Say No and Do Less to be a Superachiever

By Alan Gehringer

dateTue, Oct 22, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

What does it take to go from being an overachiever to a superachiever?  Darren Hardy, Publisher and Founding Editor of Success magazine believes there are three key distinctions between overachievers and superachievers.  The points he makes in his presentation, “Productivity Strategies of Superacheivers" are very much aligned with how we coach our clients. 

1.    First, it’s not what you do; it's what you don’t do.  Yes is easy, No is the master skill.  At Rhythm Systems, we use the “Start Stop Keep” exercise every quarter with clients to look at what to stop doing. Every time you say “yes” to something, you are actually saying “no” to something Rhythm Systems Business Executionelse.  Warren Buffet shares his number one key to success, “For every 100 great opportunities brought to me, I say no 99 times.”  Steve Jobs said, "I am as proud of what we don’t do as what we do.”

2.    The second distinction is that it’s not about doing more, it’s about focusing on fewer things.  It is better to be world class at a few things than mediocre at many things.  We coach our clients to focus on 3-5 priorities each year and each quarter for this reason.  There is a great difference in long work hours and hard work. It is not the hours you put in, but how hard you work on the right priorities.  Sir Richard Branson will only work on three priorities at a time and will not take on more at any price.  He refused a half a million dollar fee to speak for one hour because he is so focused on his three priorities.  Jim Collins said, "If you have more than 3 priorities, you don’t have any.”   Consider what your vital functions are along with your strategic priorities. Focus on the ones that only you can do that makes your enterprise money.

3.   The third distinction is that businesses are about people, not buildings, equipment, products and services.  The key to a great business is to recruit and retain the best people and create an environment where they can flourish.  The role of a leader is not to do but to lead with a vision into the future - to think, decide, recruit, and retain great people.  Do not be caught doing too much of the work, and inspect what you expect on the vitals by monitoring the dashboard.

Making the shift to focus on the right behaviors to become a Superachiever is not easy because of the habits we develop through the years.  The longer we have the habit, the harder it is to change.   We become what we practice.  If you want to make a change, you'll need to take a very intentional approach.

Ask yourself the question, “What are the 3 habits that are hindering my performance and results?”  Once identified, you can start the process of changing them.  Here are three suggestions to change your habits:

  1.      Bring awareness to them.  Write them down and keep a record of the  things we want to change.
  2.      Use your "fight power."   Ask yourself what is worth fighting for that makes you want to change?   
  3.      Use your "heart power."  Ask yourself what do you want for others that you are willing to work hard and change for?

It takes about 300 repetitions to change your habit or behavior.

The massive transformation formula is to figure out what are your 3 most important priorities?  What are the key behaviors you need to do consistently to accomplish these priorities?   Then document and track your progress to ensure you follow through.

Are you ready to get started?  Pull out that pad of paper and start writing.  Good luck,  Alan.


Learn to build focus, alignment and accountability; read Execute Without Drama by Patrick Thean

Alan Gehringer


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images