Process Means Goal

I remember watching live on Sunday night tv, the Panenka. Champion winning innovation. Next day in the school playground lapping up trying to emulate the incredible, deceptive, delicate dink as keeper dives away from the centre of the goal. Half-a-century on, we now have the Toney.

Somehow, misfiring England reached the Semi-finals of the European Football Championships on Saturday. A big deal.

So many, as one - prevailing online opinion, 'in a very crowded field, the worst pundit on tv' - typically inept, lacking oracy, media-hogging former-pro jobs-for-the-boys pundit labels them, "game deciders". What the rest of us call match winners.

Among them, the remarkable burst onto the global stage of the 'no-look penalty'.

It is truly difficult to understate how incredible this is.

Under the highest, most intense, career-defining of pressure.

Even in your back yard, to walk up to a ball, strike it whilst only having gaze fixed upon the goalie, and even then to put the ball past them, is nigh on impossible.

Yet Ivan Toney did this in a moment of truth we can but barely imagine.

Below, there's links to a trio of official clips. In the hope one such regional rights holder lets you marvel at one of them where you read this.

The steely stare of the 'run-up' as widely shared screengrab is up top.

Here, the point of impact.

I learn the same weekend from legend Billie Jean King, that one dirty secret not spoken of in tennis, is that elite players miss their shot when failing to be looking at the ball as they strike it with their racquet an astonishing 50% of the time.

Something so simple, so drummed into us as children, across all sports; keep your eye on the ball. Yet even the best don't do it, and half the time, disaster follows.

Then we have Toney.

Avid watchers of the EPL have seen him do this before.

As he said after progressing to the last four;

“I never look at the ball when I take a penalty, it’s my routine.”

He rarely misses.

In my mind, I instantly thought on how you deconstruct the whole action. Re-assemble in such outrageous manner. Then fine-tune to devastating effect.

The trial and error. The hours of practice. The transfer from training to the cauldron of the field of play.

Immediately after, our just-turned-21 (& Bluenose local hero) Jude Bellingham, who took, and scored, one himself, made fascinating comments about the shootout.

It was notable that all England's five spot-quicks were exemplary.

He described a confidence he felt watching events unfold.

Specifically paying tribute to how he knew things were going well because he saw the other four stick to their own process. Without deviation. No panic. As in training.

The 'no-look' the most eye-catching, yet each had undergone the same treatment.

And it is this vital point that I see separates the salesteams that transcend their space from the rest.

They not only know their sales process, but they are self-aware of it to such an extent that they consciously, constantly test, refine and add to it.

And such process is absolutely not the confines of a sales reporting app screen and tabs. Nor is it the supposed systemic thoughts of a sales expert consultancy. Nor expensively provided 'guru' science or hack.

It is your unique pattern of events, that when in train, virtually guarantee you will prevail.

For sure, elements worthy of use can emanate from the often distracting outsider sources cited above. But they are not the sole answer. They are not the core of why you succeed. Certainly not the reason you write business in a sustainable, repeatable manner.

I firmly believe to be driven by process is to maximise the achievement of your goals. To such an extent, I cannot fathom how so many misguidedly place the aim above the path to it.

It applies in selling success as it does in triumphant penalty taking.

When you lick this, you really can score with your eyes closed.

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