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The 5 Critical Achievement Questions  19.12.2009

After taking over their mother’s grocery store in 1946, it is hard to believe that the German retail chain Aldi, founded by Theo and Karl Albrecht, would expand to more than 8000 stores in over 15 countries. In fact in 2003, Albrecht brothers became the first non American grocery store owners to make the top five on the Forbes 200 Richest List and on average the company has opened a new store every three days for the past 60 years.  So, how did Aldi become so incredibly successful?

The Albrecht brothers did not follow the success formulas used by competing supermarkets. They decided to create a competitive advantage by offering a very different value proposition for customers: highly discounted prices all the time. The only way they could offer such discounted prices was by offering originally only non perishable goods, only selling products that sold well and cutting costs on everything (from saving money by not advertising to having few shelves]. Staff earned 20 per cent more than the industry standard, but was responsible for more of a mulit-tasking role including register, cleaning and stock replenishment.

"If the frontline people count, you couldn’t prove it by examining the reward systems in most organisations."

 Karl Abrecht

 So what formula are you following to succeed at work and in life? And is it working for you?

Sometimes what worked for someone else will not work at all for us. This could be for a multitude of reasons including: different personality; varying skill sets; changing market conditions or it could be that the timing is all wrong. Location can play a big part too - the success formula may work in one town, city or country but would be ineffective if replicated somewhere else.

The key is to find what what works for you. Sometimes, to achieve what we want, we need to apply new strategies. Here's the simple process that I recommend:

  • Who has already achieved what you want to achieve?
  • What can you learn from them?
  • Will any of their techniques work for you considering your location, market conditions, your personality, resources, and current skill set?
  • What can you do that is better and/or different that can help you achieve what you want?
  • What will you commit to completing this day, week, month or year to move you closer towards your goal?

Asking quality questions can provide you with invaluable information.

 "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." Confucius

 Copyright www.blakebeattie.com 2009

 Blake's much anticipated book: Bullseye: the ultimate solution to achieving your goals is all set for release in March 2010.