???Off the Court

Being an avid sports fan for many years, I have recently become even more intrigued with the inner game that allows successful sports icons and teams continue their winning ways. There is much to be learned through the amazing parallels between the sports and business world.

I have been a fan(before Facebook!) of Roger Federer since I first saw him in his big break-through year at Wimbledon in 2003.? He has had an historic career and I am always fascinated by how he manages both the external and internal game of tennis.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, Federers Best Shot, discussed some of his secrets to success.? As I read this article, one overall theme stood out: Rogers ability to know himself.? His personal trainer describes Roger as a rare combination of creative and disciplined.? Roger is a champ because hes the boss of his talent. This is a core strategy for anyone in sports or in business.? You absolutely must know how to focus on your strengths and manage your struggles.? It will require you to surround yourself with a good team, both on the personal and business side of life.

So, how does Roger manage to rarely get hurt, tired or grumpy?? And, what can we learn from his game of tennis?

Think long-term, dont overplay
RF:? I tried to look at the long-term.? I didnt want to chase everything possible in the short term.? He made a conscious decision early on in his career to plan his attack on time:? to not just be great but to do it longer than anyone else has done it.

Business Translation: Your DNA Behavior will show you if you tend to make everything a priority or if you are more patient in your approach.? Valuable information to know!? How many of us try to accomplish everything at once?? Or, get as many clients as possible?? You dont need it all right now.? Just do what is next to be done in your overall strategy.

No sports superstitions
RF: I dont care if I practice at 9 in the morning or 10 p.m.? Roger has always been flexible.? He knows what he has to accomplish and can fit it in his schedule as needed.

DNA Business Performance, advisor business performance, know your client, predict client behavior, behavioral finance

Business Translation:? So, maybe you dont have any superstitions, but what about the old tapes that may be playing in your head about what it takes to be successful? Checking on your DNA Behavior will show you how much structure you need. Is it too little or is it taking over your life?? Be creative and try operating outside of your comfort zone.? You only need to vary your routine a little to get different results.

Pay attention to your body
RF:? Im able to say, it doesnt hurt me today, but it could hurt me tomorrow. Roger has only retired from a match once in his life.? He knows when he can play through it and when he cant.

Business Translation:? If you are fatigued physically or mentally, let your body be your guide and take some time off.? Not to get out of work, but to come back stronger.? Make sure you allocate time for proactively taking care of you.? Walk, run, exercise at the gym, take a yoga class; there are endless possibilities and it will strengthen both the inner and outer body.

Travel can be fun ? enjoy it
RF:? The tour is not supposed to be brutal and annoying.? Some players come to see globetrotting as soul crushing but Roger has a love for travel and soaks up the local culture with his wife and children.

Business Translation:? We all have a part of our job that is routine, the process to the end result (e.g., getting a new client).? Do we find a way to enjoy it or does it become a necessary evil that drains our energy? Knowing your strengths in your DNA Behavior will allow you to structure your day so that you are operating from that place 80% of the time.? Or, minimally, you will be able to reframe your mindset to gain more energy to do the necessary tasks with more positive energy.

Take two- to four- week training periods for:

  1. Rest and recovery
  2. Strength and endurance (not tennis-related)
  3. Tennis exercise like court footwork (but with medicine balls, not rackets and balls)
  4. Tennis practice

When Roger had lingering back pain, he put extra emphasis on his abdominal muscles.? After two years, the strategy is finally paying off.

Business Translation:? There was a popular phrase, Work Hard and Play Hard. But lately, that phrase has gotten lost in the 10 to 12 hour workday and shortened to just Work Hard. What rest and relaxation do we allow ourselves?? Is it just the standard vacation time?? Could there be parts of a day where you relax and read?? Or, do you consider that to be non-productive?? Your Business DNA will help you discover whether balance is part of your natural game or if you need to be more aware of your tendency to overwork with no recovery time.? And, keep in mind that your change in strategy can take a few years before it really pays off.

Finally, the attitude with which Roger Federer approaches both practice and the game is the ultimate lesson for us all.? His personal trainer says, He still trains with the enthusiasm of a junior.? Sometimes I think, damn it, hes doing these exercises now 2,756 times, but he does it as if it was the first time.? Roger still has the energy of a 23-year-old.? Hes relentlessly optimistic.

