6 Unique Ways to Sustain a High-Performance Mentality05/28/2015 12:00AM
By Glenn Llopis
Today’s workplace is in need of a change. It’s time for employees to stop looking in the rear view mirror and start upgrading their talent to take it to the next level. Many people describe themselves as high-performance employees, but only a few have the mindset, discipline, and wherewithal to deliver on that promise every day. High-performance employees aren’t just driven, they can anticipate crises, manage change, and block out the noise around them.
How can organizations and people learn to succeed in this new short-term, talent-based, fast-paced world of work? How can individuals thrive in a workplace that is more transient, more diverse, and more entrepreneurial than ever before?
Here are six ways to sustain a high-performance mentality in your work:
1. Know Your Direct Competitors
Get to know other individuals who excel in positions similar to yours. Don’t let your boss define your performance standards – define them yourself by learning what your competitors across all industries are doing. Create a job description based on what you believe defines the highest level of performance for your job. Challenge yourself to exceed your competitors’ standards.
2. Constantly Upgrade Yourself
In a high-performance world, mediocrity is unacceptable. Work continuously to upgrade your performance and skills to separate yourself from the pack. The competitive landscape today is fierce, and many of your new competitors are immigrants. Seek out international media, trade publications, and websites. Find out what they’re learning that makes them succeed in the U.S. Just like a car that needs a tune-up to maintain its performance, know that if you are not upgrading you will soon become irrelevant.
3. Invest in a Gen-Y Relationship
One of the best decisions I made 6 years ago was to start a small technology business with a 22-year-old “tech guru.” The rules were simple: He was in charge. I would listen, and we would both execute the plan. I found it incredibly valuable to learn about how this generation is wired to think and operate in the virtual world, and how social media influences their perceptions of the world around them. My experience allowed me to teach him how to translate this perspective to the brick-and-mortar world. But this relationship also taught me how to work faster by using all of the technology around me. His mentoring gave me a head start in thinking about how to integrate the Gen-Y mentality into business leadership. It has also allowed me to quickly build strong relationships with this generation, because I can understand the way they think.
4. Learn About the International Marketplace
It’s easy to say that we operate in a global market, but few people really understand what that means. Get on a plane and get in the game. Learn what’s happening in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other rapidly developing nations like South Korea. Join your local Rotary Club or another business organization that has connections with international business leaders. Learn how those international leaders operate. Ask a lot of questions, respect their culture, and get connected. Don’t assume that U.S. businesses have all of the answers.
5. Achieve Opportunity Mastery in Your Work
Proficiency in these skills will go a long way toward making you a high-performance employee. You can download Chapter 0 for free, here. Measure your proficiency in the four skills by taking the Workplace Serendipity Quiz. If you score 35 or higher, congratulations (less than 1% do).
6. Write a Blog and Hold Yourself Accountable
To keep track of your progress, you’ll need to write about your successes, challenges, and lessons learned. Your most valuable tool will be a blog. It doesn’t have to be public, just active. Approach it like a journal that tracks your performance. Every month, read through your blog and identify what your action plan should be moving forward.
In today’s survival-of-the-fittest workplace, you must get your hands dirty and learn to manage yourself. You must hold yourself to the highest possible standards, regardless of the attitudes of those around you. That means measuring yourself against the competition, learning from the young and diverse new leaders who are reshaping the global marketplace, and focusing on continual self-improvement.
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