As we ring in a new year with the desire to make it our best one yet, I thought you would enjoy the following wisdom from a great coach of Fortune 500 executives, Robin Sharman.
It is clear to me that each of us wants to find greater meaning in our lives. Each of us has dreams that we desire to fulfill. Each of us has fears that limit us. It also became clear to me that when we do not play our highest game at work and in our personal lives, we not only betray ourselves – we deny the people that we work with as well as the people that we serve the opportunity to have a piece of our magnificence. Indeed, the world
will be a lesser place if each of us do not raise our standards and become the people we know in our hearts we are meant to become. For your benefit, I have distilled a few of my thoughts on what makes an elite performer and offer them to you for your reflection:
Elite performers play victor versus victim. Each of us has the power to create results. One person can change a corporate culture by making changes within her realm of influence. One person can begin behaving in new ways which leads those around him to do the same. In this way, a team can change, which influences a culture to change which transforms an organization. If something is not working within your enterprise, use your power to effect the changes that you wish to see.
Elite performers focus on the worthy. Most people try to be all things to all people and, in so doing, achieve nothing. Elite performers have a laser-like focus on their highest priorities and an acute awareness of the best uses of their time. In fact, they build their whole lives around the activities that offer them the highest return on investment. They are good at saying no. They spend time each morning planning and thinking strategically about what needs to be done during the day for them to play their highest games and be of most service.
Elite performers live their truth. Right now, this very moment you know deep in your heart what your professional as well as your personal life needs to look like in order for you to be living authentically. Elite performers have articulated their personal philosophy along with their organizing principles and have the courage to live out that ideology each and every day of their lives. This gives them great power and promotes extraordinary levels of confidence because they are aware that they are being true to themselves.
Elite performers build human connections. Business is about relationships. Nothing is more important than building emotional engagement with your teammates, with your suppliers and with your customers. Competition in today’s marketplace is not for “share of wallet”, as many organizations falsely believe. Rather, the competition in today’s marketplaces is for people’s emotions. Show up fully in your relationships. Take the time to remember birthdays and write handwritten thank-you notes each week. Show people that you care. Open your heart to them and they will reward you with their loyalty as well as with their love.
Elite performers add outrageous value. I truly believe that we are rewarded in today’s marketplace according to the value that we add. If you want to receive greater returns, add greater value. Give your customers and clients more value than they have any right to expect. Always underpromise and overdeliver. Stay up late into the night reflecting on how you can serve the people that you have the privilege to do business with and help them fulfill their dreams. Your career will begin to explode.
Elite performers are devoted to excellence. Elite performers are constantly asking themselves the following question: “is the way that I’m showing up truly excellent and reflective of someone who is operating at a world-class standard?” We live in a world where mediocrity is the norm. When you truly dedicate yourself –no, devote yourself – to becoming excellent in the way that you think, and behave you stand out in a crowded marketplace. You show genuine leadership.
Elite performers deepen themselves. Nothing changes until you change. We live in an externally focused world where we buy into the notion that our lives will change when we make more money or get a better car or achieve more status. And yet, when we receive these things, we are left empty and unfulfilled. True success comes from inner success. Dedicate yourself to getting to know who you truly are. Reconnect with your brilliance. Walk towards your fears. Evaluate the quality of your life and what you want it to stand for. Reflect on the beliefs that are limiting you and ponder where you’ve picked them up from. The best investment you will ever make is investing in your best self.
“Life is lived out on the wire. The rest is just waiting.” Pappa Wallenda, The Great High Wire Walker