As a young man dating back to the mid 1980s, I was always mesmerized by the material in the old school fitness magazines. I could never really afford to buy them, but I would spend way too much time at the grocery store magazine counter reading articles from magazines like FLEX, MUSCLE AND FITNESS and MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT. As I went page to page, I would envision myself doing whatever I needed to be like the bodybuilding greats. As time went on and I grew older my goals changed; I wanted to look more like the epitome of fitness rather than the giants like Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler. One thing always stood out to me about all the articles no matter what fitness goal they were catered to; the key is FORM!
Fast forward a few (roughly 30+) years and now I’m in the gym again simply trying to rebound from several surgeries over the past few years. Every exercise is a bit of a struggle because I’m out of practice but, I remind myself nonstop to “focus on form” and my desired results will come. Admittingly though, I do have a pretentious habit of judging the form of so many people in the gym. Every day I see someone executing an exercise with the most horrendous form! Part of me wants to correct them but, I definitely do not want to be “that guy” in the gym. I sit between sets wondering if these guys understand the results they would get if they simply focused on their form. Resistance training and lifting weights will give you results even with poor form but the quality of results and the timeframe in which the results can be achieved is drastically different. Recently as I sat watching someone butcher an exercise with improper form I wondered, how many other things in their life do they overlook form? Focusing on form in the gym is the same principle we (Prosperitas Leadership) harp on to organizations over and over; focus on the basics! You cannot shortcut your way to proper, long term results in life. You may get ahead for a short time but eventually your shortcut approach will catch up to you. Meanwhile, someone else is focusing on their form, focusing on the basics over and over and becoming better for it. This person is working towards long term, sustainable results. This person is destined for success due to patience, perseverance and consistency. Trust me, I’ve thought to myself during a workout “just shorten the rep and be done…I’m tired” but this voice in my head needs to be silenced quickly! We cannot let ourselves begin to listen to this nonsense! If you desire long term results and proper growth, focus on your form; focus on the basics!
The gym is such an easy analogy for this thought process, but it honestly goes so much deeper than that. Driving home from the gym recently I was deep in thought about this idea of focusing on your form. I realized how much it applied to everything in my life. As a father, do I focus on my form or do I shortcut things to be done quicker, easier? As a friend, husband, wife, parent, employee, supervisor….do you focus on form; on the basics? How often are you reflecting on the basics, applying them and showing others this process in order to assist them in long term success? As a leader you must be the first to highlight the importance of the basics. If not, the organization will quickly get away from applying them and before you know it almost everyone has developed their own shortcut for their processes and the next thing you know you’re in an environment of complete chaos. Take my word for it, it is much easier to be “that guy/girl” that harps on everyone in regard to sticking to the basic processes first to maintain order rather than trying to wrangle everyone back in after allowing things to drift out of control. Too often we start to overlook the basics to go an easier route because, well, it’s easier. While we are advocates of working smarter not harder, taking shortcuts and ignoring the basics is not smarter.
Applying this process to your professional life actually seems much easier than applying it in other areas of our lives. For instance, are you and your spouse at a point where things feel stale in the relationship? Have you applied the basics there? Have you reflected on what made things so magical in the beginning of the relationship and tried implementing some of those things? The things the two of you did to fall in love with one another, those are your basics; get back to that. Do you feel your relationship with your child is slipping away? What are the basics you can apply there? Personally, going back to basics in my life means a day, a weekend or longer of just daddy/daughter time. We take a road trip, even if that means simply driving to the next town over for lunch. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Its basics remember so it’s more often the simplest thing. Do you still bring your wife flowers on random days? Do you surprise your husband with random “I think you’re great” gifts? It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Men and women just want to know they are appreciated for all they do for the family. Life gets hectic and it is easy to become complacent and overlook the basics in a relationship. Work becomes mundane and extremely routine which leads to people looking for shortcuts which leads to complacency which then leads to mistakes and a loss in productivity/profit. No matter personal or professional the application of the basics is vital to long term success. Want better results? FOCUS ON YOUR FORM! FOCUS ON THE BASICS!
*(If you or your organization is in need of assistance contact us! We are experts in deficiency analysis and process improvement and we’d love to assist)*