In my years as a manager and consultant in corporate America, I saw great potential in my staff. I was often perplexed that so few became top performers. Many seemed shocked when they were not rated as A+ during annual reviews. All said they wanted to be outstanding; few consistently worked as high achievers.
I cherished the handful of employees in my group who did their best every day in attitude and action. These people became go-to players. I could count on them even when I was away on the road.
Why are some more successful than their peers who have just as much raw talent and capability?
Here are a few steps that lead to excellence when practiced consistently:
- 1.Foster self-confidence by getting to know yourself. Take stock of your aptitudes, talents andWhat strengths do you bring to your current position? Are you gentle? Assertive? Are you naturally a leader or do you enjoy being in the background? Do you thrive on details or love the big picture? Do you prefer interacting with others or doing the books? Are you good with numbers? Words? Art? Sales? As your self-awareness develops, you can consciously play to your strengths on the job. Knowing and embracing your unique set of gifts and talents will give you the confidence to stay in the zone and perform at your peak!
- 2.Use feedback for personal The more that you appreciate who you are, the more you can see, without feeling threatened, that you have plenty of room for improvement. Always try to be non-judgmentally honest in your own evaluation of yourself. Be open to constructive criticisms from co-workers, managers and clients. Learn to see feedback from others as valuable information. Criticism almost always contains some nugget of wisdom, if you are willing to consider it.
Learn to turn comments into questions. If someone says, “You spend too much time on the phone with customers,” don’t get defensive. Instead, ask yourself, “Are there ways in which I can improve my effectiveness? How could I politely move conversations along more quickly?”
The more open you are to seeing growth opportunities, the faster you can move to personal excellence.
3.Make a commitment to yourself to stay focused. We all know co-workers who spend work time writing emails to spouses, sending text messages to friends, making personal calls or lingering at the water cooler to take in officeEven those who appear to be on task, allow their minds to wander to marital problems, upcoming parties they plan to attend and their list of to-dos’ for after work.
Mental preoccupation generates inefficiency. Distracted employees rarely produce noteworthy results or reach top positions. Be honest with yourself. If any of these behaviors describe you, do some self-examination. Resolve issues that are keeping you from being fully present at work.
Here is an exercise to help you get mentally focused at the beginning of each work day. Take a minute or two to list all your personal worries and responsibilities. Then tuck the list in a pocket and turn your thoughts and energy to your job. If things on your list keep coming to mind, stop yourself and release them again. Assure yourself, “I will deal with this when I finish work.”
In the words of Aristotle, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Patricia Omoqui, The Thought Dr.™, is an executive coach and business consultant, the author of Clarify Your Purpose and Live It! She is sought after as an inspirational speaker, life coach and corporate/civil service trainer. Patricia is an American married to a Nigerian. She is a passionate facilitator of positive change.