Hello dear reader.
So, last week I began my two-parter on what we can learn from the Gymshark story and the lessons learned by Ben Francis. I decided there was much to glean from it, so last week I got stuck in to one key principle that runs through his approach to everything (lean in to your strengths) but this week I’m going to give you a whistle stop tour of some of the main nuggets of wisdom I have picked up. I’ll throw in some points and questions of my own so that you can actually apply it to your life. It’s very little use otherwise. I’ll be concise.
- Start with passion. If you start with what you love, what you enjoy, what gets you fired up, you will lead with purpose. Find your passion and do what you love, first and foremost.
What are you passionate about? What do you love to do? Are you doing it? How much of the time? What can you begin to do about this?
- You need to self-reflect (and let others reflect on you, too). Sometimes this can be brutal but self-awareness is key if we are to grow and make the necessary upgrades to our character. Get feedback, give feedback, learn from feedback.
How are you perceived? Do you know what people find difficult about you? What are you doing about it?
- You need other people. You are not everything. Ben uses the phrase ‘Avengers Assemble’ when talking about the team at Gymshark. You want brilliant people around you, spending the majority of their time doing the thing that they are brilliant at. You need to be doing what you are brilliant at (or, what you have the potential to be brilliant at). You can’t do everything brilliantly and neither should you be trying to – it will limit you and your growth and your sense of direction and focus. Whilst you’re at it – ask people for help. Pick their brains, learn and be humble about what you don’t know.
What is your superpower? Are you developing it? Do others know what it is? Who do you need?
- Arrogance and ambition will only get you so far – and that might be a long way. But eventually cracks will appear, people won’t stick around and you’ll find yourself stagnating or even beginning to crumble. Having the humility to ask for help and find out what you don’t know is the gamechanger you need to move to the next level. Think of any team working towards a goal as a starting eleven for a sporting fixture – get the best people around you and respect what they know.
Who do you need some help from?
- Get clear on what you want – and don’t compromise on that vision. Getting clear on what you want doesn’t mean you need to be self-serving or greedy. It’s more an idea of personal vision, purpose statement, a clear sense of non-negotiable direction. When you have this, you can be ruthless about eliminating distraction, (even shiny exciting distractions) so that you can be wholehearted about what you are here for. (I did this exercise a few years ago and it’s a large part of the reason why the Purpose Pursuit was born – I highly recommend you do it and re-do it).
What’s your vision or purpose statement? How closely aligned is your life? What do you need to say yes to, what do you need to say no to?
I could go on, but I am going to stop there.
Vision. Where are you heading?
Self-Growth. What’s in the way?
Other People. Who do you need?
Humility. What don’t you know?
Unwavering commitment to the purpose. What are you here for?
Lots to think about. Give yourself a bit of time to do that thinking. Whether you’re leading your own life, a family, a team, or an enterprise of your own – these principles all still apply.
P.S. If you want to get a lot more help with all this, my course (which is coming back really soon for the next cohort) may be just what you need. We’re making some exciting changes to it, too. Click here to find out more.