What is the difference between the elite and everyone else? Genetics? Luck? Pure talent?
The answer resides in their discipline. Elite performers have the unique ability to do the same things over and over again without their discipline wavering. Elite athletes and performers feel the same boredom and lack of motivation that you feel. What separates them is their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the repetition and with the plan in front of them.
To be a New York Times bestseller, you have to be in love with the process of writing. If you want to get in better shape, you have to love eating healthy and exercise regularly. In order to be great, you have to commit yourself to the process and embrace the daily grind. Here’s how you do that:
Signs of Success
When you love the process the following should mostly ring true:
- You talk about the great things other individuals are doing
- You help without thinking or being asked
- You struggle to prioritize
- You are more excited about the people you’re doing the job with than the job itself
- You leave work with items on your to-do list that you are eager to tackle tomorrow
- Your mindset is “I hope I get to…” instead of, “I hope I don’t have to…”
Most of us have been told that if you do what you love, money and success will follow. You might also think that if you are not changing the world in bold ways, it’s because you are too afraid to find your passion and follow it.
Develop Career Capital
Author Cal Newport has emerged as one of the more vocal critics of the “only-do-what-you-love” movement. In his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Newport argues that following one’s passions is often a dead end. He says that it’s better to identify which skills you have that are unique and valuable in the workplace. Once identified, those skills should be honed until you have career capital that you can spend in the way you choose.
Developing career capital requires a carefully balanced mix of deliberate action and patience. If you are in a self-directed professional environment and are responsible for carving your own path, take responsibility for the direction in which you are heading. Figure out what you need from others in order to get there! Don’t wait for someone to come along who can help, but instead be proactive in seeking out those who can provide mentorship along the way.
If you are responsible for developing career capital in others, incorporate this exercise in ongoing or annual reviews. Always lead with the following question: “What I am I doing to help others identify their competitive advantages, and how am I providing opportunities for those strengths to turn into eventual career capital?”
Most roles have repetitive tasks. How many partners at law firms still do their own research? Does a surgeon want to spend more time in surgery? Often, practitioners outsource the less challenging work to junior staff that is not only capable of performing the work at a lower cost but also challenged by the work itself. What is the natural progression of your profession, and have you done a successful job of outsourcing?
Within a physician’s office, the nurse practitioner facilitates exams, the nurse checks blood pressure, and the scheduling department makes appointments. Each of those tasks is important but doesn’t challenge the doctor or justify their time. The lesson we can learn is that outsourcing certain tasks to other team members is not only more financially rewarding but also allows for greater challenges.
With over 90 years of logistic experience, Top Talent has been committed to “Finding people who make a difference” for its clients. To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.
– Michael Monson
Top Talent LLC
President and CEO