicate their vision with their people involved, the more effective they are at achieving it.

“Businesses need to evolve, those who say they aim to be doing what they are doing in ten years are not going to change, but the rest of the world is,” says Hawkins. “It is really important that they communicate where they are headed, that way everyone has the same objective.”

Some organisations are good at communicating their objective and find they experience substantial growth because of it. “Freedom Furniture is an example of a company undergoing enormous growth, who has been able to align the whole organisation to push towards the same goals,” says Hawkins.

“Their staff are really contributing to their success and what they give back to them is just as incredible.”

Hawkins believes that for some larger organisations and corporates, building lines of communication can be hard. “They are doing the actions, but it actually needs to come from the soul,” she says.  

“Not all people need to go off on the Kokoda Trail, but I think if people are going to be clear about what they generate in their business it needs to come from within.”

Be honest

“Real success is living with integrity without being conflicted,” advises Hawkins. “Honesty is so important for getting the results you want,” she says.

“I was once speaking to a client who was broke and he was telling me about all the things that had happened to him and why they were broke. He was too busy trying not to lose, to win. His business eventually folded, and I truly believe if he had been honest with himself about why they were going broke he could have saved himself.”

Accept that life is hard

A good analogy for life is that it is not supposed to be easy. While trying to accept this it is important to remember that anything that you do well in life, you start out doing poorly.

“The trouble is,” according to Hawkins, “that most of us want to do everything well. And the moment we hit a rough spot and things get tough, people run away.

“The best organisations are the ones that give education and training about why life is meant to be difficult, when people accept that and learn that it gets easier.”

Play at 100 per cent

To give it your all you must have a passion for life. Those who live each day as if it’s their last find it easier to get what their aiming for.

“Love what you do, hire people who love what they do.  You have to create a concept that people believe in. You have to love the business you are in and it really doesn’t matter what you do,” says Hawkins.

“What ever you do, at work or at home, do it 100%. Consider the alternatives. You do what you have to do and it will come back the other way.”

Take responsibility

The buck stops with you! You cannot always blame your losses on other people or circumstance and still go forward. To be a success you have to accept personal responsibility.

“You can’t blame. I go into executive meetings with companies and hear the board of directors talk about why this isn’t happening and people who blame their staff, blame their boss,” says Hawkins. “Some companies chose to blame the economy without looking at themselves and what they could have done to prevent this.”

Take risks

Learn to take risks. Exposing yourself can make you feel vulnerable, but the pay off for challenging yourself can give you the courage to chase your dreams.

Hawkins wishes more companies would encourage their staff to take risks. “All your stuff comes up when you do something that scares you and courage isn’t discriminatory, you can take it with you anywhere,” she says.

“Success lies in discomfort and that’s the biggest issue I see with businesses or even relationships is that people are actually looking for comfort so they are finding it hard to evolve.”

On the other hand, change often happens to companies who don’t do any emotional development with their people. “By the time a small change gets to the front line is has grown enormously, a ripple to begin with and a wave at the end,” says Hawkins.  

“It’s all about having a go and trusting life. When something confronting happens, rather than blame, think about what life is trying to teach you.”

Come from a partnership

Working in a partnership is like being in a relationship. You need to care about the other person. When trying to get where you want to go, you should be taking other people with you.

“There’s a wonderful saying – if you can help enough other people get what they want, then you’ll always get what you want,” says Hawkins.

“An organisation is a community that you’ve created, you have a responsibility to the people in our community and our circle of influence to honour them.”

Have commitment

Overriding all of these guidelines is commitment. If you show total commitment to living life by these guidelines such as these then you will get the results you want.

“Commitment may be one of the hardest to achieve but it really is the one that brings it all together,” she says. “Commitment is really just doing what you say you are going to do.”

Published on: Thursday, March 19, 2009

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