Over the past twenty years, I have been surrounded by many top performers:
- Courageous fellow paratroopers in the U.S. Army
- Amazing colleagues at both a global consulting firm and my own professional services agency
- Outstanding leaders throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia
- Brilliant students at one of the nation’s top universities
In today’s world, it can be easy to be only partially present, somewhat engaged, or hedging our bets. I’ll go a step further and say that we are encouraged and rewarded for this type of behavior.
We are provided countless opportunities to:
- Put our resumes online and have them seeking new employment for us even as we sit in a meeting at our current workplace.
Sometimes when things are going well, we find ourselves not appreciating the moment, but yearning for more. Or, we are anxious about what is around the next corner.
Experience has taught us that, for the most part, we are either moving forward or sliding backward. A business is either evolving or unraveling. A plant grows and dies, but doesn’t remain static. Occasionally we must hit pause and appreciate wherever we are on the journey and thank those who choose to travel with us.
Do you love where you work and the type of work you perform?
If so, that’s wonderful. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it.
However, don’t confuse work with home.
The former CEO of Kraft Foods, Roger Deromidi, often speaks in my Vanderbilt University classroom. Students enjoy learning about leading a global business, but what often resonates most is his work-life balance discussion.
I often read (and sometime write) about the importance of giving good feedback.
The scenario is typically framed around how leaders should coach their employees, conduct performance reviews with their team members, etc.
True, these are important conversations. Improving your ability to deliver constructive feedback is key to growing and developing your people.
The most effective performers put their best energies toward things that they can control, instead of focusing on the uncontrollable. I know; the uncontrollable will frustrate you. You will want to fix it; however, you will find that it is just beyond your grasp. Chasing the uncontrollable will leave you feeling out-of-control.
Being flexible matters.
A friend once told me that, “a plan is nothing more than an agreed upon starting point for future changes.”
Very few things go as planned, natural disasters happen, markets shift, the boss gets a new idea of how things should be done, kids get sick – you name it.
Some 18 months ago, David Bowie succumbed to a battle with cancer. After his passing, I invested time studying his career. In short order, it became clear that the career choices Bowie made align with what the best thinkers say about strategy
Perhaps it was intuition, studied decisions, or advice from others that informed his career. Whatever the source, Bowie’s career moves were smart moves.