Paul McGee: The SUMO Guide to Success

Paul McGee May 7, 2015 - Keynote Paul McGee:  MFAA National Convention 2015, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Credit: Pat Brunet / Event Photos Australia

Paul McGee
May 7, 2015 – Keynote Paul McGee: MFAA National Convention 2015, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Credit: Pat Brunet / Event Photos Australia

Paul McGee started his session by asking an audience of finance brokers to partner up and say a few words to each other in Norwegian. The translation: “I love you sugar baby”… and the ice is officially broken!

First and foremost, Paul reminds us of one crucial fact: if you want to get the best out of yourself, out of others and out of life, training and qualifications – while important – are only going to take you so far.

SUMO is an acronym for ‘Shut Up and Move On’ (or ‘Stop, Understand, Move On’ if you prefer), but it’s also a philosophy of life.

Bearing this in mind, Paul encourages his audience to “develop fruity thinking”. Thinking is, after all, a bit like breathing: it’s automatic to the point that we don’t ‘think’ about doing it. Despite this, it has a very real and direct impact on your actions and results.

It’s time for a little more engagement as we again turn to our Norwegian ‘sugar baby’ and repeat the following: “You are completely, totally and utterly MAD.” MAD being an acronym for ‘making a difference’.

Why? Because every time you encounter someone you are a ‘Director of First Impressions’. Because everything you say to others (and to yourself) could be remembered, and can have a real impact – whether positive or negative.

Adapting to change is absolutely critical to achieving success, and when we’re going through a transition period, we always need support.

“Seeking support is never a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of wisdom”.

At the same time, during periods of change, individuals are increasingly prone to faulty thinking. One form of this is ‘the inner critic’, which can highlight your weaknesses and hide your confidences. We listen too much to this inner critic, and end up beating ourselves up in the process. The second form of faulty thinking is the ‘martyr syndrome’ – thinking of yourself as a victim and consistently trying to blame someone else rather than taking responsibility.

According to Paul, people often think in questions. So why not ask a curious question of yourself? Here are a few to consider today:

  • Where is this issue on a scale of 1-10?
  • How important will this be in six months time?
  • Is my response appropriate and effective?
  • How can I influence or improve the situation?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What will I do differently next time?
  • What can I find that’s positive in this situation?

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