Take a good look in the mirror, who are you and who do you really want to be? The road to success is going to take consistent effort and self-awareness. I do believe you can do this, but I never said it would be easy. You must be able to look at yourself and see what you do well and the attributes upon which you can improve. Here are some attributes that high performing people have in spades. Which ones do you have, which ones do you need to work on?
- They have their goals written down. This includes the steps they need to accomplish to achieve these goals. They work these steps into their daily, weekly, and monthly task lists. A high performer will compete with themselves, constantly striving to accomplish one goal and then to make and achieve an even higher goal. I think of this like a long cross-country race, where you focus on the runner in front of you, until you pass them, and then you focus on the next runner and pass that one too. Just one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, in the same direction, completing tasks, one-by-one.
- They have a strong work ethic. There may be nothing more important than a good work ethic. You can have the highest I.Q, but if you are lazy, it will only help you so much. Good hard work will make up for a lot of other short comings.
- They have a good attitude. This does NOT mean anyone needs to be happy all the time. This does mean they have the ability to offer others hope, they have a can-do reaction to hard tasks, when something goes wrong, they say, “Ok, we can get through this. Here is what we are going to do instead.” They lift people up rather than throwing out further negativity. They are a team player. They are not passive aggressive to others. They are a joy to be around in the workplace. This is contagious and will raise the performance of the whole team.
- They have good morals. A high performer will see right and wrong and will be brave enough to choose the right path, even when it is hard and will be able to (tactfully) point out when others want to go down an ethically questionable path.
- Always learning. They constantly find ways to grow. This could be formal education, but it can also be shorter classes, growing through mentorship, and (my favorite) taking on challenges outside of their comfort zone. My grandma used to say that everything you learn is something no one can ever take away from you. This has stayed with me all these years and I try to keep myself I an almost constant state of learning.
- They are a team player. This does not mean they go along with “group-think,” but it does mean they can enter into good discussions with the team, they are able to work with others toward a common goal, and they are willing to communicate effectively when they disagree.
- They see the big picture. They know where they are going, where the team is going, where the organization is going and they understand their role in the whole process.
According to an Entrepreneur.com article, only 20% of a given work place are high performers. If this is the case, just by improving on the attributes above, you can quickly rise to the top of those at your workplace. Look around you, there are scores of people who are not trying to improve. You are in charge of your own success, go out and get it!