Have you ever noticed how successful people and organizations always have that little something extra? Instead of simply running with the crowd or doing just what is expected, they strive to be different, better, and try just a bit harder than their competition. I’ve long believed that success is incremental rather than something that happens all at once. It’s the little things that take place every day that make the difference. It’s the habits/attitudes formed through a lifetime of regular practice that “move the needle” forward.
After years of working with many leaders from multiple disciplines and fields, I’ve come to the following conclusions about high performers:
- They set high standards for themselves and abhor mediocrity
- They are committed to their own professional development and learning
- They always do what they say they will do
- They are rarely, if ever, unprepared for important meetings
- They never ask others to do something, they wouldn’t do themselves
- They deplore distractions and can prioritize and focus on what’s most important
- They take calculated well thought out risks
- They don’t always have all the right answers, but they are committed to asking the right questions
- They take real pride in how they treat their customers and employees
- They have never been, nor will ever be, “clock watchers”
- They take failure personally and almost never repeat mistakes
- They show up every day and give it their best effort even (especially) when this is hard
One would think that all the effort required to live up to the above-listed points would look difficult, but it doesn’t. Paradoxically these people make success look easy. It’s not rocket science. Just like the dancer who works hard every day to perfect their craft and then performs flawlessly on stage or the golfer who regularly practices all the tough shots then makes them under competitive pressure, they’ve trained themselves to excel.
Of course, there are examples of people who simply get lucky and seem to stumble into success. Some individuals do win the lottery. However, the odds of being one of the lucky few are very slim, almost infinitesimal. Hope is not a strategy. It’s the small things you do every day that build the habits that lead to true success and accomplishment.
All the winners bring something extra to their games. They stand apart because that is what they expect of themselves.
- The Extra Effort Is Always Worth It (capacity-building.com)
- Go from Surviving to Thriving at Work (psychologytoday.com)
- Discover Your Passion~ (growthdaily.wordpress.com)
- 23 Things for Professional Development (variegatedstacks.wordpress.com)
- USAA CEO Joe Robles Reveals Why Culture has Given the Company a Huge Competitive Edge in a New Thought Leadership Video by Culture Shaping Firm Senn Delaney (prweb.com)