Yesterday, I shared a post containing tips to help you bring your A Game into the New Year. After I published it, I realized I didn't define A Game. This post does that. Of course, “doing your best” and other useless phrases came to mind. But the truth is that whether you've brought your A Game does not depend on whether you've done your best. It depends on the results you produce.
Oh, I know. That's not fair. After all, all you can do is your best right? Well, sorry. In business, you are not judged by how hard you try, but on the results you produce. Therefore, any useful definition of A Game must incorporate not just doing your best, but producing results. Here's the definition I came up with:
Your A Game is an fierce, undeniable, and obvious intention to achieve specific goals, which intention manifests itself as those goals are achieved.
Here are a few “up close and personal, in the trenches” tips to help you bring your A Game, not just in the big picture (which we discussed yesterday), but also in every moment, of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year.
- Be prepared. Your A Game won't show up if you have a B Game mentality. You may accomplish things with your B Game, but they won't be nearly as good as what you can accomplish with your A Game.
For example, to bring the A Game my guest and audience deserve to my weekly podcast, I must prepare by reading the guest's book and biographical information in advance of our live taping. When I don't, it shows, and I do my guest and my audience a disservice.
Whether it's a sales call with a prospective customer or a new product launch, everyone can tell when you are not prepared. No preparation, no A Game.
- Be physically fit. This could be easy for you, or it could be hard — like it is for me. (Ugh.) I've lived for months, in a row intentionally fitting physical fitness into every day. I've also lived months in a row not fitting physical fitness into every day. Through these experiences, I have learned that without a daily workout of some kind, it is nearly possible for me to bring my A Game. That doesn't mean I'm unproductive on days when I don't work out. But my A Game generally eludes me on those days.
When I incorporate daily fitness into my life, my productivity soars through the roof. After a workout, I bring my A Game to everything and everybody.
And by the way, for each of the months when I didn't squeeze in a daily workout, I would swear to you on a stack of holy books that I “did my best.” And you know what? Yadda yadda yadda. It doesn't matter.
This is a constant challenge for me, but as Oprah would say, this I know for sure: no physical fitness, no A Game.
- Nurture your personal relationships. Personal relationships can either encourage or discourage your A Game. To bring your A Game to your business, you must carefully nurture the personal relationships in your life.
The burden of unresolved issues in your intimate relationships will always hinder your A Game. Address issues in those relationships. Don't let them fester. Bring up the hard stuff, talk it through. Agree to disagree if you must, but resolve the issues. Don't let them build up over time so much that, no matter what you do, your A Game eludes you.
No nurtured personal relationships, no A Game.
Just like it takes hard work and heavy lifting to define your muscles, it also takes hard work and heavy lifting to define and then deliver your A Game day in and day out. You can do it. I can too.
2012 is nearly here. Let’s do it together!
Question: How do you define your A Game? I'd love to hear your definition!