Are You Dressed for High Performance?

What would you do if you had an amazing opportunity and nothing to wear? Last week, I found out with very short notice that I’d be on FOX news in DC. Unfortunately, the jacket I brought with me was the exact color of the interview couch. Thankfully, I was attending the National Speakers Association convention with 1700 of my speaking buddies, including Hispanic news sensation Pilar Ortiz. During the convention, Pilar was video-taping and had brought seven jackets.

In my attempts to manage everything, I don’t always ask for help. Trying to do it all is not a strategy for success.  When I take the time to ask for support, people are more than willing to give it and even prevent me from looking unprepared. My sister even went with me to the news station.

In my book, The Manager’s High-Performance Handbook: How to Drive Winning Results with Everyone on Your Team, I compare Self-Starters to Stallers.

Self -starters are those high performing professionals who get into action and create winning results for themselves and others.

To drive higher performance and be more of a self-starter:

  • Decide what needs to be determined and stop worrying about past decisions.  By finding time to be quiet and reflect, you can feel the fear of your decision and then do it anyway (as in Martina McBride’s song “Anyway”).

  • Release what doesn’t work. Dwell only on what can be changed and make peace with yourself and others.   You can make peace with something or allow it to tear you to pieces.

  • Lose the losers.  Surround yourself with strong friendships and networks. Practice positive gossip and share successes. Join associations (like NSA) where like-minded people gather.  Forget your ego and build everyone else’s.

  • Play the politics. Politics are part of any workplace and you will need to avoid begging, groveling or appearing weak.  Stop complaining and start moving.  And, of course, write, document and keep good records in case someone doesn’t play fair with you.

  • Do the right thing sounds so cliché.  Actions do speak louder than words. Instead of telling people how good you are, let them figure it out on their own by watching you and what you achieve. Show respect and allow other people to maintain their dignity.

  • Give, give, give.  I love what speaking guru Jos. J. Charbonneau said, “You’ve got to give, give, give before you get, get, get.” Volunteer your expertise or mentor a new employee.  In today’s work climate it’s natural to feel threatened by the new employee who may have an edge.  Resist the urge to feel threatened and help the new person as much as you can.  It will come back to you tenfold.

    Who needs your help right now to drive higher performance?  Who could you thank for helping you appear even better?

I know who I am thanking.  Thank you Pilar for your giving spirit and your encouragement.

Journey On!