“Perfection is boring and is often the enemy of greatness.” – Romeo Effs
One of Fortune 500 companies I worked for had a slogan – High Performance Delivered. I also marvelled at this slogan and tried to apply it to my every move at work and in my personal life. In my over 20+ years as a c-suite and boardroom executive in the corporate world, I know that results are all that matte. Not love, (well maybe somewhat), friendship or being a ‘brownnoser”. If you are just a good talker and profiler, and you don’t deliver results; you will find yourself either out of the organisation, stuck in one place or not having the confidence and trust of your peers/team. Just know that profilers, talkers, and brownnosers are discovered for what they truly are, sooner or later. Those who deliver results get the big bonuses, and in most cases, promoted. As a “black bright spark”, you have to always ensure you deliver not just mere results, but “phenomenal results”. That means results that are above target and above expectations. That is what a high performer is.
There are four (4) essentials to Becoming a High Performer (BHP):
Know what performance looks like
Don’t settle for less
Exceeding expectations is one of my greatest mantras, which I try to live by at all times in every aspect of my life, both personal and business. In the corporate world, my little secret, which I will now share with you, is to always under promise and over deliver. I do this for two reasons: one, experiences have shown me over the years that there are always unforeseen circumstances. Things can and will go wrong no matter how well you strategise, plan, and organise in the workplace because you are never in total control. It’s as my Gran used to say, “Man plans and God wipes out”. So, always temper what you promise to deliver.
The main reason being that if the worst happens, you will hit your target and still look good. Secondly, it gives you a chance to “blow the target out of the water”, “hit it for six”, “a home run”, or “demolish it”, as you have delivered more than you agreed you would. This is what I am referring to as delivering phenomenal results, exceeding expectations.
Don’t settle for less
Never settle for mediocrity, second best, or a compromise if this means falling below set targets and objectives. There is always a way to achieve that target or objective, so you just need to be resourceful, innovative and creative in getting there. Don’t get into the zone of the “illusion of limited resources” (ILR); be resourceful and get to the goal, target, or object. I find that we sometimes give up too easily and lose faith in our abilities to do great things, and deliver the results. Just keep your focus and repeat affirmations like “if I think it, I can achieve it; I will deliver phenomenal results”
In the corporate world, it’s the reality that you will encounter limitations, barriers, issues, and challenges that many of your other colleagues will not encounter or have to deal with. That is just the reality; so, deal with it. Accept it and find a way around or over it. Don’t let this be a distraction to you because there is always a way out.
Speak to a mentor, coach, or someone who can give you suggestions or whom you can brainstorm (thought shower) with to come up with a solution. Don’t relent! In most instances, when I have come up against these challenges, and I have to raise my hand and ask for assistance to overcome them, it is always forthcoming. Don’t be afraid to ask. Most organisations are there to help you succeed and achieve your fullest potential, but you also have to play your part. Remember – if you don’t ask, the answer is always, no!