Business Translation:? Are you approaching each day with an open attitude that there is still a lot to learn about you and your game of business?? Get your own personal performance index now, click here.

For additional information on increasing engagement of others, visit our DNA Behavior Website.

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A Behavioral Driven Performance Model

While it is a trend to create a diverse team in a workplace, I have found that companies are still using a standard performance model across the board to measure their behaviorally diverse teams performance.

Several months ago I started evaluating consulting company’s performance evaluations. With much dismay I have found that most are using a similar model to the one I was critiqued on, 20+ years ago as an accountant.

A recent development in the DNA line is a behavioral driven performance model. There are two aspects to addressing workplace performance The DNA Way. First: is the natural behavior of an individual. This establishes the natural strengths, struggles and development keys of this an employee. The second element is the Workplace Engagement 360 Report. The 360 Report is generated on an evaluation process where the employee first critiques them self on 75 workplace engagement items, the results are then compared to the perception that others have on his or her engagement, through a confidential data collection process.

Ask yourself this: Would you like your performance measured on your own strengths, struggles and development keys or someone elses?

Managers need to realize that some of their employees will be better at sales, networking or better at analytics than others. Understanding your employees natural behavior first, and then comparing it to their yearly progress with a Workplace Engagement 360 Report is the fair, honest and simple way of measuring your teams success and enhancing your business performance.

The Shift from Practice Management to Improved Performance

Over the past twelve years we have been working with financial advisors focusing primarily on practice management. During this period, we have worked with some major influencers, through both formal and informal relationships.

One major influencer was Michael Gerber, author of The E-myth Revisited and CEO of E-Myth Worldwide.? As Certified E-Myth Consultants, we were taught:

  • Most people who start a business are not really entrepreneurs, but technicians suffering from an Entrepreneurial seizure
  • The importance of working on your business, not in your business,
  • The sole purpose of building a business must be to sell the business, otherwise you will never have a business to sell
  • Businesses that are built with a strong foundation of systems, like McDonalds, will produce exceptional results

When we look at most coaching practices, like E-Myth and those who focus on the financial advisor market, most are practice management focused.? This was a natural evolution and the path we chose in 1998.? Financial services and wealth management are relatively new industries and approaches and systems have been under development, especially over the past five years through recent technological developments, especially CRM providers.

Over the past ten years, technology has simplified practice management.? Ten years ago, segmentation involved producing paper reports of client assets, scanning them into a spreadsheet (which was pretty advanced) and sorting them into categories.? Today this information is much more available and segmentation is a simple process.

CRM is the logical home of business systems and processes.? Today, programs like Redtail, Junxure and eMoney can provide advisor access to critical information about their businesses and have created systems or automated processes that allow advisors to complete these and other tasks with the push of a button.? Firms, like McDonalds, have technological systems in place for making the perfect french fries and staff members are trained on using the technological solutions.? Systems and processes get amazing results when automated.? CRM is the best solution for automating business systems, especially in service firms.

Advisors should focus their attention on having their teams learn to use their new technology effectively.? Redtail recently introduced Redtail University, where advisors and their teams can attend full-day sessions to learn how to use the programs and run the systems effectively.? Genworth Financial Wealth Management has been running two and one-half day practice management boot camps since 2000.? We think these types of organizations are the natural new home for practice management.

Advisors should now turn their attention to the new key drivers of advisor success ? Personal Performance, Relationship Performance, Team Performance, Client Performance, Business Development Performance and Business Plan Performance.

Central to this new Performance approach is Understanding People Before Numbers.? We believe this is the missing link that has resulted in underperformance in each of the performance categories above.

Before you can build a high performance practice or business, you need to understand your natural talents, identify your core life motivations and establish goals and a vision that are connected to who you are.

Performance is about making committed decisions ? decisions about your life and your business that allow you to effectively deal with lifes interruptions.? It is about setting a path forward that you can set out on every single day with confidence and enthusiasm.? Before you can achieve this, you need to understand your natural talents, core life motivations, set your goals and have a clear vision of where you want to be in the future.

To have a happy and successful business, you need to interact with team members and clients who share your values and understand their natural talents and core life motivations so you can help them make more committed decisions and achieve their goals.