Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Trevor E. S. Smith | Getting to the next level

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMTrevor Smith

Feeling stuck in your career?

Is your business in a rut? Is your start-up not starting?

On a plateau with no energy to rise to the next level?

Your dreams and aspirations not coming true?

If any of these questions hit home, you are among a large number of persons who are desperately in search of a breakthrough. Given the widespread nature of this challenge, I conducted an interview with bestselling author, Keri S. Smith to get some insights into how individuals can get to the next level by achieving a breakthrough in their careers, businesses and lives.

Smith is an international best-selling author, business builder and senior adviser to executives at Fortune 500 companies. She has worked with corporate leaders, churches and women-in-business programmes to consistently drive next-level results. She has answers!

Trevor: Many individuals make commitments to do something that will advance or improve their careers, but they get stuck. Share with me the keys to achieving breakthroughs that could make a difference to these individuals in 2018.

Keri: It often comes down to the connection to our 'why'. Why is it that we want to achieve this commitment? Why is realising this outcome a MUST for us? While we understand intellectually that realising the defined goal will lead to positive results in our lives, we still sometimes lose momentum. This can be frustrating, especially since it seems obvious that the commitment we have made is the right one. So, why is that not enough to get us to success?

Willpower can get us started and even allow us to achieve key milestones along the way. However, a goal-achievement process anchored solely on willpower often peters out.

A common gap is that we have not truly created and connected to a strong enough reason why we are determined to realise the commitment. What will our life be like when we achieve this? What will the benefits be for us, those we care about, our community? Why is that important to us? How will we feel once we have achieved this result? We need to articulate and visualise the outcome in a way that inspires or excites us.

We should also consider what will happen if we never achieve our commitment. What will our life be like then? Who will we disappoint? How will we feel? What dreams will we crush? Associate with the pain of this scenario of non-achievement of the goal.

The objective here is to create motivation to achieve more, utilising the pleasure we will get from goal achievement or the abject pain that will result from never achieving this outcome. We will have our compelling 'why' - a key factor in unlocking that energy to persevere, especially when we begin to lose momentum or get stuck.

Trevor: You advise top executives in some of the highest-performing global organisations. Are there identifiable characteristics that underpin their success?

Keri: Yes. Working with some of the best minds across industries and regions, I have seen common patterns regarding what it takes to realise results. There is a definite blueprint for success and belief is one key ingredient for this. As I have studied factors leading to consistent goal realisation, I have seen that in each case, the leader had an unshakable belief that the outcome would be achieved. They were certain that the result would happen, and were uncompromising in their pursuit of that result. No plan is perfect, and setbacks would often occur.

However, because of that strong belief system, these top leaders pushed themselves to find new approaches to achieve the outcome. They believed the outcome was certain, but they were flexible about how to achieve that outcome. An exciting additional benefit has also been greater levels of creativity and innovation in those organisations as leaders uncovered ways to address roadblocks encountered on the journey.

Another identifiable characteristic for success of these high-performing executives is courage. Keith Cunningham, successful entrepreneur and business mastery expert, says that, "the number one reason for failure in leadership, at the core, is a lack of courage". This concept resonates with me, and I have written about what it takes to be courageous.

Trevor: Yes, that was the topic for your bestselling book. You promised to share more about that in our free webinar, 'The Courage to be Me' Thursday, February 1, at 7 p.m.

Send an email with your contact information to info@swpacademy for access to Keri's compelling webinar.

Keri will be in Kingston for the 2018 Exclusive Breakthrough Bootcamp: Guided Path to Realising the Next Level of Your Journey on February 16.

- Trevor E. S. Smith and the Success with People Academy team prepare and certify leadership coach/mentors and develop high-performing teams. Hire smart with their recruitment solutions. Email: