We are only as strong as our weakest link is how the saying goes and it is utterly accurate. Usually, this idiom is used in reference to the success of a team, but it is actually more universal than that. Let us think about how we can secure success – check out our chain.
Let us look at an example
So, a core element amongst my broad fitness regime, is weightlifting. Let us focus on one of the basic weight-lifting exercises – the chest press. We all know that the chest press focusses on the chest, right? Well yes, but it is not as simple as that. The movement required to complete a repetition of the chest press actually involves several muscles and joints being put to work.
A major element of the chest press is the straightening of the arms, that means the incorporation of the triceps. The pectorals (chest muscles) are obviously the target. The deltoids, the thick triangular muscles of the shoulders which must rotate and stabilise the arms. The flexors of the forearms are also required in order to create the grip on the bar.
Beyond that, the body must be kept stable during the press, so the core muscles which are important in all exercises – abdominals, erector spinae, pelvic floor and diaphragm. Then there is the legs being used to keep a stable body position. That pulls in the glutes and hamstrings.
Each of these muscle groups may be incredibly strong on their own, but the chest press movement can only ever be as strong as the weakest element. Huge, impressive pectoral muscles are great but if you do not have the arm strength then you simple will not be able to lift the maximum weight the pecs are capable of. Similarly, if your core and legs are not strong enough then you will not have the ability to hold the movement.
It is everywhere
Ok, so I have used a weight-lifting example and it may not apply to you, but the concept of the weak link is totally prevalent. In a business, your sales process is reliant on a wide variety of links – Marketing needs to reflect your business whilst hitting the right audience for your product of service. The sales team must be effective at receiving inquiries, outbound contacts and closing leads. The customer care team must be good at handling the clients.
Another example might come in the kitchen. If you are cooking a roast dinner, there are so many elements that need to be well timed. You need to take your meat out in time to cool and settle but once your Yorkshire puddings are in your absolutely can’t open that over door for at least 15 minutes. And you’re not going to get those golden, crispy roast potatoes without a good parboil.
So, what does this mean then? You probably get the idea, and now you are beginning to understand that the links in the chain need to be address but how does this mean you can secure success?
Firstly, you need to isolate your weakness. Whether this is a personal target you are attempting to hit like losing weight or a business goal like increasing sales. The ‘check you chain’ process starts by identifying the goal that you are failing to reach.
The next step is to isolate the individual links that make up your chain to success. It is not enough to simply say ‘I’m losing wight – my chain is cutting calories and hitting the gym’. You need to be truly forensic. Drill down into each link that makes up your chain. In the case of weight loss this may be breaking down the meals that you are eating, your grocery shopping process, what you do when you are cooking etc.
Once you are clear on the links that are making your chain, you can begin to quantify them. Isolating the success of the stages means you are able to identify exactly where the weak link is. In the weight loss case, it may be that whilst you are counting calories and being strict with the food that is hitting your plate you have not been accounting for ‘picking’ at food as you prepare meals. Let us face it, those extra few slices of cheese can mount up!
In order to secure success though, it’s important not to simply identify a weak link. You must think strategically about how to improve that weak link without compromising the whole chain. It is tough, and certainly a significant challenge to undertake by yourself. This is why working with a coach like Transcend Coaching is so important and beneficial.
Working with a coach can ease the process of identifying weak links and then strategically helping you to adapt to the situation. Working with a coach makes the process of being able to secure success and more obtainable and realistic ideal. Are you ready for coaching?
Transcend Coaching is a small business consultant and life coach offering business management coaching and personal coaching. We primarily serve businesses and individuals in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Walsall, Dudley and the West Midlands but we can help nationwide. Whatever your needs – whether you are attempting to hit sales targets, achieve personal goals or start-up your own business Transcend Coaching is here to help you. Get in touch today for a free consultation!