Sustaining Success
August 2009
Envision, Evolve, Achieve

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Laurie Mrva
Achieve Success LLC
The Faster YOU Grow, the Faster YOUR BUSINESS will Grow

Achieve Success LogoWhat do you want for your business during the next twelve to twenty-four months?  Increased Revenues...Greater Customer Retention...Better Margins? Common objectives, but where do you start? Savvy business owners develop highly effective strategy, people and processes. The savviest also recognize the impact their own personal and professional achievement has on business results.


It's been said that the only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competition. It's also true that the leader sets the tone for the team. That means it's critical to stay at the top of your game. Successful leaders regularly take a high level look at their business. A similar personal assessment is also good business practice. 

Think of it as a holistic approach to great results.  Evaluate, develop and balance organizational, professional, and personal capabilities to get the competitive edge you need.

Leading others and your business is only part of the picture. As a leader, the most important person you lead is YOU. Mastering SELF LEADERSHIP enables you to most effectively lead others.

How much of your personal wealth is tied up in your business? If the answer is much, most or all, it's even more critical to incorporate personal development into your strategy. YOU are the most critical ingredient in your personal and business success formula and you can't afford to skimp on your own development.   

How to Begin - How do you become a better entrepreneur, salesperson, manager, or leader?  The answer is...Become a Better YOU.

Define your ideal. You might include traits such as visionary, influential, makes tough decisions, great delegator, etc. While these characteristics are important, you might also include balanced lifestyle, well-read, works hard and plays hard, makes time for what's important, and other behaviors. Although not specifically business related, these traits characterize the individuals we most admire. 

Next, look at your leadership performance in the following categories: Ability to Influence, Time Management, People Management, Selling Skills, Personal Productivity, and Ability to Delegate.

Finally, look at where you stand personally.  Consider the following areas: Financial, Business/Career, Mental, Social, Physical, Beliefs & Values/Spiritual, and Family. 

What are your results compared to your capabilities? Do you like what you see? Are there gaps? What if you improved only one or two areas by 10 to 20%? How would that impact your business? Studies show that it can be significant. 

What Next? - To HAVE you must first BECOME. For instance, to have a seven-figure income, you must first become a person with the skills and capabilities worth someone paying you that amount. To have a great relationship with your spouse and children, you must become someone they see as worthy of the relationship. To have a single digit golf handicap, you must become a golfer with the skills, discipline, and mental attitude required for that level of play.

When setting goals, people focus most of their attention on what they want to have. They want to earn more money, lose weight, have greater respect from their staff, develop a new product, etc. Rarely do they think about what they have to change about themselves, or become, to meet their goals. However, once people change their focus to achieving goals, they more easily attain what they want to have.

Start with the end in mind...what personal improvements would make you more successful?  What positive behavior change is necessary for you to get the results you desire? What is your process for setting and achieving your objectives?  What specific knowledge and skills must you develop? What do you need to become? Finally, what new and different perspectives might help you accomplish more of your goals?

The Last Word - Succeeding in business requires a vision combined with the passion and commitment to pursue that vision. It also requires a willingness to change, to learn, to become, and to take calculated risks. Your belief in yourself and your ability to achieve influences how you deal with others and ultimately your business results. Speed is of the essence. The faster YOU grow, the faster YOUR BUSINESS will grow. 

Reprint permission granted by author Allison Darling, President of ManagementConcepts, Inc.

Strategy - The Power of Thinking Big

A smart guy once told me that if I wanted to be Achieve Success Logosuccessful, the first thing I had to do was hang out with the most successful people I could find. That was good advice twenty five years ago and it's still good advice today. If you have a small business that you want to grow, you need to watch other companies and other people who have paved the way for you to follow.
Many people have great ideas for their business yet few have a means of turning those block buster ideas into cash. If you're going to be successful you have to find a way to put some feet under that creativity and that's where strategy becomes important. A good strategic plan puts everyone to work on your goals; employees, suppliers, clients and even your banker know what their role is in building your business. 
I have a Pleasanton based client who came to me several years ago and asked me to find a buyer for his company.  He told me he was tired and his business wasn't going anywhere. It wasn't fun for him and at 42, he was already burned out. Profits were way down and the revenue had been flat for several years. In talking with his staff, I found they were lacking direction, quite lethargic and very content with the status quo. The strange part was that this was a young group who should have had more energy than a pack of puppies.
I dragged them kicking and screaming to our learning center in San Ramon for a two day planning session. When we began to look for key opportunities the lights started to come on and when we formulated an achievement plan the excitement started and when we turned our ideas into action plans the whole room erupted. The energy and passion was back and driven by a solid plan where everyone understood the goals and what role they played in the process.
Now into their third year of building and following their strategic plan, the company is working on a multi-million dollar growth plane and has enjoyed double digit profits for the third straight year. The owner talks about playing at the top of his game and if you wanted to buy his company today, you'd have to come with a whole wheelbarrow full of cash.
Good business strategy is not just about thinking big, it's about getting big. What are you waiting for?
Ed Jenks is CEO of The Jenks Group, a California Consulting Company that specializes in strategic planning and executive development. He can be reached at
In This Issue
The Faster YOU Grow, the Faster YOUR BUSINESS will Grow
Strategy - The Power of Thinking Big
Upcoming Events

8/27 - National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Realize Greater Results


10/16 - Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference, Goal Achievement


11/20 - American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), Coaching and the use of Behavioral Testing

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How To Improve Your Persuasion Power
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To upgrade your persuasive power, capitalize on these situations:

  Lend a sympathetic ear. When an employee discusses a problem, listen with patience and understanding. By showing that you care, you earn a reputation as a sensitive manager. That will pay off when you ask your staff to sacrifice to attain stretch goals.

  Feed off others' enthusiasm. When someone presents a new idea, support it. Don't look to shoot holes in what you hear.

Example: Your boss may want you to be upbeat about a new product rollout, so focus on opportunities rather than criticism.

Payoff: If you do have legitimate concerns about the project, this gives you the credibility to raise them later.

Source: Robert L. Dilenschneider, writing in Executive Excellence.

About Us
Laurie helps organizations and professionals make positive changes to achieve their goals.  Achieve Success offers customized solutions to your business challenges including strategic planning, leadership development and profiling/ assessment tools to assist with hiring, promoting and developing key skills to enhance success.   

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