By Ephraim Oseji
Rajiv Sharma is the Programme Director, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, NLP, Nigeria Limited. In this interview the global guru and creator of ‘MARK Model’TM – shares the framework on how people and companies can recover after the disruption caused by the pandemic. He also explains how MARK Model can be applied to any field, be it business, sales, leadership, coaching, and mentoring and in personal life.
What’s your assessment of COVID-19 impact on the lives of individuals and the business environment and how can we recover from this impact?
A lot has already been written and said about what has happened during the pandemic. It has created a massive disruption in the way we live and has affected everyone, right from school-going children to the leaders of the companies and countries.
We can’t change the past, but the best way to respond to these post-pandemic situations is by being mindful. Conduct for the well-being and safety of yourself as well as others. What we can do about it is within our control, and this choice will make the difference. Everything begins in our mind, so the first step is to create encouraging thoughts about your health and fitness.
Your body is the number one asset of your life. So the first responsibility is towards yourself. Imagine abundance in all aspects of your life, be it physical and emotional health. Business leaders need to work with a new mindset to create value for their clients and society at large. The responsibility lies with the leadership and management team to develop their people to address challenges and see it as an opportunity.
Organisations need new strategies to move their business forward. But nothing happens if we just keep thinking. Ideas, however powerful they may be, don’t take us anywhere if we don’t act on it. You need to be aware of how to translate your mindsets into actions. Failure to turn your ideas into action is the primary problem people face.
So all individuals and business organisations have to work on converting their mindsets into actions. Turn your strategies into actionable items, and then make sure you do it. Taking actions(consistent actions) is the most challenging part of your journey to effectiveness and success. To organize your journey of life and make it more systematic, you can use the ‘MARK Model.’
What is MARK Model, and how does it solve the problem created by the disruption?
MARK stands for Mindset, Action, Repetition and Knowledge. ‘MARK Model’ is a performance framework that gives you a map to create a new mindset, translate your mindset to actions, repeat your actions to create new habits. These habits lead you to mastery level, and you innovate new knowledge.
Now think of everything happening in your organization and your life. Isn’t it based on how you think, the actions you take, habits you form, and the knowledge you apply and evolve? You will find that your success in your personal or professional life all moves around MARK. Whether you like it or not, you are using all these four components (Mindset, Action, Reception, and Knowledge) in an isolated manner.
A lot of studies have been done on these aspects dis-jointly. It’s like having an old-style standalone phone, a different camera, and a separate internet device. MARK Model is like a smart device, where you have all the components of success and effectiveness in one place.
The power of the MARK Model framework lies in the process that connects your mindsets to actions and enables you to turn your actions into habits by NLP tools and techniques. There are steps to follow, and you will get excellent results.
Organisations build high-performance individuals and teams. Teams learn to execute more promptly, make better decisions, resolve more complicated problems, and MARK helps to enhance creativity and innovation. Using MARK Model, it’s practical to achieve your goals, whether you are an individual, a company, or a country.
Why do most people find it very difficult to achieve their goals and desires?
To answer your question, let’s understand how the conscious mind and the subconscious mind function. Our conscious mind is the ‘aware mind’ and lives in the present. When I ask you to make a list of your goals or craft the strategy for your organization, you plan it with your conscious mind. You are writing all your goals and objectives with the ‘aware mind’ what you want to achieve in the years to come.
When you are done writing goals and strategies, you return to your daily schedule. You live 80% to 90% of the day (I mean your schedule) on autopilot mode with the stored programs in your mind. These programs are stored in your subconscious mind. And you picked these programmes from your family and your environment.
You got programmed, and the foundational programming was done when you were growing from the age of 0 to 7. I have seen people find it very difficult to achieve their goals if the programs stored in the subconscious mind are not designed for their desires and goals stored in their conscious mind. You can achieve your goals when your subconscious mind is aligned with your conscious mind. No target is going to be difficult when you program your subconscious mind to achieve your goals. With Mark Model, you get techniques to reprogramme your subconscious mind.
How can corporate organisations make use of this MARK methodology?
It’s precisely the way you apply MARK for individuals. The responsibility of transforming a company begins with the leadership and management team. And the success of every organization lies in developing their people and teams. It’s more critical after this pandemic because the business environment has changed, and people need a new mindset, new actions to create new habits.
Both time and space have changed for business operations, and organizations need to align their people to meet sales and business targets. Companies can incorporate the ‘MARK Model’ framework in all learning interventions so that whatever you train your people on translates into actions and becomes their behaviour. We are already consulting for many organizations across the world. Thousands of people in various companies have been trained on MARK Model, and they have consistently been getting results.
If these people can achieve their targets, so can you by using MARK Model in your learning and development programs. There are 6 to 8 steps under each category (Mindset, Action, Repetition, and Knowledge). These steps enable people to evolve Growth Mindset, Translate Mindset into Actions, Create Habits to achieve Departmental Targets. Teams will help in innovating the organization’s products and services by contributing the customer knowledge and experience.
How does MARK work for an individual or company? Can you give us an example?
To understand the MARK Model, simply think about reaching a goal. There are always things to do and a time frame within which it has to be done. Let’s try this: think of a goal or a target you may have, no matter which sphere of life, now let’s apply the Mark Model. Here’s what you need to do:
*MNDSET: Let’s start with the right thought. Are there people who have already achieved what your goal is? Then it’s time to adapt their mindset; what did they do, how did they go about it. And if it is a goal not many have achieved, think it through, see the goal to fruition, map it out before you begin.The second step is the most important one. It is also where most people fail.
*ACTION: Converting a mindset into simple steps and taking action is what this is all about. Where most people stop and give up is when the action does not generate the desired results. What most people forget is, a single action does not bear a result, various action steps in cohesion chart the path to success. Failure, course corrections, and restarting are all a part of this journey; each of them is keeping you in action.
Here’s the third step, repeating successful action into a pattern and a pattern into a habit.
*REPETITION: Look at it this way, when someone asks you to drive your car, write, eat, or anything in the realm of your regular everyday routines, you would do it in a jiffy, without really thinking and almost always accurate.
That is what repetition does; it makes specific actions second nature; it adds to your efficiency and effectiveness without really troubling your mind. And when you have repeated an action enough times, an amateur can become an artist, and self-mastery is attained – provided the right action is repeated over and over. Most will want to stop at self-mastery, but beyond this is where the real treasure sits.
*KNOWLEDGE: At this level, we innovate, create new cognitive skills, and become what a few have attained so far. Knowledge is wealth. In this information age, our earnings depend on what we know and how we apply it. The more you know and apply, the more the probability of your creating wealth multiplies.
So what do you think should be done to overcome the current challenges?
As I said earlier, change your mindset. What worked before will not get the results you want to achieve.
Translate your mindset into actions and consistently keep taking actions towards your desired goal until it becomes your second nature and an automatic reflex. Take your craft to a mastery level. Invent new knowledge, new products, and services.
MARK methodology doesn’t apply only during challenging times. Your success is guaranteed once you make it your lifestyle. The world is your playground.