There is a school of thinking that states personal development is the ultimate source of competitive advantage and the creative capital of our team drives success. The best companies in the world definitely share in this ethos and encourage their employees to learn and develop.
Great entrepreneurs invest heavily in their own personal development by exposing themselves to new learning opportunities through both formal and informal networks. Extending comfort zones and development of new skills and competencies will drive the business in the winning direction!
One of the ways in which business mirrors sport is in the setting of goals or targets. Psychology comes into play. If you aim high then you will achieve far more than if you set a modest goal. If you think something is impossible, then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Remember the four minute mile? How it seemed impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes? Yet once achieved – by Sir Roger Bannister – then suddenly lots of other athletes emulated Bannister’s achievement. The four minute barrier was, at least in part, a psychological one.
The same is true in business. The high growth company must set demanding goals – not impossible ones – but real ‘stretch’ goals. Lord Forte, one of the UK’s most successful businessmen is reported to have said:-
“it is amazing if one sets a target, how easily one hits that target. Unfortunately I have learnt this at a very late age; I wish I had known it consciously before instead of only subconsciously … The art of reaching business targets is not to aim at the impossible, but to aim at the championship level”
Aim High! Set very demanding objectives and targets. People respond – no one likes to fail – and the whole business is galvanised.