Guest Post by: Rory Vaden
Do you know anyone who is super smart and intelligent but not very successful?
Do you know someone who doesn’t seem all that smart and yet they are incredibly successful?
Do you know someone who is very motivated and they try really hard but they can never quite seem to make it?
Do you know someone who has all the ingredients to be a top performer but they are a disorganized, chaotic mess?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you will understand why and how over the past 165 years, The Southwestern Family of Companies and Southwestern Consulting, has developed our methodology – something we refer to as “The Habits Triangle.”
We’ve come to realize that there are three interrelated components that must work synergistically together for someone to become an Ultra-Performer.
You cannot truly become an Ultra-Performer without developing mastery in these 3 areas of your business:
- Skills – The technical ability and knowledge to complete professional functions or tasks.
For a salesperson these are the skills of prospecting, closing, answering objections, and gathering referrals just to name a few. For a professional speaker these are the skills of using vocal variety, storytelling, using the stage, and understanding the psychology of laughter. For a leader this includes things like creating vision, delivering appropriate recognition, recruiting, inspiring, training, and understanding and managing financials. For a marketer this includes things like branding, copyrighting, SEO, and knowing how to use social media.
No matter what your profession is or what goal you are pursuing, there will be a set of knowledge that you will have to learn and a set of tactical Skills that you will need to master in order to perform at the highest level. Even if someone has the other 2 elements of The Habits Triangle, without the technical Skills they will be what Zig Ziglar used to call “a motivated idiot.”
- Self-Motivation – This area includes the more intrinsic elements of an individual’s personal character and emotional preparation.
Coaching someone on building their self-motivation includes educating them and strengthening them in things like: attitude, positive self- talk, persistence, managing fear, integrity, creating a personal vision, and in finding their emotional purpose.
Even if a person has incredible Skills and strong Systems, if they don’t have any Self-motivation then they are simply what Calvin Coolidge called an “educated derelict.”
- Systems – These are the mechanisms that are in place that help a team or individual stay organized and efficient in completing the strategic operations of the organization.
For an individual this includes anything related to how they manage their time, how they manage their finances, how they keep up with paperwork, and how they stay organized.
For an organization this almost always includes any element of technology such as: accounting and payroll systems, CRM, their online social media and content marketing strategy, order fulfillment, procurement, etc.
A person or team who has strong Self-motivation and expert Skills but weak Systems becomes a frantic, disorganized, chaotic mess. They are what I once heard David Allen refer to as a “crazy-maker.”
Show me a broken business or an underperforming individual and I guarantee I will show you a breakdown in at least one of the three areas of The Habits Triangle: Skills, Self-Motivation, or Systems.
At the center of The Habit Triangle is of course “Habits”. That is because it is not good enough to merely have strong Skills, Self-motivation, and Systems; but we must have the positive habits that enforce using them over and over.
At the center of the triangle is where it all comes together. It is developing the self-discipline to do the things we know we should be doing each and every day until they eventually become Habits. Or as we at Southwestern say, “success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.“ We’ve found that most people have a much higher likelihood of developing positive Habits if they have accountability (notice the ring around the outside of the triangle) which is why our core service offering at Southwestern Consulting is 1 on 1 coaching.
If you’ve ever wondered why I am often referred to as a “Self-discipline Strategist” now you know. It’s because I’ve dedicated my life to helping provide insights and inspiration to help people do the things they know they should be doing even when they don’t feel like doing them – so that those tasks would eventually become habits and success becomes inevitable for them over time.
If you’ve followed my podcast or my blog here and ever felt like some of the topics were disjointed; now you will be able to see easily how they all fit together.
Our first book, Take the Stairs, was all about self-discipline and Self-motivation.
Our recent book, Procrastinate on Purpose, was all about Systems.
Any guesses as to what our next book will probably be about?
Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.
Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine.