The workplace is a battleground for most professionals in this world. It’s not easy to deal with the pressure of deadlines, ever changing goals, adapt to new technologies and deliver with absolute consistency.
Not everyone can deliver all the time, but there are patterns, habits and personality traits of top achievers in the workplace. These people understand what it takes to rise above everyone and deliver the goods without failing.
These people work with passion and are dedicated to the core. They are not robots. But they have a deep connection with what they are doing and that is the reason they excel.
Here we look at some of the smart ways from the top achievers, which can help you elevate your game too:
1. Take full Responsibility
It’s not my job is a mantra for failure. The top professionals take the full responsibility. They go out of their way to learn, dedicate themselves to work and never shy away from their responsibility.
Whether it is the sales person who makes a sale to a high profile client, or the engineer who is working on the product, it is the ownership and responsibility with which they do their work that defines how successful they are. The top sales person dedicates time to learn about the product and genuinely understand what they are selling.
As someone who is building the product, the ownership goes to the one who takes it. The one who doesn’t accept responsibility and is happy with mediocre work stays mediocre.
2. Hard Work & Discipline
Most successful people owe their success to hard work and discipline. Even if you are not very talented, you can still develop yourself and do better by working hard.
It is not uncommon for top executives and professionals to put in over 80 hours work per week.
Marisa Mayer, the former CEO of Yahoo and ex VP, Google share some insights into her work week. She is known to clock consistently over 100 hour work weeks. Infact, when they were working in Google, she used to work for 130 hours per week.
Marisa Mayer says, “The other piece that gets overlooked in the Google story is the value of hard work. When reporters write about Google, they write about it as if it was inevitable. The actual experience was more like, ‘Could you work 130 hours in a week?’”
While 130 hours per week could be an extreme, but you can certainly push yourself and work harder. It’s possible and it will be worth it.
3. Overconfidence will kill you
Overconfidence without ability is a surefire way to fail. The greatest minds in the worlds are always absorbed in improving themselves, they know how much there is to learn.
When you’re overconfident and arrogant, you create a distance from others around you. You also impede your learning opportunities and growth.
Most of the top professionals who rise to the top have humility, which allows them to see things in the right perspective. When you think, things cannot work without you, it creates your downfall. But when you are humble enough to understand that you can contribute to a bigger cause, it helps you succeed and rise as well.
4. Bookmark Learning Resources
What you know today will be outdated tomorrow. IBM predicts that the knowledge will double every 11-12 hours due to digital devices and data explosion. The increasing knowledge and information simply means you need to be learning all the time to keep yourself updated.
The top professionals understand their core subject knowledge; they also keep pace with the latest updates in their fields. Not everything will be relevant to you, but it is important to have a good understanding of what you are currently doing, what are the best resources to keep yourself upto date in your field & improve on what you are doing.
5. Help Your Company Achieve its Goals
The top professionals know that they are accountable for the success of the projects and the company goals. What they do has a big impact in the overall scheme of things.
You need to understand what your managers or supervisors are trying and help them achieve their goals. When you help them achieve their goals, you will achieve yours.
You need to learn to take and shoulder responsibility for company goals. You need to bring up things on your own before it becomes an urgent issue. Speak up, make suggestions and execute with whole hearted attention to ace your company goals.
6. Innovate, Experiment & Do It
You cannot repeat what you learned year after year. It is repetition not experience. The workplace today demands creativity, excellence and innovation. It needs people who can experiment, execute & get things done.
Don’t back off when a new opportunity presents itself, the top performers plunge themselves into difficult challenges and invariably succeed. They succeed because they are relentless in their experimentation, they keep trying until they get things right.
7. Understand the Priorities, be Flexible
The majority of the work often lands up on the table of the best employees. Yes, this is a brutal truth; those who do more are expected to do most of the work.
Be very clear about the priorities of the deliverables. It is hard to line yourself up for a long haul at things due to disruptive nature of businesses. So, when the priorities are constantly shifting, flexibility is a priceless trait.
8. Be Dependable & Trustworthy
Crisis in a workplace is common. Who puts up their hand and volunteers during hard times becomes dependable and trustworthy. They never miss deadlines; promptly respond to all communications and always ready to do whatever it takes for the team.
Dependability and trust are very hard earned currencies that pay huge dividends in the long run. When you deliver for years and earn the trust of your colleagues and supervisor, you set yourself up for success and rewards.
A top professional is the one who is always for his team when they need him. These employees not only give their best, but also become an inspiration for others to excel and succeed.
9. Communicate with Clarity:
When it comes to professional work, how you communicate can make a big difference to where you reach. A lot of people end up in mediocre positions, because they don’t communicate well.
Communication with clarity is essential with your supervisors and also your subordinates. Whether you are dealing with a client or your boss, how you communicate, take and give feedback helps your career goals.
Many a time, when you need to take a break or you are about to miss an important deadline due to unavoidable reasons, how you communicate matters a lot. It can make a world of difference to the project outcomes.
10. Be Passionate, Positive and Persistent:
When you give your best to what you are doing, it creates opportunities for you to rise and shine. The best professionals are always brimming with energy, enthusiasm and they radiate strength. It is because of the passion, positive attitude; they are able to pull off seemingly impossible tasks.
These people use their energy and creativity in constructive work. It leads them to greater things in life. They don’t indulge in back biting and office politics, because they enjoy their work and are passionately doing their best.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”