To succeed in your career, to start and grow your business, you need to have that little something extra. That little extra allows certain people to succeed at whatever they do, even things they are NOT passionate about. Are you one of those people? Do you do more than is expected of you? More than your “job?” Are you a creative thinker who addresses issues before they become problems? In essence, are you a leader…even when no one appointed you the leader? This is what makes a top performer.
Here are some common traits of top performers:
Quality work demanded. Top performers demand quality work from themselves and others. They understand that “content” and “satisfied” are meaningless words that mean “good enough for now.” Top performers aim for excellence. They live by the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway!” They understand that improvement is always possible. Simply getting things done is not good enough.
Unafraid of making mistakes. Taking initiate means sometimes doing what is urgent and essential in the moment, opening the door for potential errors. But it also opens the door for massive success! Picking up the slack for your boss and anticipating their needs means taking the risk of deciding on their behalf, opening the door for great pain or significant gain. Top performers are not afraid of the potential pain.
Insistence on receiving feedback. Outstanding performers understand that to excel, you must know what is expected, and the only way to know what is expected is through constant informal input from above. They understand that to exceed expectations, you must know the expectations.
Self-direction. The best employees are more likely to perform their own research and spend more time on projects than average performers. They self-motivate and self-initiate new assignments and challenges. They seek out those in the organization who have the influence and the knowledge they need to achieve their goals and progress to the next level.
Calm under pressure. Confidence (usually) comes from the knowledge that you are prepared. Top performers are prepared because they were willing to learn, practice, repeat, be coached, and corrected when necessary. So their end-product is something they are sure about. Hence, they are prepared for all problems that may arise…and are always calm under pressure.
They understand the power of networks. High performers tend to have more meaningful professional networks than most. They realize that it’s not “who you know” but “who knows you” that matters most. Many folks believe they know numerous people and their extensive networks are essential, but would the people in your network stand behind you, recommend you, advocate for you? Top performers understand the power of reputation and the value of nurturing meaningful, professional relationships.
Top performers can perform at a consistently high level even when they don’t have the passion or aptitude for the job, task, or endeavor. They have the ability to mask a lack of passion and aptitude to excel at whatever they do. Top performers don’t excel at one thing; they excel at everything!
Are you a top performer?