Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will – Mahatma Gandhi
Last year, I came across an extraordinary young lady called Jessica Cox who exemplifies the ultimate in being “above the line”. Jessica was born with no arms! Yet despite this she has a black belt in two martial arts and a private pilot’s licence.
In a recent YouTube video Jessica says:
“Circumstances count for 10% … how you deal with them counts for 90%”.
This certainly stops me in my tracks when I am tempted to blame circumstances for something I fail to achieve.
Let’s take an example – imagine you run a sales team and you haven’t hit your targets, what are some typical excuses?
- My manager sets unrealistic targets…
- The economy still hasn’t recovered…
- My salespeople don’t have the right experience…
- People don’t use the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system properly…
Excuses are “below the line” behaviours and don’t move us forward. These can be thought of as “victim thinking”.
The good news is that for each of these excuses there is an alternative “above the line” response, one where we take ownership, accountability and responsibility for our results:
My manager sets unrealistic targets becomes – I don’t negotiate effectively with my manager over targets
The economy still hasn’t recovered – the economy is the same for everyone – I am failing to differentiate my product in the eyes of the customer
My salespeople don’t have the right experience becomes – I don’t train my staff adequately, or I recruit poorly
People don’t update the Customer Relationship Management system properly becomes – I haven’t created proper CRM processes that people adhere to
So next time you’re tempted to complain about something, think of Jessica – what would she say?