Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Art of Getting Out of Your Own Way

I've never been shy to document my foibles. I guess helping others learn from my mistakes might help me feel like I've recovered something lost. 

Most of us begin our careers with a sense of competition. At some point, we learn compromise is one of the more important elements of success. We exchange winning at all cost for the opportunity to help everyone win. We learn that collaboration beats competition every time. 

I've found that those who are most competitive are often driven by insecurity. Leaders who exercise empathy post greater results than those who seek to succeed without lending merit to the process. 

Imperfection (and the willingness to punch above your weight) is more important than perfection through choosing results as the only predictor of greatness.

There comes a point when the game slows down and success becomes more than just a blur of effort.

Stop Self Promoting

There was a book written about how to make a first impression at a new job. I disagree with the premise. Too often, professionals get caught up looking for validation. Whether its a new hire seeking to show off their merit or a cagey veteran hoping to validate their existence, people are always trying to find a way into the headlines. 

The best way to gain popularity in an organization is to allow your work to precede your voice. 

Ask yourself: Is what I am sharing beneficial to others or simply a way of promoting my effort?

Being popular is fun. Being respected is far more impactful.

Don't Read Your Own Press

Another way people tarnish their own success is through complacency. There is a tip to every career trajectory. Everyone has their high point of production which starts with a thankless climb to the top. With hard work comes results and an ultimate recognition of greatness. 

It is lonely at the top.

When one makes the choice to get comfortable, the slide from the peak begins. Then starts the normative protection of hierarchy by tenure aka "this is how things are done around here".

Unfortunately, the sooner you believe that you have learned all you possibly can, the closer you get to extinction.

With every victory comes a little bit more responsibility. With every promotion comes a need for greater effort. The game is never finished and comfort is the enemy.    

Never Give Up  

Every profession has peaks and valleys. Sometimes you get lucky, other times you try and try without results. There are things that are out of your control. What you can control is the navigation of the path.

I went to college orientation when I was still a wee high schooler. A person asked if it was advised to take the tough classes and get C's or to take the easy classes and get A's. To which the counselor replied, "Take the tough classes and get A's". That's all you need to know about success.

If you set expectations higher for yourself than others, you never have to report to anybody!

Set goals for yourself... then double them!

Consider every detail of every task and master the process.

Take every shortcoming personally and fix it.

Win more than you lose and continually push yourself to do better.

Be humble in victory and accountable in defeat!

Don't Forget to Remember,