Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.
I read an interesting article in the on line version of Colorado Biz Magazine last week. It was called No Sugar Coating — They’re Obstacles, and was written by Laurence Valant. Mr. Valant was writing to business owners and the general thrust of the article focused on how to deal with a big internal organizational obstacle – problem performers.
It began, “It’s still quite common in corporate America today to hear this line of so-called wisdom among the management ranks: ‘We don’t have problems, we have opportunities.’ Or, even better, this one: We don’t have obstacles, we have challenges.’
“However, there’s a valid argument to be made for simply confronting reality for what it is, without a sugar coating, and stating flatly: ‘We are honestly going to identify and confront our obstacles in order to overcome them.’ Say it aloud. Don’t you feel better already? Early recognition of reality is a wonderful thing.”
I got to thinking about what Mr. Valant said, and how it applies to individuals and outstanding performance. I suggest that you do what Mr. Valant suggests and say out loud, “I am honestly going to identify and confront the obstacles I face in becoming an outstanding performer so that I can overcome them.”
Outstanding performers have three things in common. They are lifelong learners. They set and achieve high goals. They are well organized. If you are having difficulty in becoming an outstanding performer, you are likely to be facing obstacles in one, two or three of these areas.
Let’s look at them in some detail. The world moves fast. The half life of knowledge is rapidly decreasing. One obstacle to becoming an outstanding performer might be your lack of current knowledge – about your company, your industry, your competitors, and business in general. If you face this obstacle, set aside some time every day, it doesn’t have to be more than 3o minutes or an hour, to learn. Read the newspaper and trade magazines, listen to podcasts, read blogs. Do whatever it takes to stay current.
I am always surprised by the number of people I meet who have no written goals. Outstanding performers write their goals and then do whatever it takes to achieve those goals. They keep their goals close to them. They review them daily. And, most important, they take at least one positive step toward achieving each of their goals every day.
Personal organization is one of my biggest obstacles to success. When it comes to simple things like housekeeping, I have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tendencies. I am fastidious about my living area. I am compulsive about keeping it clean, neat and organized. On the other hand, my work space is always a mess. I can usually find what I want, but I have to sift through the chaos in my office.
It has always been this way. I just seem to feel comfortable working in a space filled with opened books, stacks of papers and a whole lot of periodicals. I know this isn’t the most efficient way for me to work. It is a true obstacle to my performance.
There, I’ve said it. I’ve done what Mr. Valant suggests. I’ve said out loud (you’ll have to take my word for this), and in public in this article, that my lack of personal organization is an obstacle to my performance. Now, I can get on with addressing this obstacle. I’ll let you know how it goes.
The common sense point here is simple. You have to identify the problems and obstacles to becoming an outstanding performer and career and life success that you face before you can take action and deal with them. Don’t call your problems “opportunities” or your obstacles “challenges”. Call them what they are, and then get on with fixing your problems and overcoming your obstacles.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense. I am not posting regularly on my www.CommonSenseGuy.com blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one. It is still up though. Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally. And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting www.CommonSenseGuy.com.
I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open. Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.