A Force To Be Reckoned With
A few years ago, I attended an industry event and had the honor of spending the weekend with a former NFL player who absolutely dominated the free safety position from 2002 – 2009.
Despite his NFL success, this former “pro bowler” was not a highly recruited college player. In fact, he was considered too small and too slow. As result, all the major colleges initially passed on him which forced him to play at a lesser-known university. When he was drafted into the NFL it wasn’t until the 5th round.
However, despite being underestimated he was an absolutely overwhelming force, constantly disrupting offensive strategies, intimidating opposing receivers and consistently ranking at the top of the NFL for tackles and interceptions.
“Success Requires The Mentality of a Conqueror”
At one point during the weekend, I asked him how he managed to have so much success despite not having the size and speed of most NFL players in his position. He responded with one word: “Mindset”.
He said he approached every day with the mindset of a conqueror. His goal was to have it all – the most interceptions, the most tackles and, to be the highest paid safety in the NFL. He wanted to absolutely conquer his position.
What Type of Mentality Do You Have?
Let me ask you a question: Do you think like a conqueror? Are you committed to having it all – the title, income, responsibility, influence, all with a healthy family and personal life?
Most People Quit Before They Even Start
You see, a lot of people you talk to, or even things you read, will try to persuade you to become one of the “subjugated” – those that think “being the best” or “being at the top” is wrong or the result of “misguided priorities”. They’ll try to convince you to “settle” for good enough, or seek “balance” over success.
Believe me when I tell you that the concept of balance has become an easy justification for settling for “good enough”.
There is no reason you can’t have it all – be at the top of your company, sales group, division, etc. AND have a healthy and fulfilling family and personal life. Said another way to conquer all aspects of your life.
It All Starts With A Commitment
So what does it take to build a “Conqueror’s Mentality”? Like the NFL player I had the opportunity to spend time with, it starts with a commitment. A commitment to yourself that you are not going to tolerate “good enough”. Rather you are going to dedicate yourself to maximizing all areas of your career and life.
Easier Said Than Done
Make no mistake, simply making a commitment to yourself will not propel you to the top of your field; rather it is simply the entry fee in what will be the hardest contest you ever take part in.
Pathway To Greatness
The great news is that you don’t have to figure this out on your own. The process below will guide you through the steps necessary to move beyond the “middle of the curve” and join the exceptional:
1. Determine what you want
All Conquerors know what they want – Caesar wanted to rule Rome, Napoleon wanted to bring democracy to greater Eurasia, and Alexander wanted to expand his empire.
What do you want? Division President, Sales VP, to be a present and loving husband and father?
You need absolute clarity on what you want to dominate in your life and career. And most important, they need to be your visions of success, not what you THINK is noble or what your spouse, parents or pastor want you to achieve.
These are your worlds to conquer, and like Hannibal who looked to the east and vowed to take all of Rome, you must have your vision.
2. Build A Plan
Anything can be accomplished with a plan. It doesn’t even need to be a great plan because all plans are going to have parts that “blow up”, or just don’t work out. However, the key is that you have some type of map follow. This will ensure you don’t simply engage in aimless activities.
3. Build your skills
If you’re doing this right, chances are that you have aspirations that you can’t accomplish right now because you don’t have the right skills. For example, if you want to be CEO of your company but can’t read a financial statement, then guess what? Reading financials is something you’re going to have to learn.
This is where 99% of the people walk away. They realize they’re going to need to put in a LOT of hard work to acquire the skills they’ll need to realize their conquests, and the sad reality is they are not willing to put in the time and energy.
But not you, you’re a conqueror, you’re going to do whatever it takes:
- Take classes
- Attend training seminar
- Read lots and lots of books
- Work in a department that you may never consider so you can get the experience you need
In essence, you’re committing to a lifetime of development. Hard work, is essential in order to conquer your objectives – Napoleon’s armies had to endure months of training as well as the freezing cold and lack of shelter in their conquest of Northern Italy. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
3. Share credit
Every great leader has an army. Build yours, starting with people who are experts in areas where you’re weak. And when you succeed, share the credit. I mean really share the credit – make sure everyone (your boss, coworkers, etc) know that you couldn’t have done it without them. The more others share in your victories, the more they’ll want to help you in the future. Enrolling others in your vision has been a proven formula for success for thousands of years (why do you think they award medals to soldiers?).
4. Don’t Listen To Quitters
Finally, when others (perhaps even your family) tell you to “back off”, “take it easy” and “be realistic”, thank them for their advice and then continue on your campaign.
People who have given up on their dreams and aspirations (or never began in the first place), like to get others to do the same.
You have no time for these people, you’re on a mission.
We Still Have Conqueror’s Today
This concept of a “conquering mentality” isn’t just a concept from the history books. To this day, great people are striving for complete “conquest” of their market, Jeff Bezos started off selling books, and is now looking to completely dominate all aspects of the consumer’s needs.
Elon Musk doesn’t just want to sell electric cars, he has visions of “owning’ the privatization of space exploration and satellite delivery. Not only that, he wants to redefine how we commute and work in our cities.
And let us not forget Steve Jobs, who in 1983 (before Apple even launched the Macintosh) had the audacious vision to change the world.
It’s Not About Blind Ambition
A conqueror mentality is not some materialistic obsession driven by avarice and greed. Rather, it is a mindset that will allow you to experience great success in your career and do great things for the ones you love and the charities you care about.
Now go conquer some new worlds.
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I’ve spent my entire life in the Fortune 500, and I want to share everything I wish I knew when I was younger in the hopes that you can find success far faster than I did.
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