Do you give it your all when you tackle a task? Is ‘good enough’ your typical effort level? Or are you one of those folks who does just a little bit more or something unexpected? Anyone can do just enough, not everyone will bother with giving their best. People who go that extra mile will stand out. Leaders look for ways to go above and beyond – that’s how you get to new opportunities.
I’m collaborating on a project with a great group of professionals who love leadership and exemplify it in everything they do. Working with them causes me to step up my game. I like to do something a little different than what was asked. I often will find a new and different way to present the information we are pulling together. This is for a several reasons:
- I want to make sure I add value to them each time we talk
- Finding new ways to share information is important to me in my work so I bring it to the group as well
- All of them give 100+% to what we are doing and I won’t do less than they do
- I get to explore new methods in a very safe environment
Rarely does it take me much longer to provide this extra stuff and yet the team is always amazed and surprised by what I’ve done. I think they believe I’m spending lots of extra time on it which really isn’t the case at all. Often it’s a function of things I do well and like to share with others.
The interesting thing about this stepping up in this area is that I find I’m doing it more and more elsewhere. When I am working on something, anything really, I am looking for ways to do just a little bit more, to make it the best I possibly can. Does this mean extra work for me, sure but it also gives me huge satisfaction to be able to look at what I’ve done and know it’s my best work.
People will notice when you do a little bit more, go that extra step and exceed expectations. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture each time. Just a little extra is unusual and much appreciated. How do you want to be known? As someone who does just enough or someone who does just a bit more? You get to decide which way you are seen so choose wisely.
The group I am working with has dubbed me Wonder Woman for my efforts. I admire each of them so much for what they do that it is very humbling for me to be seen as a superhero – to me they are all superheroes. If you are curious about these folks – check out LeadWithGiants as they all can be found there. http://www.leadwithgiants.com/
It’s the end of the month; do you know where you are in respect to your goals? Many of us set New Year’s resolutions back in January and they fade away as time and life goes on, does this mean they are any less important now that the year is more than half over? We set goals on what we want to accomplish in our jobs, projects have expected benefits (goals under another name) and we have hopes for where our careers will go over time. How often do we stop and review where we are on these paths?
The time management literature tells us we should review our tasks and projects regularly, be it daily or weekly. This is very true and is important to keeping you focused on doing the things that need to be done and making sure your actions are aligned with your priorities. There is a bigger piece to this which is to stop and reflect on the priorities. If you have the goal of moving up to the next level on your organizations ladder, you need to be doing the right things to get you exposure and experience that will prepare you for that role. This is a focus on things that are down the road a ways and yet if you are not taking the right steps now you will never get there.
Another reason for doing this kind of goal checks is to see if the path you have started down is still the right one for you. New possibilities can pull you into new directions and without focusing on what it means to you can lead to missed opportunities. It’s possible that you had envisioned moving into Position A in a year or two, but you’ve just become aware of another area in your organization that has captured your attention. This was unknown to you previously and you find yourself drawn to it. Reflecting on what is drawing you to that area and what made you want to reach Position A will help you decide which path you should take.
As you get in the habit of checking your task list and project lists each day and week create the habit of checking on your goals regularly. For some this may be weekly and for others it may be monthly, just do it frequently enough that you are moving in the right direction. View these checks as the opportunity to do course corrections as you move forward in your life. Accomplishing a lot of things that don’t get you to where you want to be is frustrating and discouraging, while getting closer to your goals is energizing and makes you want to get out of bed and tackle each day.
How do you make sure you are progressing towards your goals, particularly the longer range ones? Please share your best tips.