Strengthen Your Core
Fitness experts say the key to a strong body is a strong core. I believe a strong core is also the key to a strong life, career, organization and team.
When I talk about a strong core I'm not referring to core muscles or body parts but rather the core of you and your work. Your core is your purpose. It's the message you are meant to share. It's the people that matter most to you. It's the work that is essential to your business, growth and success. It's your talents and strengths. The core is what makes your team and organization different and great.
Too often we spend time on things that are irrelevant. We spread ourselves too thin. We try to be good at many things instead of being great at one thing. We allow distractions to derail us, choices to confuse and weaken us and clutter to hinder us. We don't develop our core and our development suffers.
To build a strong core you first have to identify it. Then you can focus on it, build it and strengthen it. As you do this you'll realize that strengthening your core strengthens every part of you, your work and life.
For example, years ago after writing The Energy Bus, Training Camp (excellence), and The Seed (purpose) I was thinking about my core message. I wondered if it was excellence or purpose or positivity and one day I had an insight that it was positivity. Positivity was and is my core. While I enjoy talking about purpose and excellence, I know purpose is Simon Sinek's core message, not mine. Excellence is someone else's message. But my core is positive. Positive leadership, positive teamwork, positive culture, The Energy Bus for Schools, The Power of Positive Summit, Positive University, etc. are all extensions of this core. Of course I still talk about and occasionally work on other things but I spend a majority of my time on my core.
I have found that simplicity and clarity have led to focused action to create a stronger core. Everyday I'm presented with opportunities and ideas and before I say yes or no I always ask myself if it will strengthen or weaken the core? If it will weaken it I don't do it. I remind myself and my team to stick to the core. This goes for my family too.
So often people reach out to me and want to write/publish a book. Many times they have three to five book ideas that they try to put into one book. I tell them don't do that. Then I ask them to identify their core message. What is the one message you would want to share with the world if it was your last message? Start there. Write that one message. When it's done you can ask the same question and write the next one.
I see too many businesses adding products and services that have nothing to do with their core. Too many entrepreneurs chase fads and trends instead of creating a business from the core of who they are. Too many chase short term profits instead of building lasting success with core principles. Too many brands don't have consistent messaging that lets people know what they stand for.
Apple continues to strengthen its core and build from it. Star Wars knows its core and strengthens it. Oprah knows her core. Chick-fil-A continues to strengthen it and add offerings tied to their core. Bruce Springsteen knows his core. My friend Scott who founded www.carvenutrition.com just added a new healthy protein cookie to his other carve bars but only after deciding that it would strengthen their core.
You can do the same in your life and work. Look at yourself, your career, your business, your team and think about your core. What do you need to focus on? What is getting in the way? What needs to be removed? What products need to be eliminated? What should be added? What messages need to be streamlined? What do you need to say yes to? What do you need to say no to? Where should you invest your time, money, energy and resources? What are your strengths? How can you develop them? What are the keys to helping you grow? What will strengthen your core?
Answer the questions. Get started! Build a strong core today for a stronger you tomorrow.