The one thing that has become very clear to me over the years of developing and working with leaders is that we all face the same challenges and struggles. We all want to discover some greater meaning in our lives. We all have dreams we want to fulfill. We all have some fears that limit us.
Another thing which has become clear is that none of us truly play our best game at work nor in our personal lives. The world will definitely be a lesser place if we do not raise our standards as leaders and continue the process of becoming the people we know we are destined to become. We must continually keep ourselves in a positive transformational process. If we don’t, we not only deny ourselves, we deny those who would benefit from our continual achievement and success. We enjoy great success today in all areas of life because of the willingness of previous generations to push themselves and make the world better and more advanced. Can’t we all do that in our sphere of influence?
How can we push further into superior performance in our leadership roles? I’ve jotted down some thoughts on five ways we can all become superior performers in our leadership roles:
Superior Performers always play the victor and never the victim
I have seen many corporate cultures where there is complete denial of personal responsibility. People blame others for what is not working within the organization. There is a lot of finger pointing for things gone wrong. Blaming others is simply excusing yourself. Each of us, as leaders, have power to create results. One person has the ability to change corporate culture by making changes first within their own sphere of influence. A single person can begin behaving in a different way which leads others around them to do the same. That’s what leadership is. This is the way teams change. Someone becomes the instrument and catlyst for change, which causes a team to change, which can transform an organization. Beyond that, you can then impact a culture and community. If something isn’t working inside your organization, use the power you have to effect the changes you wish to see.
Superior Performers are elite specialists
You’ve heard you can’t be all things to all people. How true. When most people try this failed strategy, they achieve the sum total of nothing. Superior Performers have a laser-like focus on the biggest priorities in which they can move the pendulum and make an impact. They have a special understanding of the best uses of their time and skill. They build their whole lives around activites that bring the best ROI. They are really good at saying no to the things that have no impact on where they are going and achieving. They spend time each morning getting clarity on the day and positioning themselves to make that day count. They plan to play their biggest and best game on that particular day, every day.
Superior Performers connect on a human level
Business is about relationships. As a matter of fact, isn’t eveything? Not much is as important as building emotional engagement with your teammates and with you customers. The competition in your marketplace is the battle for “share of emotions” and whomever gets a larger share of emotions will also get a larger piece of the market. Always show up and be an active participant in every relationship. Remember birthdays (Facebook now makes it easy), write hand-written notes of appreciation each week. Right, each and every week. Show people you care. Open your heart and drop your defenses.
Superior Performers are devoted to excellence
Excellence is a beautiful word. Becoming excellent in all you do is a beautiful thing. When you find the things you win in, you are then able to lose at everything else. Who cares? You’ve found your winning stride. If you are a consistent winner in the most important areas you contribute, who cares about anything else? Dennis Rodman became the most prolific rebounder during his time in the NBA, do you think he cared about scoring? No, Michael Jordan did that very well. What about shooting? No, Scottie Pippen did that very well. What did Dennis Rodman do. He rebounded. Better than anyone else. He was excellent at rebounding. It made him an All-Star, and he didn’t care about anything else.
Superior Performers deepen themselves
Nothing will change until you change. We buy into the notion that everything effects us externally. That, somehow, our lives will change when we make more money, buy a better car or achieve more status. Why is it, when we do those things, we are still empty and unfulfilled? True success comes from within and starts from within. It works it’s way from the inside out, not the outside in. Dedicate yourself to really knowing your true self. Find your brilliance. Walk toward your fears instead of running from them. Evaluate your life and job and what you want it to stand for. Find the beliefs that are limiting you and where you may have picked them up. The best investment you will make is the investment you make in yourself. It’s the one that can never be taken from you and will lead you to the best in your life every time.