The good news first. If you find yourself relating to this post chances are you are a high achiever or a leader in whatever you do. High achievers and leaders generally thrive on their achievements. While power, wealth and fame may also be strong motivators, the high of delivering on a difficult outcome is generally unmatched. The world of a high performer is also very different from that of an average performer. There is a lot more activity and a very strong commitment to the outcomes. Most high achievers thrive in high-speed, high stress environments.
“Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. ” – Lance Secretan In the career of any business leader, there comes a time, when you get a new job role or responsibility, which is completely different from what you have been doing till that time and rudely pulls you out of your comfort zone. You’ve proven your self by performing brilliantly till now and people around you believe that you are capable of delivering on the impossible. You are THE MAN ( or WOMAN ) who is expected to see the ship in stormy waters to the shore. You step up from doing work that you have been brilliant at, to a level where you don’t really know what is going on? While you may secretly be thinking, “I have no clue what I am doing here”, blurting that
Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – Julia Cameron Most of us have been brought up with the quote ” Practice makes perfect”. We believe that perfection is a virtue to aspire for. Perfection is very useful in making us want to do a good job and delivering outstanding results. However when perfectionism starts driving us rather than we driving for perfection it is time to take a closer look and understand if we are in trouble. Perfectionism often leads to the following problems: Limits thought, inclusivity and creativity: Perfectionists live with the idea that there is only one best way and that is the way they like it. As a result it limits respect for individuality and diversity when working with others. We have all worked with a boss or colleague who is never happy with the outcome. Working with such an individual besides being highly stressful is bound to limit creativity and thought as there is no place for deviations or opinions other than those believed in by the perfectionist. Science and research on the other hand……
“There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker Off late, I have been interacting with a lot of entrepreneurs, both first time startups and seasoned entrepreneurs. The thing that I find common with each of these individuals is the passion they feel for their enterprise. If you are or have been an entrepreneur , you will know that entrepreneurship is a world full of rushed timelines, funding constraints and struggles to keep the lamp burning. It is exciting to see how these dynamic men and women trudge along bravely in the face of adversity and actually take strength from it. What does surprise me however is that while each enterprise is born of passion, there is huge ambiguity to the purpose of each of these. And that brings me to the topic of this blog. As an entrepreneurs your passion will give you the momentum
” I’ve come to realise your career is all about the choices you make. Every single one matters.” – Demi Lovato Manoeuvring your career through different roles and opportunities can sometimes be confusing. Often an opportunity arrives at your door and you feel unsure. On the surface it looks, feels and sounds just right. But something is holding you back. It could be a personal circumstance or just a gut feeling but you are hesitant. Surprisingly, this could even happen with an opportunity that you have been waiting for years and thought you really wanted. When making career decisions it is easy to
Will power is defined as : “The strength of will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes, or plans.” or “Control of one’s impulses and actions; determination; self-control.” or “The ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” Irrespective of which definition resonates with you, will power is something that very few claim to have and most aspire for. This power can lead you to persevere and achieve anything, be it quitting smoking, losing weight or any other seemingly impossible goal. It is equally easy to discount your failures to lack of will power. But I believe each and everyone of us has will power inherent in us. What we may not have is a clear understanding of what will power means and how to use it to get what we want.
Vince Lombardi said “ Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” If this is indeed true why are so most leadership development programs so unsuccessful in imparting these learnings? Alternately if leaders are born why do organisations spend millions every year in leadership development? This is because there is a third element to the “made vs born” debate. People can be born with leadership qualities, which the development processes can fine tune OR people can be born sans leadership and acquire it along the way.
“ In order to succeed your desire for success need to be higher than you fear of failure” – Bill Cosby While we would all want to be always consistent in our performance unfortunately professional and personal effectiveness like life does not come in absolutes. As most business leaders grow in an organisation there are subtle changes that start happening in their personal mindsets.
If you are a high achiever or used to being an excellent performer but are suddenly finding it difficult to get things done check if any of the following personal traits are getting in your way.
Being a perfectionist
Constant need to do more
Need for speed