What special traits do high performers have? Are they born that way? Can anyone be a high performer?
Over the years my experience working with hundreds of well educated professionals tells me that we all have the ability to be a high performer. There are no special talents that some are born with and others are not. Being a high performer comes from within. It is a desire to have a life which is fulfilled both professionally and personally. It is about influencing your destiny rather than being a victim of circumstance. It is about getting up every day knowing that you will give your best. It is about using your strengths to create value for others. It is about learning every day and staying focused on value you create for others.
Here are some key characteristics that we have observed in high performing individuals who have successfully elevated their professional and personal lives.
• Passion – The dictionary may define passion as being devoted to an activity or concept. I define passion as having a deep belief and caring in what you do so that no matter what the circumstance, good or bad, positive or negative, you stay the course. Passionate people convey their message through words and actions to such an extent that those they touch remember their faces, names and purpose.
Most of us are innately drawn to passionate people. Just as a doctor’s passion may come from a desire to heal, a lawyer’s passion may come from a desire to “take care of and protect”. Using effective legal skills to accomplish this objective allows him/her to live their passion. What makes you passionate? What gets you excited?
Identify the passion within you. That passion will provide the road map to create significant value for others. Do not be afraid of it. Stretch to deliver value. Be memorable and make no mistake. The difference between someone who is passionate about what they do, and one who is not, is clear to all. The one that lives their passion will be remembered. We all want to be with passionate people because they care and they will be there no matter what the circumstance.
• Commitment - Without commitment, success at whatever you do will be hard to come by. Commitment is about purpose and knowing what you want to accomplish. More importantly, it is staying the course to achieve your objectives. The strong desire to succeed overcomes any temporary roadblocks that may arise and detour you from your destination. The old adage, “where there is will, there is a way” certainly applies here. Those who are merely out to get a paycheck will fold when the first big obstacle presents itself because they lack commitment to a greater purpose. Be committed to delivering value.
• Relationships – The key to any business is having a distribution system you can rely on. Ignoring your distributors leaves your business in a perilous position no matter how valuable your service or product may be. As a service provider, who are your distributors? They are those few meaningful relationships you develop and nurture who truly understand your business and are committed to your success, and you to theirs. If you develop 15 key relationships with others where there is a mutual commitment to helping each other with one significant event over the course of the year, our experience tells us you will hit your numbers. A relationship system takes work and it must be managed. The results it produces are worth it.
• The Power of Attraction: “Like kind attracts like kind”. We learn from others. Surround yourself with people who are passionate and committed to their businesses. This will accelerate your growth. High energy people increase your energy and your desire to succeed. If you surround yourself with people who merely hope something will happen, more often than not they will sap your time, energy and enthusiasm. Be selective.
• S-t-r-e-t-c-h yourself – Give yourself permission to go beyond your comfort zone. Real growth occurs when you choose to venture into unfamiliar territory. Do not let limited experience hold you back. Operating outside of your comfort zone is imperative to growth. Be smart and be bold. The more you do it the higher your comfort level becomes. As an example, it may be that your social style does not favor initiating relationships. Know that you will be uncomfortable at first but keep with it. You will find that the other person will appreciate your resolve and more than likely has similar personal concerns.
Are you already a high performer or are you ready to become one? Everyone has the ability. Ask yourself whether you're willing to be the best that you can be based on what you passionately care about. Then conduct yourself consistently as a high performer. Give it a try– it will change your life!
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