Exceptional performance is not achieved by looking for exceptions. You won’t get great results without great effort. You can’t win the Tour de France without riding a bike, or the Nobel Peace Prize without changing the world. Musicians and athletes need to practice. So do businesspeople. Without discipline and a focus on the fundamentals, you won’t achieve success. There are no shortcuts.
Have you run into people like this, either in BNI or elsewhere in business? The ones who want to read advice on how to be successful, but not to follow it? What has your experience been like.
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Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 231 -
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan, how are you and where are you?
Hi Priscilla. I am actually at BNI headquarters this week training National Directors for BNI. I have some National Directors from around the world here at BNI. They are going through some training to open up new countries. We are in almost 50 countries now and we’ll be opening up more countries next year, too.
That is amazing.
Yeah. It really is. It’s very exciting.
So what do you have to share with us?
Well, the topic for today is You Don’t Become Exceptional by Looking for Exceptions. I have touched upon this some in other podcasts, but I have additional information that I think is of value because over and over again in my life, I am reminded that exceptional performance is not achieved by looking for exceptions. I’ll be really honest. I don’t feel very diplomatic today so I am just going to say it like it is. I am really tired of dealing with people who want great results but they don’t want to put any great effort.
I honestly think that if people spent half as much time focusing on the fundamentals of success in the area they are interested in, they would get twice the results of what they are actually getting. I am not aiming this message at BNI members. I am aiming this message at business owners worldwide, any business professional. This isn’t just BNI.
In fact, I think in many ways, BNI members are better at this than the average person. But I do find over and over way too many people around the world that I talk to who are searching for ideas and then arguing with people about what works. So they will ask for an opinion and then argue with people who have been successful in that area.
Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Earlier this year, I read an article by a really good friend of mine, Tony Alessandra. Dr. Alessandra. He wrote the material on the “platinum rule.” The platinum rule talks about the fact that you treat people the way that they want to be treated, not the way that you want to be treated. It’s not quite the golden rule, which is treat others the way that you want to be treated. You treat others the way that they want to be treated.
It’s an important concept and his piece was well-written, Tony’s material. It explains that especially when it comes to business, it’s not about how you want to be treated. It’s how they want to be treated. They have needs, desires and wants that may be different from yours. So understanding them is very important. He did a very non-controversial posting, this friend of mine who posted on Tony’s material. He caught some guy- this was on an online network. He got some guy who posted a comment that this was a horrible idea because people don’t always know what is best for them. I’m thinking, really? Really?
That seemed crazy to me. But he said he thought perhaps he was overreacting so he thought he would check some of the other guy’s writings. He started looking at he other guy’s writings and other comments that he had posted, and he was always the guy taking the opposing position. He disagreed with virtually everyone about virtually everything. Then I started looking at his original posting and this guy is a total loser. He clearly jumped- this is the part where I said I was not going to be real diplomatic today. He clearly jumped from business to business. He didn’t appear to be successful in anything. The best thing this guy seemed to do was- wait for it, wait for it- yes, argue about everything. He argued about everything.
Soon after I read my friend’s article about the platinum rule, I received an email from someone who visited one of the BNI chapters. I wrote about this in a Success Net article some time ago. He said, “I am interested in how I can provide my extensive list of contacts to a local networking group without actually having to attend the weekly meetings. We only want to attend once a month for meetings, but we still want to adopt the group’s ethos as well as their well-structured program.”
I’m like, really? This is what I mean. You don’t become exceptional by looking for exceptions. “ I want all the results but I don’t want to do all the work that is necessary. I want to read advice on how to be successful but I don’t want to actually follow it.” That’s the kind of thing that got me thinking. I would really like to win the Tour de France, but I don’t like riding bikes.
That would be a problem.
I always thought it would be amazing to win an Olympic medal, but really, all that conditioning- is it really necessary? I would have liked to have become a medical doctor but I’m really not so good with all the blood and internal organ stuff. I would really love to be a military general, but boot camp- really? Do I have to do boot camp? But the most coveted of all: a Nobel Peace Prize. That would be really amazing but then I would actually have to change the world in some incredibly important way. Surely there is something less I could do and still get the same results, right?
If all this wishing made it so, but it doesn’t. Looking for exceptions to what has been proven to work seems many times to be the norm with some people, those who go around constantly searching for exceptions to validate reasons why the disciplined hard work that has made others successful won’t work for them. In my experience, you will only find one truth and that is that successful people only find success through consistent, disciplined action. They are, in fact, the only real exceptions to the norm. They have that consistent, disciplined action.
I would love to hear about this. Have you seen people like this in BNI or outside BNI? Have you seen people like this? This is one of the reasons that BNI works so much. It’s the discipline and accountability and the people who come in and understand that. I don’t like having to get up every week and go to a meeting. I would say that now some of us like it. There are crazy people out there who say this is fun. They love early morning meetings. But I’m a realist. I get it. It takes hard work. It takes discipline. But the results speak for themselves. To me, that is why I think BNI has been so successful- the discipline. I would love to hear from people who listened to this podcast or read the transcript of the podcast. Have you run into people like this? What has been your experience? Not just in BNI- anywhere in business. Let me step off of my soapbox now.
Okay. I think that’s great, and I think you’re right because discipline is the hardest thing to integrate into your life. But it really does get the best results. If you look at musicians that are very accomplished or athletes, it’s just very obvious that they are consistent and they do the hard work. So I think you’re right.
They do. A musician- isn’t that a great example? You’re not going to be a concert pianist is you don’t practice regularly.
You’re right. And the more time you put into it, the better it gets.
Very true. Very true. So if you want to be exceptional in business, don’t look for the exceptions. Look for the rule and what other people are doing consistently. Be willing to do the hard work. Drop me a comment here on this podcast. Thanks, Priscilla.
Ivan, thanks so much. That’s it for this week. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.