Regardless of what your long-term vision is, the logistics of turning it into reality can seem like a daunting task, to say the least. Achieving greatness doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see rapid progress.
One excellent way to stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize is breaking greatness into manageable steps. As you complete each task, you will not only have the satisfaction of crossing it off the list, but also the excitement of knowing that you are getting closer toward your ultimate goal: becoming the top 5% in your industry.
But, how do you get there?
Here’s and actionable plan.
Step 1: Become the Best at a Local Level
Most people strive to become the best employee in their companies or the best player in their team. While that’s an admirable goal, it’s not enough if you want to achieve greatness. Here’s why.
When your goal is to become the best at something in a small group, you are limiting yourself. The only people you can measure your skills with are your colleagues, and while they are good at what they’re doing, they are not the best of the best.
That said, to achieve greatness, you should first strive to became the best in your city. Be the person people in your town turn to when they need guidance or inspiration. Become someone they know and admire.
Step 2: Become the Best in Your Country
Once you’ve reached local success, it’s time to study the actions the top 5% in your country are taking. You’ll probably notice on thing: they got there by being bold. They didn’t play by the rules that ensure optimal performance. They didn’t climb traditional ladders intended to slow them down and keep them mediocre. Instead, they zagged when everyone else was zigging.
Don’t be afraid to run toward the thing everyone else is running from if you want to become the best in the country.
Step 3: Become the Best on Your Continent
Becoming the best on the continent takes a lot of patience. If you’ve been working for years but are still to have your big break, keep going. Resilience is one of the most common traits of the most successful people.
Observe and try to mimic the actions of the top 5% people in your industry whose success exceeded the borders of their countries. How did they get there? What can you learn from their experiences? Is there something you can do better than them on your path to success? Ask yourself these questions and look for ways to maintain interest even when the actions you need to take become hard or tedious.
Step 4: Become the Best in the World
Knowledge is critical in achieving success. After all, only by learning from the people who have reached the top you were able to become one of the best on your continent. But, if you want to push the limits further and become among the top 5% in the world, you’ll have to become an innovator. To get to the top of the world, you must come to the razor’s edge where the probability of failure is so high that few dare going there. At this point, everything you’ve learned will help you make the leap to greatness.
Step 5: Constantly Evaluate Yourself
Entering the realm of greatness comes with a great responsibility. Everything you do matters since there are now others looking up to you. That’s why you need to evaluate yourself to ensure not only that you’re on the right track but that you set a good example for those seeing you as their role models.
Evaluation helps you know whether your actions are working or if you’ve missed something during the process. Becoming great at what you do is a process that involves many moving parts. So, you need to understand them all and see which elements are already working and what makes them work, but you also need to know which parts could work better and find the strategies to achieve them. By continually assessing your actions, you will also keep your head in the game. Otherwise, you can easily get distracted and lose sight of your goal.
Ok, so now you know the theory. But how does it work? Well, I believe there’s no better way of showing you than a story.