4 Tips For Becoming The Leader Your Firm Needs In 2021

Last year was a rough year, I think we can all agree on that.

We could all go for some inspiration and encouragement right about now as we land into 2021.

When thinking about this year, one word comes to mind for all of us who have made it through: Champion.

The word “Champion” is defined in the dictionary as “a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition”.

I’d like to refine this definition and invite us all to allow ourselves to sink into all the obstacles and limitations we faced this year, to arrive as the Champions of our own journey in the death industry.

This kind of mentality is what we need a big dose of right now. 

So how can you incorporate a champion mindset in your funeral business? Here are a few principles to consider:


Be committed, not just involved 

Are you just involved, or are you committed? The fundamental difference is going the extra mile. 

If you just show up and do what has to be done, that’s being involved. If you do just a little bit more than what’s required each day, that’s commitment. 

If you want to propel your funeral business and really show people that you care, you have to go above and beyond. Commitment involves discipline. Discipline to push yourself a little harder when you feel like quitting, and to hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else holds you to. 

Exercise: Sit down and think about the ways you could step it up and show the families you work with that you aren’t just involved, but committed. 


Enjoy the journey

Another thing about champions is that they really enjoy what they do. Sure, they’re super disciplined and they work hard to achieve their goals. But they are perpetually stopping to smell the proverbial roses. 

Let’s imagine, for a moment, Tom Brady and his illustrious NFL career. With 6 Super Bowl rings to his name, Brady has more than proven himself on the field. He’s had a good run, to say the least. So why doesn’t he just retire already? Because he loves what he does.  While we can’t all be Tom Brady, we can all incorporate that mentality into our lives. 

Exercise: Every day, resolve yourself to actively appreciate how awesome your life really is! Remember the reasons why you got into the funeral profession in the first place, and pat yourself on the back for choosing a profession of service to others. 


Get down with understanding and supporting other people

Champions know it’s not all about them. They are keenly aware that their success is intertwined with that of others, and they give credit where it’s due. Most importantly, they take time to understand where other people are coming from. Once you truly understand where people are coming from, you can easily be of service to them. Don’t treat people how you want to be treated, treat people how THEY want to be treated!

Exercise: Next time you find yourself in a situation where you don’t agree with someone in your business or personal life, pause. Rather than making judgements, get curious. Ask more questions. Listen more. Understand where you’re coming from, and this might help you lean into your relationship with them. This practice is great for upgrading the level of support you can offer your families.


It’s all about attitude

Attitude is everything. No mere cliché, this is the foundational philosophy behind champion mentality. Success has far less to do with your level of talent or your IQ, and much more to do with your perception. Each of us gets to choose how we will be in the world, and that’s what champions understand. 

We all have a choice to make every single day: whether we will be happy or not. Does this mean we don’t face adversity or get upset sometimes? Of course not. What it means is that we make a conscious effort to maintain a positive mindset. It means that we continue to act in congruence with who we want to be, rather than constantly feeling that our happiness is under attack by outside forces. 

We don’t pursue happiness. Instead, we choose happiness, which allows us to pursue excellence. 

Exercise: When you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t feel ideal for you, take a moment to anchor into what you’re grateful for in that moment. Remember, there is a gift in every experience for us, if we’re able to accept it.


How will you champion 2021 at your funeral home?

We hope this blog inspired you to really own the champion within you, after all the struggles you faced this year. We encourage you to really contemplate on the word champion and all the facets of your own inner champion. As Howard Kellman says: “Anyone can be good. You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be.” 


What ways are you intending to embody the champion in your funeral business in 2021? Tell us in the comments below!

This blog was inspired by Howard Kellman’s NFDA’s 2020 convention workshop “Becoming A Champion”.

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