Are you playing to WIN in LIFE, CAREER, or BUSINESS?

By Jernavis Draughn

If you are not taking score you are just PRACTICING. Life is a fight for territory. Playing the game of life to just play is meaningless, playing to win is intentional. It requires thinking, planning, preparing, and taking massive action. It starts with a strategy. Deciding what winning looks like for you in all facets of your life. What is winning? Is it earning a certain amount of income? Is it spending quality time with family and friends? Is it driving a certain type of car or living in a certain size house? Is it being able to travel the world? Is it having financial freedom? Reasons reap results. What is your “why’ behind everything you do? What will push you to take consistent and strategic action daily?

Being a retired athlete, you ultimately learn that winning is the only option. Your conditioned to compete and to leave it all on the table every time you show up. I have learned winning in anything in life starts with EFFORT, by doing the work. When you implement strategy behind effort and work ethic, more opportunity arises. Robin Sharma is coined for saying,“what you do daily is your life in miniature.” When you discover your why, you will find the WAY. Strategy is a choice. The purpose of systems is to ensure consistency. In the book, “Playing to win, how strategy works”, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, explains how strategy is one of the major keys to consistently winning in business.

Lafely and Martin go over five questions to help you build a strategic business plan.

  1. What is your winning aspiration? What is the purpose of your company?
  2. Where will you play? Partnerships? Online? Brick and Mortar? Territories? Target audience?
  3. How will you win? How will you win on your chosen playing field?
  4. What capabilities must be in place? Who will you need? Who will you have to become? What will you need to learn?
  5. What management systems are required? What type of system do you need to create consistent results?

Here’s some key takeaways from the book, Playing to win, that can help grow your business:

-Do not try to capture all segments.

-Look for a place to play that will enable you to attack from unexpected directions.

-Winning means providing a better consumer and customer value equation than your competitors do and providing it on a sustainable basis.

-Differentiation. We offer products or services that are perceived to be distinctively more valuable to customers, with the same cost structure that competitors use.

-Measurement provides focus and feedback.

Strategy is a way to win. Having a competitive advantage helps you create consistent success. Playing to win in anything, means being more intentional, goal oriented, focus, strategic, mission and purpose driven. See strategy as a process rather than a result. Remember success has no FINISH LINE.

Quote of the Day: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” -Arie de Geus

What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

Quality speaks, without saying a word. Your product or service solves a customer problem the moment it’s used or purchased. Quality builds credibility. It either creates or destroys your brand. Jeff Besos once said, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Quality is a direct reflection of your culture you’ve created for your organization. Your teammates must believe providing quality is the foundation to their personal success. I’ve learned some people innately hold themselves to a higher standard, so teaching them the level of excellence we want to provide our customers comes second nature. It’s part of there character. It’s who they are. They’ve seen it, experienced the success from providing quality products or services, and now it’s a habitual behavior.

The largest organizations don’t always provide the best quality products, but they have created an efficient system that has allowed them to scale exponentially. For example, McDonalds doesn’t have the best burger or the healthiest meals in the fast food industry. Here’s how Mcdonalds provides great quality for their customers. First, McDonalds now has over 36,000 restaurants and the second largest chain in the world. Some of their restaurants are open 24hours. Sauce on the side is FREE. Breakfast is available all day. They serve almost any type of food you have a taste to eat; burgers, fries, chicken, coffee, cookies, ice cream, salads and ribs, to name a few. They offer a play area for kids to enjoy. All of these products and services add value to the customer. The largest organizations today provide array of services or products for their customers to choose from. It’s a buffet business model. It’s one of the reasons Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart are dominating their markets. They have cornered the market by selling a slew of products, while keeping their price point feasible and providing quality customer service.

In the book, People over profit by Dale Partridge, he explains 4 key aspects that create quality products and services for you’re organization.

  1. Physical Quality. Anything a customer or team member can touch should be excellence.
  2. Experiential Quality. Customers don’t only purchase products; they also buy experience.
  3. Visual Quality. Your design must be a core value of your organization.
  4. Personal Quality. It must tell a story that your customers want to be a part of. Stay innovative. Give out surveys. Ask for feedback. Respond quickly to any issues and constantly improve your services and products.

Providing greatness must be your foundation when creating any service or product for your organization. Consistency must be a core value if you want to sustain lasting success. Focus on the few and experiment to see what product or service provides the most value. Quality is birthed by a decision to only create moments that your customers will always remember. Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world, based off the quality of the services they provide and the memorable moments the families create by visiting their park. If you do decide to embark on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, create quality products and services that make your customers heart sing.

Quote of the Day: “Quality creates credibility!”

The 6 PURPOSES that all companies fall underneath!

Your purpose will produce your profit. When you find your why, you will find your way. Michael Hyatt, says people loose there way, when they loose there why. The reason why you do anything will always determine the outcome. Your reasons will reap the results your trying to achieve. Tony Robbins discusses we all have six core human needs that drive us to do what we do in life; Love/connection, certainty, uncertainty/variety, growth, significance and contribution. When we learn what intrinsically motivates us, only then we can continue to ignite that fire to keep going. Learning what makes you feel fulfilled and happy eternally will help discover your purpose.

Here’s a few questions to help you discover your purpose. What service would you do for free? What does your dream job look like? What would you be doing? If you could design and create your life today for what you would be doing in the next 24 months, what would it be?

In the book The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni he examines the six purposes that every company will fall underneath.

  1. Customer. This purpose is directly related to serving the needs of an organization’s customer or primary constituent.
  2. Industry. This purpose is all about being immersed in a given industry.
  3. Greater Cause. This kind of purpose is not necessarily about what the organization does, but about something connected to it.
  4. Community. This purpose is about doing something that makes a specific geographical place better.
  5. Employees. This purpose is not about serving the customer in the industry, or the region, but rather about the employees.
  6. Wealth. This purpose is about wealth for owners.

As the leader of Athletes Global, I’ve learned that your purpose will drive the team forward. Over the last year, we’ve became maniacal focus on what our mission and intent is for delivering our services and products. Our purpose is to develop future leaders through educational, sports and fitness services. We fall underneath the greater cause and providing a great customer experience. Clarity is power, and purpose trumps strategy. When everyone is clear on the organizations mission, everyone grows in the right direction.

Quote of the Day: “Your purpose defines your priorities.”

What ZONE do you live in….?

By Jernavis Draughn

Being a retired athlete, I have always had methods to get into my personal zone in the game of basketball. I had pre game rituals that I believed helped me mentally reach peak levels of focus to perform at a high level. Now being in the game of business, I’ve learned there’s not much of a difference regarding the mindset approach to high performance.

I believe our competence creates our confidence. The success in anything you do is predicated on your experience of being in the situation before, personal belief system, and ability to face fear and still take action. When I was playing the game of basketball, I would strive to get in my “2-3” zone on a consistent basis. It’s a place where you’ve seen Michael Jordan win a championship when having the flu, Tom Brady bring the Patriots back in the fourth quarter to win a super bowl or Steve Jobs reinvent the entire mobile industry by creating the “iPhone”.

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who has coined the term “Flow”, also known colloquially as being in the zone. The mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. That is, by learning how to enter the state of flow you can increase your productivity, be more creative, and be happier, all at the same time. Personally, speaking when I have reached a flow state, I’ve played my best games and produced my best work. Now moving into the public speaking and leadership training space, I often feel myself completely immersed in that moment with the ability to give more. I think reaching a flow state, starts with preparation. Repetition is the mother of MASTERY. Tony Robins says, people are rewarded in PUBIC for the years of practice they did in PRIVATE! Great performances are connected to your personal belief that you can accomplish something monumental, because of the practice, work, and effort you invested into your passion.

I read a great book by John Maxwell called, Leadership Shift, and he discusses the four different zones we live in.

  1. The Coasting Zone. I do as little as possible.
  2. The Comfort Zone. I do what I have always done.
  3. The Challenge Zone. I attempt to do what I haven’t done before.
  4. The Creative Zone. I attempt to think what I have never thought before.

You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself. We all have greatness within us. It’s our choice to tap into that place internally to discover it. The zone state can be connected to all facets of our life. Relationships, spiritually, career, business, sports, health, fitness, or financially. Take time to honestly answer these questions. Do you do as little as possible to reach your potential in these areas? Are you still doing what you always done or are you intentionally growing in these areas of life? Lastly, are you focus on reaching your full potential in all areas of your life? Remember the only walls that confine us are the walls we have BUILT.

Quote of the Day: “Chase your Potential”-Jernavis Draughn